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Blood was not shed in vain

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AS we take stock of the strides we have made 43 years on as a fully independent nation, we should not look at our independence anniversary as an isolated event.
For it is events before and the present aspirations of the nation that give meaning to the freeing of ourselves from shackles of colonialism. So much has happened and was achieved, especially in the Second Republic.
Foremost, what must be the rallying point as we celebrate our 43rd Independence Anniversary is the memory of the blood spilt to achieve the freedoms we enjoy today.
Every Zimbabwean, in one way or another, was affected by the liberation struggle.
Some died, others were maimed and yet others were able to live to give an account of their gruesome experiences living with all kind of wounds.
And we must realise that this ugly side of the liberation struggle did not start with the Second Chimurenga.
We have our heroes, like Chingaira Makoni and Chinengundu Mashayamombe, among others, whose heads were chopped off as trophies of war during the First Chimurenga.
It is their blood, together with that of the likes of Mbuya Nehanda, that inspired the heroes of the Second Chimurenga to batter Ian Smith into submission.
Hence the huge crowds countrywide always ready to commemorate our independence anniversary. But we must never be complacent. We must never ever let down our guard. Not everybody is happy with the victory of democracy over colonial oppressive rule.
The idea of a former liberation movement replacing the vanquished white colonial regime remains anathema to imperialists. Regrettably, they are not alone. And it is paradoxical their allies are some black Zimbabweans who are supposed to be beneficiaries of the April 18 1980 independence.
While thousands of Zimbabweans, irrespective of political or religious persuasion, are united by the blood of their heroes, celebrating as one at different centres, our own, in the so-called opposition politics, are not in tandem with the rest of progressive Zimbabweans. It is horrifying and sad to have, among us, people who have the audacity and guts to unashamedly declare that Zimbabwe is not yet independent simply because the West is not having its way in our country.
Surely, isn’t it puzzling that a black Zimbabwean politician, aspiring to be the country’s next President, does not appreciate the gains made thus far; totally fails to grasp that we do not need the West but ourselves to develop.
Thus, as we celebrate our independence, we must remember we are surrounded by enemies. They are crafty and are prepared to use some among us as their surrogates.
Until these people call for the removal of sanctions they called for, they are not part of us and we should be wary of them.
We all should be concerned about the fate of our country, our people and do something positive to improve our lot.
Zimbabwe will never be a colony again but will grow in leaps and bounds, led by a people who fully understand and are ready to defend our sovereignty. Those people gathered at various centres celebrating Independence Day are capable of seeing through treachery and traitors.
The various general elections we have had have confirmed this—and so will the next one.
The Government, without doubt, will redouble its efforts and press on with people-centred programmes.
With our independence, we got back our land, a constant salient reminder that we did not shed our blood in vain.
With indigenes in various businesses and commitment to farming, the benefits of our hard-won independence from our land will always flow.
We must guard our independence jealously, now and forever.

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