PREPARATIONS for Independence Day celebrations are on course countrywide and Bulawayo hosts the main celebrations at Barbourfields Stadium on April 18.
As we celebrate our hard-won independence, it is heartening to note that, as Zimbabweans, we have all remained steadfast and, most importantly, we have not given up.
We stand on the threshold of greatness and, having come so far, let us now not shoot ourselves in the foot.
Our economy has a real chance to become the greatest not just in the region, but the continent.
Do I hear naysayers?
Yes, we can become the greatest economy on the continent.
Critical at this moment, besides commitment and resilience, is appreciation.
Appreciation of who we are as a people.
Appreciation of what we stand for as a nation and appreciation of our values and aspirations as a country.
I said let us not shoot ourselves in the foot.
To be more specific going forward, let us shun vices such as corruption.
Let us all contribute to development and not wait for others to deliver on our behalf.
We must take seriously the grundnorm, that phenomenon we always talk about.
The grundnorm is the spirit that binds a nation together.
It is the aggregate of values and norms that give the nation an identity.
It is a spiritual beacon which can be partly defined by hunhu/ ubuntu.
For Zimbabwe, the grundnorm is enshrined in our national flag and all it symbolises.
Our grundnorm lies in our ancestors and in our heroes who laid down their lives in defence of this nation.
We have rekindled the Zimbabwean spirit and we have restored confidence in ourselves.
Let us be ourselves in the family of nations and not apologise for our existence.
Having lost our spiritual bearings over the last years, we must restore a sense of purpose and patriotism in our nation, especially among the young people.
Our development partners must not find us wanting.
We owe it to ourselves and future generations to build a Zimbabwe that will inspire Africa.
Let the rest of Africa and developing countries get inspiration from the Zimbabwean story.
As we begin travelling this path of economic prosperity, it is imperative for Zimbabweans to realise that in our language, our proverbs, our customs, our folklore and our history lies our grundnorm, our strength and our identity.
Economic prosperity must not make us lose focus of who we are as a people.
This is an important message that must be embraced by all, especially by our youths who are our future.
I appeal to our elders to be exemplary.
Our young people need guidance, direction and support from the older generations and it is through explaining our values and ideologies to them that they may be nurtured into real patriots, who believe in their own country.
It is how we conduct ourselves, how we carry ourselves and how we do business and engage each other that will teach them to become responsible citizens.
Let us remember that our struggle, as Zimbabweans, did not end when we laid down our guns and turned them into ploughshares.
As we celebrate Independence Day, let us not forget that the struggle continues.