Zimbabwe Independence Day is a great time to reflect abpolut the true significance of this week, and April 18 in particular
By Kennedy Mapesa Mandaza
Sunday 18 April this year millions of Zimbabweans from all walks of life will brave the weather to celebrate the most important and cherished day in the history of Zimbabwe, the day on which the Union Jack was lowered down and given to Prince Charles and the beautiful Zimbabwean flag hoisted, marking the birth of our motherland Zimbabwe.
It is the day when Zimbabwe saw vestiges of colonialism being thrown in the dustbin of history, as the much desired freedom from the oppressive rule of the white minority was ushered in.
The freedom we celebrate came at high cost and pain. A protracted war was waged by the freedom fighters and the masses of Zimbabwe, under the leadership of our gallant founding nationalists.
The heavy barrage of attacks from the gallant sons and daughters of the soil, forced the Smith regime, who had the support of their kith and kin, to call for Lancaster House talks.
The cost of the freedom we celebrate, was massive and painful as many people sacrificed their lives, limps, homes, livestock and other assets for the greater cause of the freedom we enjoy today.
As such the need to celebrate our Independence Day should come natural to all patriotic Zimbabweans, because this is the only country which we have, the only country we call home and there is no other.
Notwithstanding, this year’s Independence Day is special in many ways as the country has witnessed a lot of developments, socially, economically and infrastructurally.
In addition the country is expecting a bumper harvest, after the country experienced above average rains.
The second Republic, and the true essence of independence
Over the years people have decried the state of roads in the country, the shortage of foreign currency which culminated in rampant selling of foreign currency on the black market, rise in inflation, shortage of some basic food supplies in the supermarkets, rise in unemployment and corruption among other challenges.
The 41st Independence celebrations come at a time the Second Republic under the leadership of President Mnangagwa has shown great resolve in addressing the challenges.
Dualisation and resurfacing of roads is currently at an advanced stage on most major roads in both urban and rural areas.
Foreign currency exchange rate and inflation have been tamed. Locally produced basic food commodities are now found on the shelves of most of the supermarkets.
The government is currently seized with trying to arrest corruption in the country. High profile individuals from both the private and public sectors have been arraigned before the courts answering to allegations of corruption.
Peace and unity has remained at the heart of our independence. The Second Republic has shown the resolve to enhance peace and unity by ensuring that devolution is implemented as per the constitution.
Food security has remained at the core of the independence spirit. Growing what we eat as a country is at the heart of our real independence.
The good rains received in the 2020/2021 cropping season, have brought hope and cheer to the beneficiaries of the land reform who had endured worst droughts in the previous seasons.
Zimbabwe’s national dam levels also registered a massive rise this season, the second highest in more than five decades after heavy rains were received in most parts of the country during the current summer season, according to the latest update from the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA).
The timeous distribution of Presidential inputs, training of farmers, empowerment and capacitation of extension workers and robust monitoring and evaluation as dictated by the Agricultural Recovery Plan saw an improvement in the hectarage under cropping to ensure that the country achieves food self-sufficiency.
The introduction of conservation agriculture, popularly known as Pfumvudza/Intwasa, also motivated some poorly resourced farmers who did not have draught power after losing their oxen to tick-borne diseases or drought.
Good reasons to be thankful
It is against this backdrop that patriotic Zimbabweans must have good reasons to be thankful and celebratory as they mark the 41st Independence this year.
It’s a year of good infrastructural developments, a year of economic development, a year of good harvest to feed our growing population and reduce reliance on food imports and humanitarian food aid.
Zimbabwe is our home, the only home bequeathed to us by God, and we should love its birthday every year. It is very important to not forget the true essence of this day and the responsibilities that came with being independent.
As we celebrate this 41st Independence day with hope and pride, we should not forget that there is still a lot we need to do as a collective to consolidate our gains so far and ensure that we are totally politically and economically independent.
The race is still on and we must not drop the button stick handed to us by the founding nationalist figures who steered the country to freedom.
HAPPY 41st Zimbabwe Independence Day
Kennedy Mapesa Mandaza is the ZANU PF Spokesman in South Africa. He writes in his personal capacity as a Zimbabwean patriot.