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Zimbabwe@ 40: Re-Centering African nationalism to Posterity

19 Apr 2020 at 07:50hrs | Views
Yesterday Zimbabweans from all walks of life celebrated the country's 40th anniversary of self-rule against centuries of colonial domination.
In his address, President Emmerson Mnangagwa emphasised the need to redefine policy-making to be driven by broad-based economic development interests. His call for the up-scaling of science and technology to edify Vision 2030's rapid economic turn-around strategy is pointed towards redirecting Zimbabwe to a future of prosperity. The celebration of independence and its leaning to economic ambitions must be reinforced by the ideas which informed the armed struggle.

The struggle for freedom transcended the physical and geographical dimensions of freedom. The Chimurenga metamorphosed to be a spiritual and ideological binding force for African resistance and a cause for uniting against imperialism and every force opposed to the decolonisation agenda. At the centre of decolonisation, the "soil" was and is still a motif of reclaiming our economic, social and political birth-right. The soil symbolises the geographic topography of the battles fought in Sipolilo, Hwange, Chinhoyi and many other parts of our country.

The soil houses the timeless trails by indigenous feet long before the arrival of the settler minority to loot and plunder. On many soils of this country, millions of umbilical cords are stashed as part of the sacrosanct ritual of marrying every product of the womb with the divine — the soil. In the depths of the womb of this soil (Zimbabwe) the remains of the gallant fighters of our freedom are interred; not to mention the many other patriarch and matriarch lineages of our beloved motherland.

Therefore, the struggle for this soil represents the most sacred aspirations of our struggle to which our national interest must be incessantly aligned. This land born out of the barrel of the gun is a spiritual connecting point to our patriotism embodied in our ethnic and racial realities. This explains the extemporaneous and yet the revolutionary logic of our national collective against the Ian Douglas Smith regime.

Today, every institution whose existence is linked to the decolonisation agenda, particularly Zanu-PF, has a definitive clarion call to ensure that emerging concerns around consolidating the core values of our liberation are addressed. This is the only way, the nationalist agenda may continue to stand the test of time in the face of neo-imperial motives to break the spirit of resistance to the long defeated aspirations of racism, fascism, colonialism, and apartheid.

Zanu-PF is the custodian of the triumph of the liberation agenda. In as much as the party was successful in leading the fight against colonialism, it needs to strengthen its cause for the realisation of new solutions for the contemporary challenges which the country is facing. The party needs to go beyond servicing its power consolidation interests, as custodians of the liberation of this country we must be the vanguard of the objectives of our revolution which include:

Decision-making within the party and the Government must be anchored on mass consent. Policy direction must be determined by widespread consultations from the grassroots. This is part of our revolutionary democratic tradition where the masses and the nationalist leadership frequently interacted in making decisions which guided the processes of the fight against the enemy until victory came our way. It is through the fundamental premise of the party and indigenous norming of democracy which summons our political parties to access public office through elections.

In essence, democracy finds its roots in community-based decision-making. The ward is the nucleus for decision making and in reverse, it is the starting point for policy delivery. The nationalist mandate drew its mandate from the masses in the same way the party is continuously thriving on electoral popularity since independence. The cell is the root of the Zanu-PF party structures. To remain intact, Zanu-PF must continue to uphold the fundamental tenets of democracy which have enabled us to dismantle colonial power. The foundation of democracy in Zimbabwe predates our independence.

Inclusive Nation-Building
Since the signing of the Unity-Accord in 1987 political rivalry has been suspended to make way for national unity. Zanu-PF has always initiated political dialogues which have aided in overriding the limitations to unity. As it stands, the establishment of the Political Actors Dialogue (Polad) under the Second-Republic serves as a key milestone in the attainment of social cohesion.

Egalitarianism forms the fundamental base of African society. Our societies have been modelled in terms of mutual respect which were only disrupted by the racist regime. Zanu-PF must be at the centre of ensuring equal access to opportunities, health, education and other public welfare facilities.

Economic Empowerment
At the centre of the armed struggle's objectives was the need to recoup the looted national resources. The resources include vast tracks of arable land, mineral rich areas and access to wildlife. Zanu-PF carries the mandate of ensuring that economic empowerment is attained for the benefit of our formerly marginalised groups. This way, Zanu-PF will take the lead in poverty eradication. To achieve all these goals Zanu-PF must be ideologically grounded to remain a relevant political party of the future. As we celebrate 40 years of independence Zanu-PF must continue to exert its influence as prescribed by the ideas which won the armed struggle.

The author Dr Obert Moses Mpofu is Zanu-PF's Secretary for Administration and a Member of the Politburo.

Source - sundaynews
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