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Minister Robert Mugabe's address to the nation on independence
April 17, 1980
live our Freedom!
final countdown before the launching of the new State of Zimbabwe
has now begun. Only a few hours from now, Zimbabwe will have become
a free, independent and sovereign state, free to choose its own
flight path and chart its own course to its chosen destiny.
people have made a democratic choice of those who as their legitimate
Government, they wish to govern them and take policy decisions as
to their future. This, indeed, is the meaning of the mandate my
party secured through a free and fair election, conducted in the
full glare of the world’s spotlight.
my Government welcomes the mandate it has been freely given and
is determined to honour it to the letter, it also accepts that the
fulfillment of the tasks imposed by the mandate are only possible
with the confidence, goodwill and co-operation of all of you, reinforced
by the forthcoming support and encouragement of all our friends,
allies, and well wishers in the international community.
march to our national independence has been a long, arduous and
hazardous one. On this march, countless lives have been lost and
many sacrifices made. Death and suffering have been the prize we
have been called upon to pay for the final priceless reward of freedom
and national independence. May I thank all of you who have had to
suffer and sacrifice for the reward we are now getting.
we shall be celebrating the historic event, which our people have
striven for nearly a century to achieve. Our people, young and old,
men and women, black and white, living and dead, are, on this occasion,
being brought together in a new form of national unity that makes
them all Zimbabweans.
will bestow on us a new personality, a new sovereignty, a new future
and perspective, and indeed a new history and a new past. Tomorrow
we are being born again; born again not as individuals but collectively
as a people, nay, as a viable nation of Zimbabweans. Tomorrow is
thus our birthday, the birth of a great Zimbabwe, and the birth
of its nation.
we shall cease to be men and women of the past and become men and
women of the future. It’s tomorrow then, not yesterday, which bears
we become a new people we are called to be constructive, progressive
and forever forward looking, for we cannot afford to be men of yesterday,
backward-looking, retrogressive and destructive. Our new nation
requires of every one of us to be a new man, with a new mind, a
new heart and a new spirit.
new mind must have a new vision and our new hearts a new love that
spurns hate, and a new spirit that must unite and not divide. This
to me is the human essence that must form the core of our political
change and national independence.
you and I must strive to adapt ourselves, intellectually and spiritually
to the reality of our political change and relate to each other
as brothers bound one to another by a bond of national comradeship.
yesterday I fought as an enemy, today you have become a friend and
ally with the same national interest, loyalty, rights and duties
as myself. If yesterday you hated me, today you cannot avoid the
love that binds you to me and me to you.
it not folly, therefore, that in these circumstances anybody should
seek to revive the wounds and grievances of the past? The wrongs
of the past must now stand forgiven and forgotten.
ever we look to the past, let us do so for the lesson the past has
taught us, namely that oppression and racism are inequities that
must never again find scope in our political and social system.
It could never be a correct justification that because whites oppressed
us yesterday when they had power, the blacks must oppress them today
because they have power. An evil remains an evil whether practiced
by white against black or by black against white.
majority rule could easily turn into inhuman rule if we oppressed,
persecuted or harassed those who do not look or think like the majority
is never mob-rule. It is and should remain disciplined rule requiring
compliance with the law and social rules. Our independence must
thus not be construed as an instrument vesting individuals or groups
with the right to harass and intimidate others into acting against
is not the right to negate the freedom of others to think and act,
as they desire. I, therefore, wish to appeal to all of you to respect
each other and act in promotion of national unity rather than negation
of that unity.
Independence Day, our integrated security forces will, in spite
of their having only recently fought each other, be marching in
step together to herald the new era of national unity and togetherness.
Let this be an example of us all to follow. Indeed, let this enjoin
the whole of our nation to march in perfect unison from year to
year and decade to decade towards its destiny.
have abundant mineral, agricultural and human resources to exploit
and develop for which we need perfect peace. Given such peace, our
endeavours to transform our society and raise our standard of living
are bound to succeed.
mineral resources lying beneath the surface of our country have
hardly been scratched, nor have our agricultural and industrial
resources yet fully harnessed. Now that we have peace, we must go
fully out to exploit them.
already have a sophisticated infrastructure. Our expertise is bound
to increase as more and more educational and technical institutions
are established to transform our skilled manpower.
whole world is looking on us this day. Indeed, many countries in
the international community are amazed at how we have so quickly
and unexpectedly moved from war to peace. We have certainly won
the goodwill of many countries and can confidently expect to benefit
from the economic and technical aid they are able and willing to
provide for us.
I assure you that my Government is determined to bring about meaningful
change to the lives of the majority of the people in the country.
But I must ask you to be patient and allow my Government time to
organize programmes that will effectively yield that change.
are people without land who need land, people without jobs who need
jobs, children without schools who need schools and patients without
hospitals who need them.
are also fully aware of the need for increased wages in all sectors
of employment. My Government will certainly do its best to meet
the existing needs in these areas. But you have to assist us by
being patient and peaceful.
now finally wish to appeal to you, wherever you are, to participate
fully today and Saturday in the Independence celebrations that have
been organized throughout the country.
are, of course, those of you who have the duty to maintain essential
services. These services must indeed be maintained so that the celebrations
are facilitated. Maintaining such essential services during the
celebrations is a significant contribution of their success.
wish to thank Her Majesty the Queen for having sent His Royal Highness,
Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales to represent her and officiate
at our Independence ceremony, where he will perform the symbolic
act of severing our colonial ties with Britain.
you are aware, this historic ceremony will be witnessed by Heads
of State and Government and representatives of nearly 100 countries
plus representatives of several international, political and voluntary
organizations. The ceremony will be also be reported and relayed
to millions of people in the world by the mass media.
I enjoin you all to regard this solemn occasion with honour and
dignity, and participate in the celebrations that follow it with
jubilation. Let us rejoice over our independence and recognize in
it the need to dedicate ourselves to national unity, peace and progress.
now wish to pay tribute to Lord Soames, our Governor, for the most
important role he has played in successfully guiding this country
to elections and independence. He was from the very onset given
a difficult and most unenviable task. And yet he performed it with
remarkable ability and overwhelming dignity.
must admit that I was one of those who originally never trusted
him, and yet I have now ended up not only implicitly trusting but
fondly loving him as well.
is indeed a great man through whom it has been possible within a
short period I have been Prime Minister, to organize substantial
financial and technical aid from Britain and other countries.
am personally indebted to him for the advice he has constantly given
me on the art of managing the affairs of Government. I shall certainly
be missing a good friend and counselor, and so will our independent
Zimbabwe and all its people.
also wish to thank all our distinguished quests for the honour they
have given us by coming to attend our Independence celebrations
on behalf of their countries or organizations.
presence in our country signifies a bond of solidarity and friendship
between their countries or organizations and our country.
the support they have given us towards our liberation, this day
would never have come about. Thanks, therefore, for all the material,
political, diplomatic and moral support they have given us.
and daughters of Zimbabwe, I urge you to participate fully and jubilantly
in our Independence celebrations and to ensure that all our visitors
are well entertained and treated with utmost hospitality.
shall be one in spirit and love, in loyalty and commitment with
you all. Forward with the Year of the People’s Power!
live our Freedom!
live our Sovereignty!
live our Independence!
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