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PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa this Saturday called on the nation to maintain unity and peace, describing the Unity Accord as a national ethic and value which rises above party politics.
He said this while delivering his Unity Day speech, commemorating the 1987 unity accord at State House.
“All generations, all citizens and all leaders of this nation must continue to renew, affirm and reaffirm our unity as a people. We should never tire to work for national unity, to think, act and to live true to its dictates. Zimbabwe is and must remain a home to all who belong to, reside and believe in it.
“I revere and celebrate unity accord because it is a national ethic and value which rises above party politics. It is a core part of processes which founded our nation, and keeps us together as a nation,” said President Mnangagwa.
President Mnangagwa also paid tribute to the founding leaders, veteran nationalists and freedom fighters in Cde Robert Gabriel Mugabe and Cde Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo for the singing of the Unity Accord which is the bedrock of the stability and amity which citizens enjoy as a united people.
“This landmark even ended the disturbances which had flared up soon after our independence and threatened to split and rip our nation apart. It laid a strong lasting foundation for our national unity, itself the bedrock of the stability and amity we continue to enjoy as a united people.
“Sadly, the two leaders if our independence struggle and signatories to this watershed document are no longer with us. But their epochal works and deeds make them live beyond their lifetime. We thank them heartily, and will forever remember and honour them as founders and makers of our nation.
“We stand obligated to further the ideals of this timeless bequest of unity to our nation. Far kore than a legacy, the unity accord is a material force which continues to shape our politics top this day and forever. It never wears out, nor will we never allow it to perish. It is the lifeforce of our nation, the pith of our nationhood. We are as good as strong as we are united: today, tomorrow and forever,” he said.
On the economic front, Cde Mnangagwa said there must be unity to recover and grow the country’s economy.
“We have committed ourselves to Vision 2030, to transform and develop our voluntary into upper-middle-income economy. We must be united to assure our people of decent livelihoods, through inclusive development and growth which leaves no-one behind.
This immutable goal requires all hands on the deck, regardless of politics, tribe, region, race or creed. Zimbabwe needs all its hands: black or white; long or short, tender, clean or greased; fisted or open. All these hands belong to our nation which today bids them to work for it, and in unity and harmony. We have created channels and avenues for resolving our differences and sharing ideas on the challenges we face as a nation. It is never too late to serve your people and country,” he said.
The President urged citizens to continue to defend and secure the country’s sovereignty.
“While the struggle for political independence may have formally ended in 1980 with independence, the mission to secure that independence remains, and is ongoing. We continue to face challenges to our sovereignty, such as the illegal sanctions by which certain global interests seek to subvert and compromise our hard-won independence.
Many hostile interests eye our resources and would want to access them. We must meet this threat by remaining solidly united, even now that SADC, Africa and the progressive world have joined us in a show of practical solidarity,” he explained.
President Mnangagwa said unity for peace, harmony and eternal peace in and for our nation is of paramount importance.
“A divided house soon crumbles and falls. We should never entertain politics which mobilised around narrow, anti-nation sentiments. Zimbabwe is a unitary state and politics operating below that constitutional dictate, should be rejected.
“We must therefore always seek to be more peaceful and more united through greater interaction, greater justice and more balanced development. The policy of decentralization and devolution enshrined in our constitution must take root and be accelerated. That is what consolidates the unity accord which our founders bequeathed to us. Celebration of independence away from Harare gives full meaning to both the attaining of independence and unity we enjoy,” he said.