By Justin Mahlahla
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has assured the nation that the covid-19 vaccine received from the People’s Republic of China is safe and effective.
He was addressing mourners at the burial of national hero, Deputy Commissioner (Retired) Moses Griffiths Mpofu, at the national shrine today.
“The covid-19 pandemic will be defeated and the nation will flourish again. Early in the week we took delivery of our first batch of vaccines against the pandemic. Vaccination started rolling out this past Thursday. The vaccine is safe and an effective antidote against covid-19 and indeed part of our weaponry in fighting the virus. All of us including myself as the President, cabinet ministers will get vaccinated, so should you, my dear Zimbabweans, if we are to protect our country towards returning to normalcy. Children must go back to schools and business open,” said the President.
The President said more doses and vaccines will be delivered until all those who volunteer to participate in the programme are vaccinated under the programme, which is fully funded by the government.
He encouraged citizens to remain vigilant and not be complacent in the fight against covid-19 and thanked China for availing the vaccine.
“We should not let our guard down. Instead, let us heighten our diligence so that we win the war against it. Let me once again thank the Chinese government for the vaccine. The People’s Republic of China put Zimbabwe ahead of many countries. We are equally thankful to Russia, India and the United Kingdom. We applaud this gesture of love for humanity and fellow solidarity.”
President Mnngagwa praised the late national hero for leading an excellent career, where he rose through the ranks to the post of Deputy Commissioner-General until retirement in December 2003.
“We have lost a repository of knowledge and a true patriot of our country. He never wavered in the course of serving the nation and government particularly in enforcing law and order and safety.
“The late national hero was part of the top leadership of the ZRP at a time when we embarked on the historic land reform programme. That programme delivered unique challenges to conventional police duties. One had to strike an intricate balance between one’s duties as a senior police officer sold out to the maintenance of law and the defence of property and on the other to the legacy of the struggle,” said President Mnangagwa.
“We owe it to cadres like Cde Mpofu that our land reform programme was a success and never will it be reversed. We are a nation born out of a protracted armed liberation struggle for which cadres like the late made huge sacrifices. We must defend our independence and fortify it by any means available and necessary. Above all, we must never betray the ideals which our national leaders fought for,” he added.
President Mnangagwa said, “Today, the instruments of political power and authority which our independence delivered should now be harnessed towards consolidating our heritage and giving us a secure place in the world. The land has come; we must cultivate it so that our economy recovers and grows. Agriculture is the bedrock of our economy.”
He said he is am aware that youths are crying out for pieces of land and are eager to work the land.
“We have identified lots of land which is vacant, underutilised and belonging to multiple owners. Government will repossess that land for the youths. Our land reform programme must validate its justness by delivering to this generation of youths. Therefore, I urge stakeholders to nurture our young population who are rearing to join the agricultural revolution already underway. The land must be worked on and made to produce like never before. My government continues to build dams and set up irrigation schemes to climate-proof our agriculture towards greater production and productivity.”
President Mnangagwa urged Zimbabwean businesses to take advantage of the recently launched Africa Continental Free Trade Area, which he said presents opportunities for trade across the continent.
“In addition, many countries across the globe are presenting marketing opportunities for our products. Let us put Zimbabwe on the global agriculture map by making full use of the land and resources and our tradition as a hardworking people.”
The President explained that Zimbabwe is well on the path to irreversible economic growth and recovery, further augmented by the macro-economic fundamentals pointing in the right direction.
“We are taming inflation, bolstering price stability in the economy. I urge business to consolidate these gains going forward,” he said.
He said the government recently announced measures to clean up the mess in local authorities which have been settling people in undesignated areas.
“We actually mean business and will not go back. “The fight against corruption continues at full throttle. All those barons, whoever they are, must be brought to book. The Second Republic is for law, order and nothing less. This is what the late Cde Mpofu stood for. I exhort the officers, men and women in the ZRP under Commissioner-General Matanga, to emulate the footprints of the late national hero, who was a rare breed uncompromising service officers, dedicated and disciplined cadre.”
“My government remains committed towards supporting the police service to execute its mandate – capacity building, artificial intelligence, technologies and forensic sciences as well as the growing need to fight trans-border crimes.
“Let me end by asking us to emulate the illustrious life of Cde Mpofu. He bequeathed to us the message of love to one another and our country. He fought for our total freedom and safeguarded our unity, which he personified.”