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Mnangagwa says Zimbabwe will win economic war

by Staff reporter
04 Aug 2022 at 06:37hrs | Views
ZIMBABWE will attain a prosperous future and overcome the economic challenges being engineered by its detractors bent on making the economy "scream" through asymmetrical warfare targeting ordinary citizens, President Mnangagwa has said.

In his keynote address at the burial of national hero, Brigadier General Benjamin Mabenge (Retired), at the National Heroes Acre in Harare yesterday, President Mnangagwa said despite evil machinations from the country's detractors, Zimbabweans will remain masters of their own destiny in charge of their natural resources, which they will exploit towards the attainment of Vision 2030 to become an upper-middle-class economy, as spelt out in the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1).

Brig-Gen Mabenge, whose Chimurenga nom de guerre was Freddie Matanga, died on Monday in Harare and was declared a national hero owing to his illustrious contribution to the liberation struggle.

President Mnangagwa said while liberation war icons like Mabenge went to the bush to fight the minority Ian Smith regime that had the backing of Western countries, this time the war has assumed a new form.

"While yesteryear the war was fought on the battle front, the Second Republic is well aware of the machinations of our detractors who are fighting us on the economic front. Today they are waging asymmetrical warfare to make our economy scream and our people suffer," he said.

"Under my watch, they will never succeed, we will never surrender our economy. Against all odds, we will win the economic battle and attain a prosperous future for our people."

President Mnangagwa said the quest for independence called for strategic innovative and creative thinkers who were able to find practical solutions in the waging of the protracted armed smuggle, something that was shown by a few who included Mabenge.

"As a nation, let us draw from this rich liberation war culture to accelerate the attainment of our National Vision 2030. In doing so, we must remain resolute, determined and focused, particularly in an environment in which our former colonisers and those that seek global hegemony continue to punish us for owning our land and that which is under it.

"Under my leadership and watch, Zimbabweans shall forever be masters of their own destiny, in charge of their rich God-given natural resource endowments. ‘Tisu vene venyika ino. Nyika inotongwa, inovakwa nevene vayo."

Turning to Mabenge, President Mnangagwa described him as a forthright and articulate man passionate about the well-being and economic development of his country.

"Due to his service to our country before and after independence, it was seen fit to bestow him with the highest honour, hence we are interring him alongside other national heroes and heroines of our liberation struggle," he said.

"I call upon Zimbabweans to take a leaf from the life of Mabenge of sacrifice and giving honest hard work as a service to your country. Integrity, transparency and accountability should continue to guide both public and private business. In honour of our fallen heroes and heroines, let us therefore, reject, expose, name and shun all forms of corrupt tendencies."

President Mnangagwa implored State-owned enterprises to be guided by the ethos of the liberation struggle to propel the socio-economic development of the country for the benefit of the people.

"Those cadres deployed to serve in national institutions, parastatals and other related boards must be patriotic and loyal to the national interest," he said.

Turning to the forthcoming 2023 harmonised elections, President Mnangagwa implored Zimbabweans to jealously safeguard the national unity, peace and development which were championed by the country's forebearers.

"I, therefore, call upon the nation, all political parties, civil society organisations, the media and private individuals to desist from sowing seeds of hatred, division and violence," he said.

The President said the death of Mabenge was a huge blow to the nation coming barely a fortnight after losing yet another national hero, Engineer Oliver Chidawu, who was buried at the National Heroes Acre.

He said Mabenge was 11-years-old when the settler regime used the Unilateral Declaration of Independence in 1965 to consolidate their colonial grip on the country.

"Benjamin was 11-years-old when the settler regime led by Ian Douglas Smith used the Unilateral Declaration of Independence in 1965 to consolidate their colonial grip on the country.

"He witnessed first-hand colonial subjugation which sought to entrench whites only privileges while relegating blacks to disenfranchised forced labour in their own motherland," said President Mnangagwa.

Mabenge was born on August 6, 1954, in Mazvihwa area of Zvishavane district in the Midlands province and went to Copper Queen Primary School.

He later teamed up with other youths and crossed into Mozambique in 1973 to join the armed liberation struggle before moving to Mgagao in Tanzania where he got military training in a group that included the late national hero, Lieutenant General Edzai Absolom Chimonyo, and the current Commander of the Zimbabwe National Army Lieutenant General David Sigauke.

Mabenge was later deployed to work on various projects in Mgagao targeted at the upkeep of cadres during military training in Tanzania.

In 1974, he left Tanzania and joined other freedom fighters on the war front.

In 1976, Mabenge was appointed a Member of the General Staff and subsequently a member of the High Command.

Between 1977 and 1979 he operated in Gaza Province as the Provincial Commander.

Following the country's independence in 1980, he was attested into the Zimbabwe National Army on March 1, 1981, and rose through the ranks to become Brigadier General.

He did a Senior Officers Orientation Course at the Zimbabwe Military Academy and on completion, he held several appointments one of which was Brigadier General Quarter Master Staff at Army Headquarters Responsible

for Army Logistics.

He was a recipient of several awards that included the Liberation Medal, Independence Medal, Ten Years' Service Medal, Long, and Exemplary Service Medal, Mozambican Campaign, and the Grand Officer of the Zimbabwe Order of Merit Award.

Mabenge did various tertiary courses in business administration and management.

Upon his retirement, he was deployed to several national boards, including the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation and Zimbabwe Defence Forces Services Commission.

Between 2010 and 2014, he also served as Deputy General Manager for Anjin Diamond Mining Company.

He was also a strong and active member of the ruling party Zanu-PF where he held several portfolios.

Source - The Herald