Tuesday,18 April 2017
President Morgan Tsvangirai's independence day message to the people of Zimbabwe
Today, we commemorate 37 years of our hard-won independence from the brutal, oppressive and racist colonial regime.
I advisedly say commemorate—-and not celebrate—-because the stinking poverty around us and the extreme suffering of the people is not worth celebrating. Our current sad national predicament is not commensurate with the sacrifice we made as a nation in the brutal struggle for our independence.
Today is a day for serious reflection on whether the despicable state of the nation and the sorry plight of people can be regarded as the sum total of the true meaning of our independence.
Today, we pay homage to the gallantry of the sons and daughters of this land who paid the ultimate price to free this country from colonial bondage and we salute our heroism as a people in fighting brutality and repression.
It is indeed a day worth commemorating. If this great national day had not been privatized by parochial partisanship, I would have taken my family to join thousands others for the national celebrations to pay homage to this country’s heroism in bringing independence.
But alas, this important national day has been hijacked; pick-pocketed by the ruling elite. It is a big day now mired by cheap sloganeering in a move that excludes other political players from joining the rest of the nation in celebrating our sacred struggle against colonialism.
Fellow Zimbabweans, I recently went around the country and I remember some of the sad stories that you told me—-stories that do not befit a free and independent people.
From Hwange to Nyanga and from Nyamakate to Beitbridge, you all bemoaned the fact that independence came alone; unclothed by the requisite freedoms befitting a heroic people who had waged a brutal struggle. Today—so you told me—we now repress each other through partisan distribution of food, even maiming and killing others for belonging to a different political party.
Independence came without freedom. It is sad that our brothers and sisters whom we correctly called freedom fighters are painfully realizing now that the country for which they fought has now been privatized by small, parasitic elite. Today, we even kill others for freely exercising their right to vote for a political party of their choice; a right for which so many sons and daughters of this land paid the ultimate price.
True independence should translate into abundant opportunities and real freedom for the people so that the day gains its true worth to the country’s citizenry.
I want to take advantage of this day to salute all war veterans, dead or alive, and say I and the party I lead will forever cherish what they did for this country.
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