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Mnangagwa says, 'Vote in defence of independence'

by Staff reporter
09 May 2023 at 06:02hrs | Views
Zimbabweans should vote in the defence of their independence in the forthcoming harmonised elections, to protect the legacy bequeathed to the country by national heroes, President Mnangagwa said yesterday.

Addressing mourners at the burial of national hero and Zanu-PF National Consultative Assembly member and former Mashonaland East governor Abraham Kabasa at the National Heroes Acre, the President urged Zimbabweans to preserve total peace before, during and after the polls.

"The 2023 harmonised general elections are around the corner. As patriotic Zimbabweans, we must go out in our numbers to vote in defence of the Independence brought about by cadres such as Kabasa. As we prepare for the elections, I once again call upon every Zimbabwean to say no to violence. We want peace before, during and after the election period," he said.

In fulfilment of the aspiration of liberation fighters, said President Mnangagwa, Zimbabwe would continue deepening economic diplomacy to leapfrog the current socio economic development, modernisation and industrialisation agenda to broaden the country's trade and investment.

Events such as his attendance of the coronation of King Charles III in London last weekend and the recent hosting of Transform Africa Summit that drew four Heads of State and Governments to Victoria Falls among other events, was testimony that the Government was embracing everyone in line with its desire to be a friend to all and enemy to none.

The President pays his last respects to national hero Abraham Kabasa before his burial at the national shrine yesterday in the company of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe. — Pictures: Believe Nyakudjara.

"Today, we are masters of our destiny and stand tall within the comity of nations because of those who paid the supreme sacrifice. We, who remain must continue to defend our country's independence and consolidate our democracy. We must honour them by advancing our national interests and the aspirations of all the people of Zimbabwe. Not just for the present generation, but for posterity.

"Peace, love, national unity and focus, must see us accelerating our quest to lift many more of our people out of poverty and into prosperity. Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo/ Ilizwe lakhiwa ngabanikazi balo. No-one and no place must be left behind. Together, let us work harder with renewed resolve towards Vision 2030," said President Mnangagwa.

"At the international and continental level, the Second Republic is deepening economic diplomacy to leap frog our present socio-economic development, modernisation and industrialisation of our beloved motherland. Guided by our overarching national interests, we are embracing those who want to move forward with us in support of the realisation of our own national development priorities.

"Zimbabwe is a friend to all and an enemy to none. Events such as my attendance of the coronation of King Charles III, over the weekend, as well as the recent hosting of the Transform Africa Summit, coupled with the successful 63rd Zimbabwe International Trade Fair, are set to broaden our country's trade, investment and people to people exchanges."

He said Kabasa, who was a certified nurse, participated in the national resistance against colonial injustices of Ian Smith racist Rhodesian regime and contributed to nation building in post-independent Zimbabwe.

 "He belonged to an early crop of ex-detainees, war collaborators and restrictees whose contribution to the attainment of our independence, freedom and democracy accords him this special interment at this sacred shrine, among other luminaries of our nation. He was an unflinching nationalist, gallant war veteran and selfless patriot," said President Mnangagwa.

"The early years of our armed struggle required men and women of extreme courage, bravery and sacrifice such as the late Kabasa who would in many ways collaborate with the freedom fighters. This included: provision of information and intelligence; mobilising the grassroots; assisting the guerrilla cadres with logistics such as food, boosting of morale and nursing those wounded in battle."

Brave cadres such as the late Kabasa, said President Mnangagwa, inspired many young freedom fighters with the will power to challenge the racist settler regime.

"This crop of pioneering nationalists helped to ignite the second phase of our struggle for independence and black majority rule. Today as we lay to rest Kabasa, we thus, remember these brave cadres for their unwavering commitment and immeasurable efforts towards the peace, independence and freedom we enjoy to this day," he said.

Born on 22 December 1932 in Mutoko District in Mashonaland East, Kabasa completed his Standard Six before training as a nurse at the then Salisbury General Hospital.

He later embarked on further training as a laboratory technician at the Blair Research Laboratory, trained as a dental technician at Mpilo Central Hospital and worked as a nurse employed by the Ministry of Health for 25 years where he rose to become a principal nurse.

The late National Hero Kabasa started his political activism after facing racial segregation in the Rhodesian civil service particularly in the Ministry of Health, where he was an active member of the Nurses Association.

At the height of the liberation struggle, Kabasa was in charge of Makosa Rural Hospital in Mutoko where he supplied drugs, clothes and shoes, among other resources, to liberation war cadres, including mass mobilisation towards the recruitment of many sons and daughters of the soil to join the armed struggle.

He also facilitated reconnaissance communication.

The rural hospital also became a covert food distribution point for the liberation freedom fighters operating in that area and those in transit with Kabasa admitting liberation fighters for treatment disguising them as ordinary members of the community.

Due to his revolutionary and anti-colonial activities, Kabasa became a target of the oppressive white colonial regime that burned down his homestead.

He was also transferred to far off work stations in a bid to break his will-power and cut off his contact with freedom fighters and he was ultimately, detained at Mutoko prison for three years but that did not deter his spirit.

At independence, Kabasa was elected into Parliament and became Deputy Speaker where he held several positions, including Chairman of the Health Portfolio Committee and also represented Parliament at the African Union and in the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.

He was appointed Provincial Governor for Mashonaland East Province in 1990 and served until 1994 where he supervised several infrastructural projects.

In Zanu-PF, Kabasa held various posts, including provincial party chairman, Central Committee member and National Consultative Assembly member among others.

Yesterday's event was attended by the First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, Zanu-PF Second Secretary and Vice President Kembo Mohadi, Government Ministers, diplomats accredited to Zimbabwe, Service Chiefs, relatives and friends.

Source - The Herald