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Mnangagwa says, 'go extra mile to uplift Zimbabwe'

by Staff reporter
13 Jul 2021 at 09:05hrs | Views
AS the march  towards Vision 2030 continues, loyal sons and daughters of the country must step up and advance national interests both among the country's diplomats and also in the security establishment, President Mnangagwa said.

In his address at the double burial of the late Lieutenant General Edzai Chimonyo and Michael Chakabva at the National Heroes Acre yesterday, the President said a dark cloud is currently  hovering over the country which is deep in the throes of a Covid-19 third wave. Another national hero, Nkiwane, was also buried with full honours in Umguza, Matabeleland North Province, with the President  addressing the mourners virtually.

Despite the setbacks wrought by the Covid-19 pandemic and the painful demise of some of the country's illustrious sons and daughters, President Mnangagwa said present generations must go the extra mile for the good and prosperity of the country.

"Those in the security sector and those serving in our foreign service and diplomatic missions must take time to introspect. Ask yourselves, can you be trusted? Are you loyal, reliable and committed?

"As a nation we need men and women of valour and great character, who avail themselves for the building of unity, peace, security and development of Zimbabwe. The nation is indeed calling for those who can be depended on to defend and advance its national interest," he said.

Presently, Zimbabwe and the SADC region is under threat from emerging terrorist organisations  currently wreaking havoc in Mozambique's northern provinces and also from the traditional detractors working with opposition groups to undo the freedom that men like Lt Gen Chimonyo, Michael Chakabva, whose nom de guerre was Vhuu, and Nkiwane sacrificed and fought for.

"Let us never forget the sacrifices made by the late national heroes being interred today (yesterday). Their liberation war journeys depict the extent to which the freedom of the people of Southern Africa are intertwined.

"As we face the present security threats in our region, it is imperative that we draw lessons from this common history and consolidate our unity towards stability, peace and prosperity for our peoples.

"SADC, Africa and the world at large can only develop in an environment of peace, security, fairness, justice, and freedom. The late national heroes understood by these cardinal requisites and served wholeheartedly to achieve these aspirations. The baton is now with us to follow in their footsteps," he said.

Over and above that, the President said the defence and promotion of Zimbabwe's independence and national interests is a generational challenge and responsibility.

"The form, nature and strategies of our country's detractors, sell-outs and their appendages are glaring and known. Hence, we must remain resolute, focussed and steadfast, resisting and deconstructing their machinations and narratives which aim to retard national progress".

On the contributions that the three heroes made to the country, the President said the nation should preserve their memories to inspire generations to come.

"Each of the three departed veterans, embodies different phases and strands in the rich liberation war history of our country. Their personal journeys were unique, decisive and critical. They each travelled different paths and traversed foreign lands. This tells the vast and meandering distances journeyed in the quest for the freedom and independence of our motherland Zimbabwe.

"The struggle was hard and protracted. The experiences, tragedies and setbacks were equally complex. Many died while survivors carry wounds that may never heal.

"As we lay to rest these national heroes, I challenge the nation to continue to ensure that our rich national liberation war heritage maintains a place and value within our society. Let us further harness our tangible and intangible diversities and different generations, not only to defend our great country but to propel us to be a more united, peaceful and prosperous nation," the President said.

"Indeed, we have lost a brave and resolute freedom fighter. His service was to his country and not for personal accolades or recognition.

"As the struggle progressed and gathered momentum, the message of freedom and independence through armed resistance became stronger and persuasive. Successful battles against the Rhodesian army, after the early 1970s, helped to remove the myth of the invincibility of colonial white settlers. As a result, young Zimbabweans began volunteering to participate in the liberation struggle, in large numbers. Many left to camps in Zambia, Mozambique and Tanzania. Among these young recruits was Absalom Chimonyo."

The President described Lt Gen Chimonyo as a man of few words who was dependable

"His death has once again robbed our nation of a gallant and decorated military personality. He was the serving Commander of the Zimbabwe National Army. His untimely passing on comes only a few weeks before we commemorate Defence Forces Day. It is therefore with deep sorrow and pain that we pay our last respects and lay to rest a fine, fearless, brave Son of the Soil and member of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces.

"The late Lt-General was the epitome of a trusted cadre, soldier and commander. He was reliable and always exuded impeccable loyalty and commitment. "He had the unique trait of being able to conduct himself without giving the slightest hint of his deserved status as Commander of the National Army and liberation war stalwart.

"He was not a man of many words but the few he would give would be carefully chosen. He communicated with military clarity and precision without ambiguities; always polite but ever firm." On Nkiwane, the President said his heroic acts of smuggling guns into the then Rhodesia inspired many to join the liberation struggle.

"The late national hero, Nkiwane, helped facilitate the movement of arms from East Africa to cadres on the battle front. These courageous acts of being among the first cadres to smuggle arms into the then Rhodesia in 1962, inspired many to follow in his footsteps.

"Some of the weapons transported by the late national hero were used in the 1967 Wankie (Hwange) and Sipolilo (Guruve) Campaigns, which were joint special operations with the Umkhonto we Sizwe.

"The late national hero also worked hand in hand with Phillipe, the first FRELIMO commander in Zambia, transporting weapons from Tanzania to Lusaka, which were shared equally between FRELIMO and ZIPRA."

Meanwhile the President reiterated his call for the country to continue observing the WHO protocols to combat the spread of the deadly Covid-19 pandemic, which include wearing face masks, social distancing and washing hands.

Source - the herald

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