Felex Share, Harare Bureau
PREPARATIONS for the 39th Independence Day celebrations are at an advanced stage amid calls for President Mnangagwa’s administration to maintain the level of liberalism and freedoms being enjoyed under the Second Republic.
The nation celebrates Independence Day next Thursday.
The Second Republic, under the stewardship of President Mnangagwa, has been rolling out freedoms in all spheres, a complete departure from the previous era.
This year’s celebrations follow the peaceful, free and fair elections held last July where political parties campaigned and held meetings freely while Zimbabweans can openly critisise Government without fear of retribution.
As the reform agenda gathers momentum with the intention of attaining Vision 2030, democratic space has been opened up and Government is repealing statutes such as the Public Order and Security Act (Posa) with the Maintenance of Peace and Order Bill while the Protection of Personal Information Bill is repealing the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (Aippa).
Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa yesterday said preparations for the Uhuru celebrations were progressing well.
The celebrations will be held under the the theme: “Zimbabwe @39; Embracing Devolution for Vision 2030”.
“Preparations are at an advanced stage and almost all the things are in place,” Minister Mutsvangwa said.
“This is an important event for us as it is the first after our harmonised elections in the Second Republic and we are encouraging all the people to attend regardless of political afficiliation. The main event will be at the National Sports Stadium in Harare and we are also working to ensure the events in all the 10 provinces take place well. Entertainment has been lined up and it will be a day to remember.”
She said various committees set up to organise the event are putting final touches to those areas that may need attention.
“All is in order and invitations have been sent to the people including diplomats,” she said.
President Mnangagwa will officiate at the main event in Harare while there will be celebrations in the other nine provinces.
Zanu-PF spokesperson Cde Simon Khaya Moyo said the freedoms brought by the new dispensation were there to stay. “This year’s celebrations are unique in many facets,” he said.
“It is the first after the nation’s harmonised elections held last July which were resoundingly won by the revolutionary party Zanu-PF. An election considered by local and international observers as the most peaceful, free, fair and credible. The Zanu-PF manifesto appealed and was accepted in both content and vision by the electorate. The enthusiasm was propelled by the quality it leadership of President Mnangagwa who in the new dispensation emphasised the virtues of unity, peace and development based on servant leadership and the ‘Zimbabwe is open for business’ mantra.”
He said the Second Republic had rekindled people’s hopes and Zimbabwe was poised for growth even in the face of calamities such as Cyclone Idai. “The spirit of unity and compassion amongst Zimbabweans of all walks of life and the solidarity extended by our friends beyond our borders in relief efforts is astounding,” Cde Khaya Moyo said.
“Relief support continues to pour in and Zimbabwe is poised for a great future. Let us therefore celebrate our independence as one Zimbabwean family.”
Cyclone Idai left more than 360 people dead and a trail of destruction in Manicaland, Masvingo and Mashonaland East.
Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association chairperson, Cde Christopher Mutsvangwa said:
“President Mnangagwa is opening the space for Zimbabwean populace to enjoy a new and historic spring of political and civil liberties. No subject from our past of racial and ethnic rancour is being avoided or hidden as national taboos anymore. Oppressive and inhibitive statutes like Posa and Aippa are all under review and legislative repeal. The Second Republic ushered by the glorious people’s revolution of 2017 November is heaven bent on making Zimbabwe a haven of free political discourse. That is as it should be. After all the heroic fight for independence was driven by the burning desire of Zimbabweans to enjoy unfettered freedoms. That is the reason why so many offered their only lives to the noble effort of the ‘people’s war’. Racist, settler colonial minority rule had thwarted the aspirations nations self esteem, self actualisation and the prospect of prosperity on the part of the African majority for over nine decades since the defeat and conquest by the marauding Pioneer Column of imperialist, Cecil John Rhodes.”
MDC-T vice president Mr Obert Gutu said:
Independence Day is a sacrosanct and historic day on the Zimbabwean calendar.
“After ushering in political independence, the next frontier of the battle should be to ensure socio-economic independence for the masses of Zimbabwe,” he said.
“The new dispensation, led by President Mnangagwa, should tirelessly work towards the attainment of socio-economic independence by the majority of the people of Zimbabwe. It should also work towards ensuring that Zimbabweans not only own but also control the means of production such as ownership of land, industries, factories, mines etc. Granted, the new dispensation has opened up the political space and allowed various political players to go about their activities freely and unhindered.”
He added: “The new dispensation should immediately implement measures and mechanisms to stimulate economic growth as well as to fully capacitate the thousands of Zimbabweans who benefited under the revolutionary land reform programme. We should strive to achieve food security for all our people so that no single Zimbabwean should go to bed hungry because they can’t afford to put food on their table. Most importantly, the new dispensation should immediately and ruthlessly clamp down on the cancer of corruption that is threatening to tear apart the whole fabric of our society.”