Redefining a people’s identity

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THE reality that emerged from the Heroes’ and Defence Forces’ commemorations was the ringing endorsement that Zimbabwe is firmly in safe hands and is by no means about to be shaken by the sideshows that have been taking place in the country in the past few weeks.

This is a reality that will live with us for many years; a reality that duly defines our identity and installs progressive minds of this country as the real and undisputed owners of Zimbabwe. 

The country has been under sustained onslaught by opposition figures who have been working with Western embassies like the US and Britain to topple the Zimbabwean Government through means outside the ballot box.

From the foiled and failed July 31 2020 demonstrations, to inimical social media campaigns and now desperate attempts to push the UN Security Council to take the country to task, there is absolutely nothing that promoters of those campaigns have not done.

There is a recurring pattern to the insanity.

The insanity is enmeshed in the one banal fact that has been lost on the West since they launched their war of aggression on this country at the turn of the millennium; that the legacy of the liberation struggle is what binds the people of Zimbabwe together with their regional peers.

For several years, the West has tried, with no success, to divide the people of Zimbabwe, using their local puppets drawn mainly from the opposition MDC and the so-called civil society.

There too is this recklessness by some within and outside, especially Western diplomats, to tend to ‘forget’ that this country is a sovereign state.

Admittedly, Government has been too soft on both the activists and their handlers.

There has been the understanding from the new dispensation that reviving the country’s economy entails working together as one people, driven by the goal of developing the country.

Sadly, that message has yet to register in the opposition and the West who are gleefully working in cahoots to tarnish the country’s image.

Pundits contend Hopewell Chin’ono, Jacob Ngarivhume and their Western handlers must not cry foul as the law takes its course.

Those who follow the same path stand warned that the law will descend heavily on them.

This is why the message and events that happened on Monday and Tuesday must be taken to heart, particularly by those who are wont on destabilising the country.

Next month, the UN General Assembly will have its annual meeting and it is not difficult to understand why there are renewed efforts to drag Zimbabwe onto the Security Council agenda.

The so-called regional and global ‘pressure’ against the country will come to naught.

The US and UK had presented a resolution to slap Zimbabwe with economic sanctions, an arms embargo and travel restrictions to the UN Security Council on July 10 2008, but our Chinese and Russian friends vetoed the resolution.

The two countries are likely to do the same in the highly unlikely event that the UN pays attention to the noise that has been coming from opposition quarters both within and outside the country.

It was a busy Monday for President Emmerson Mnangagwa who first gave a televised address to the nation 

before meeting South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s envoys, former Safety and Security Minister Dr Sydney Mufamadi, former South Africa’s Minister of Public Service and Administration Advocate Ngoako Ramatlhodi and former Speaker of Parliament Baleka Mbete, at State House.

Let us first draw from his address:

“Today we are holding our commemorations against the background of renewed glaring, and unjustified attacks by our perennial detractors, both inside and outside our borders. 

Let us, however, not lose heart or be discouraged but look back to our rich history and draw lessons from our departed, who, since the 1890s, united and showed resilience in their gallant fight against oppressive forces.

The divisive falsehoods and concoctions by renegades and supremacists who want to pounce on our natural resources will never win the day. 

Truth shall triumph over lies, and good over evil.”

Then came the refreshing promise to honour the country’s heroes and heroines.

“In this regard, the mounting of the Statue of Mbuya Nehanda in Harare, our Capital City, will immortalise the supreme sacrifice that was paid by our forebears. 

The location of this statue carries added historical meaning because the intersection of Samora Machel Avenue and Julius Nyerere Way is the spot where Mbuya Nehanda used to rest and drink water from a river that flowed at the site.

Other heroes and heroines from the early wars of resistance will also be honoured in a similar manner. Among them, General Mtshane Khumalo, who commanded the Imbizo Regiment, under King Lobengula, that defeated the Allan Wilson Patrol at the Battle of Pupu on 10 December, 1893.

Other distinguished heroes and heroines of the First Chimurenga/Umvukhela, such as Sekuru Kaguvi, Chaminuka, Mkwati, Queen Lozikeyi Khumalo, Chinengundu ,Mashayamombe, Mgandani Dlodlo, Chiwashira, Muchecheterwa, Chingaira Makoni and Mapondera, among others, will be accorded appropriate recognition.

From the Second Chimurenga/Umvukela, the late General Josiah Magama Tongogara and General Alfred Nikita Mangena, Cde Robert Gabriel Mugabe, Cde Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo and Cde Simon Vengesai Muzenda, among others, will also be honoured.

We must, as a people, appropriate our liberation war heritage and shape the narratives by telling our own journey to freedom and independence. 

As such, my Administration shall expedite the documentation of the story of our liberation struggle and the associated historical heritage.”

Then came the meeting with Mufamadi, Ramatlhodi and Mbete.

“We exchanged views with his counterpart President Mnangagwa. In other words, we were listening to the state of the situation, what is being done or the intentions to do extra things and so on,” said Mufamadi.

“We are not going to respond for our President through the media. We will be reporting to the President first, who will then interact with the public in due course.”

With that statement, the door was shut on the MDC which had been planning to feed the envoys with lies about the ‘situation’ in the country.

The message was buttressed by President Mnangagwa, also Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, in his address to mark the 40th anniversary of Zimbabwe Defence Forces on Tuesday.

The anniversary was held under the theme: ‘ZDF: Celebrating 40 Years of Excellent Service to the People’.

Said President Mnangagwa:

“The commemorations which we are holding this year under the theme, ‘ZDF: Celebrating 40 Years of Excellent Service to the People,’ are taking place under yet another wave of aggression manifesting through illegal sanctions, hostile anti-Zimbabwe propaganda, mounted on social media platforms, and other forms of asymmetrical warfare meant to break the unity within our forces.”

Our security forces and people can never be divided by the machinations of anti-Zimbabwe characters.

This country is headed for massive transformation and only those with progressive minds can see that.

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