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Mugabe's 31st Independence Day address
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on The Herald website
It is with a great sense of joy and unfaltering national pride that
I warmly welcome you as we celebrate the 31st anniversary of our
We are a people
today fully enjoying the right to self-determination and to chart
our own course in life. This day, the 18th of April is written in
indelible ink as the day on which freedom came to this country.
And, our hard-won freedom is celebrated and honoured by all of us
in the full knowledge that it did not come easily. Lives were lost,
limbs painfully bore the brunt of racist Rhodesia's anger as untold
suffering was inflicted on our innocent people.
It was through
our oppressed people's resilience, their immense sacrifices and
the armed revolutionary struggle prosecuted by their sons and daughters
that Zimbabwe was born.
It is a joy
and source of pride for me to say to you all, Happy 31st Birthday
and Happy Birthday to all fellow Zimbabweans, wherever they may
be, across the length and breath of the land of our forefathers!
We also thank
the Good Lord who has helped to defend and preserve our great nation.
Ladies and gentlemen, comrades and friends, while the early rains
gave us hopes of a good harvest, our farmers having done their best,
many parts of the country unfortunately succumbed to a prolonged
dry spell that has threatened our food security.
at the moment, assessing the situation in order to establish whether
there will be need to import food, that is, maize. The phenomenal
increase in the production of tobacco, from 58,6 million kilogrammes
in 2009 to 123 million kilogrammes last year, together with increased
harvests of maize, sugar and cotton, demonstrated the potential
that agriculture has, and its importance to the turnaround and development
of our economy.
During the course
of 2010, the Global
Political Agreement, with missed targets here and there, and
outright misunderstanding on others, continued to be implemented.
In its various facets, it laid the firm foundations for the prevailing
political and macroeconomic stability in the country.
I am happy to
report that the GPA principals will continue to do their best to
give this country, our country, the political and socio-economic
direction it needs to take. We are also grateful for Sadc's continued
support in our efforts at ensuring the unfolding implementation
of the Global Political Agreement.
successful completion of the constitution-making outreach programme,
Government now awaits the finalisation of the outstanding processes,
ahead of elections, as is stipulated in the Global Political Agreement.
of peace and political stability is a fundamental requirement we
should all work hard to achieve. We are a peaceful people and so
we should, both collectively and singularly, pledge ourselves to
achieving both a political and economic peaceful environment.
Our Organ for
National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration should continue
to be not only the promoter of our peace and stability but also
performance last year saw continued economic recovery, stability
and growth, which was largely underpinned by increased output in
the key productive sectors of agriculture and mining. These witnessed
growth rates of 33,9 percent and 47 percent, respectively.
proved to be a fast-growing economic sector as reflected by increases
in the production of gold, platinum, diamonds and coal, and few
others. The firming up of international commodity prices also helped
the upturn of mineral prices.
the manufacturing industry, which was operating at low capacity
utilisation levels, averaging 32 percent peaked to levels of around
50 percent, thus improving the availability of locally produced
goods, which are gradually replacing most imported basic commodities.
supply of goods and services also contributed to the management
of inflation, which was, on a month-on-month basis contained below
one percent throughout the year, ending up within the targeted single
digit annual inflation levels of 3,2 percent.
tourism sector is also poised for full recovery following various
initiatives implemented last year, when the tourism sector brought
in 2,2 million tourists and earned the country US$880 million. This
year promises to bring more positive results for Zimbabwe's tourism
industry in line with the anticipated growth of between four and
five percent in international tourist arrivals.
which rose from US$0,97 billion in 2009 to US$2,3 billion last year,
gave us improved funding for some of the critical national projects
and programmes, particularly, those related to infrastructure and
As we move ahead
with our recovery and development agenda, we also remain alive to
the many constraints that we still face. These include limited fiscal
capacity, lack of substantial investments in capital projects and
infrastructural development, limited external support as a result
of the prevailing debt overhang, low levels of income in both public
and private sectors, and the lack of adequate employment levels
for our youths.
The need for
adequate and reliable infrastructure and social services has remained
a challenge on our development agenda. This challenge is central
to the Medium Term Development strategy currently being refined
by the Ministry of Economic Planning and Investment Promotion.
To provide the
guiding framework and modalities for the implementation of the Indigenisation
and Economic Empowerment Act, (Chapter 14:33), Government gazetted
and Economic Empowerment General Regulations in Statutory Instrument
21 of 2010.
instrument introduced indigenous and economic empowerment sector
specific committees as well as Community Share Ownership Schemes.
This is intended to ensure the broad-based empowerment of our people
whilst also ensuring that communities benefit from the resource
endowment in their areas.
In a similar way, the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) sector
continued to grow in importance over the past year, exhibiting vibrancy
in terms of its contribution to employment creation and the empowerment
of communities. Government will continue to accord priority to this
of our State enterprises and parastatals remains a major concern
to Government. Government has accordingly introduced various measures
and reforms, including their restructuring, to ensure their viability,
efficiency and effectiveness.
initiatives was the recent adoption of the Corporate Governance
Framework for the State and Parastatals which serves as a common
point of reference on corporate governance issues. The fundamental
objective of the Corporate Governance Framework is to promote the
efficient and effective use of public resources whilst enhancing
The recent acquisition
of a major stake in Ziscosteel by Essar Group of India is a demonstration
of direct foreign investor confidence in Zimbabwe, and bodes well
not only for the iron and steel industry and the generality of the
economy, but also for the communities of Redcliff and Kwekwe in
With respect to the Public Service, Government is committed to continually
review civil service salaries and other conditions of service. As
most of you will recall, I met their representatives about two weeks
ago for what I believe was a useful meeting.
I will be engaging
my two fellow principals on how we can take action on the obviously
low packages, which the least paid Government workforce takes home.
made significant strides in the provision of water to the nation
through the construction of dams, construction and rehabilitation
of water supply stations, and drilling and equipping of boreholes.
The rural communities have seen the rehabilitation of irrigation
schemes around the country in order to improve their agricultural
activities. This is an on-going exercise.
In areas of
housing delivery and social amenities provision, Government has
made commendable progress despite limited financial resources. Appreciable
progress has been registered in the implementation of 11 housing
delivery projects initiated last year, and financed through the
National Housing Delopment Loan Facility. In order to alleviates
the housing situation for civil servants, Government has revived
the Civil Service Housing Loan Facility aimed at helping civil servants
to acquire houses and stands on a home ownership basis.
strengthening the education sector through various initiatives such
as the provision of teaching and learning materials, following the
launch of the Education Transition Fund in 2009.
Inspite of the
many challenges that we face, our education system continues to
be regarded as one of the strongest in sub Saharan Africa. It is
this system that has led the country to achieve the highest literacy
rate on the African continent and we are immensely proud of this
Development Fund which was established last year for the development
of constituencies has begun to yield results. The fund was established
to implement community-based projects to alleviate poverty and improve
the people's standard of living.
was allocated US$50 000. Some of the projects today include the
purchase of generators for clinics, renovations to schools, clinics,
and teachers' accommodation, construction of people's markets, provision
of grinding mills, construction of boreholes and a range of community
committed to the welfare of all its citizens and, as far as possible,
to providing support to families in distress, the elderly, people
with disabilities, and orphaned and vulnerable children.
Today, we celebrate our Independence anniversary against the background
of major successes in the implementation of our Look East Policy
and rather disappointing results in our efforts to re-engage the
European Union, the United States and other Western countries over
their imposition of illegal sanctions against the people of Zimbabwe.
In this regard,
I am happy to note that our people are making their voices heard
against the sanctions in the Anti-Sanctions Campaign.
As we engage
the international community in promoting and protecting our national
interest, Government's foreign policy continues to be anchored on
our desire to protect Zimbabwe's hard-worn independence, sovereignty
and territorial integrity.
In pursuit of
these core values, we are guided by the principles of the sovereign
equality of nations, non-interference in the domestic affairs of
other states, peaceful settlement of disputes and the right of self-determination
of all peoples as enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations.
Within our region,
the Southern African Development (Sadc) has continued to give us
unwavering support in our quest to be fully in charge of economic
Sadc has also
reiterated its principled position in condemning the renewal of
the illegal sanctions imposed on us by the United States, European
Union and other Western countries at the instigation of Britain.
We are truly grateful for the guidance and support that Sadc and
the African Union are giving to our country.
It is fitting
on this occasion, to pay tribute to our defence and security forces
for their commitment in maintaining the peace and security of our
manner in which our forces acquitted themselves in various local,
regional and international peace-keeping United Nations and African
Union assignments gives us much pride as a nation.
As we celebrate
this cherished National Day, let us remember those who sacrificed
their lives for our freedom and Independence. Let us today remember
them for their steadfastness, tenacity and oneness of purpose.
I call upon
all Zimbabweans to unite in pursuit of a shared national vision
and to strive at all times for peace not violence, and to respect
the unity and development of our nation.
Long live Zimbabwe!
Long live our Independence! Happy 31st Independence Day Anniversary!
Makorokoto! Amhlophe! Congratulations!
I thank you.
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