By Margaret Matibiri
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has called on Zimbabweans to be patriotic and work towards achieving the national vision 2030.
The President made the remarks at the National Shrine where the late National Hero, Cde Stanley Nleya who succumbed to a heart ailment last Tuesday, was being laid to rest.
Addressing mourners who were present, the President called on all Zimbabweans to emulate the late hero and be patriotic, leading the country forward.
“Today, as we lay Cde Nleya to rest among his late Cdes, I challenge us to ask ourselves, individually and collectively, the question; What is the role I must play in building my country? What is the role that we must all play in building a brighter future for the next generation? Under the Second Republic, we are determined to modernise and transform the economic, social, political, and technological landscape of our great country,” said the President.
“As it was during the liberation struggle, our present journey to national development will have challenges, delays and detours. This era in the history of our country calls for focus, discipline, and unyielding resolve. Like the liberators of yesteryear and the likes of Cde Stanley Nleya, let us never wander off from the path towards economic prosperity, as guided by our national vision 2030. “Let us never be complacent,” said the President.
President Mnangagwa warned of the ongoing war of economic prosperity and called on all citizens to remain steadfast like what Cde Nleya and other freedom fighters did during the Second Chimurenga.
“Let us never be complacent, the war of today has neither guns nor bombs. The war against our economic prosperity is ongoing,” he said.
“Rest assured that the enemies of progress and economic growth of our country will never win. The challenges we face are not insurmountable. I exalt all of us “not to surrender, it is not over.” Our gallant freedom fighters did not give up after the bombing of freedom camp or Chimoio Camp. They fought on. Let us today equally fight on through consistent production and hard honest work. A better life for our people shall be realised.”
President Mnangagwa described the late hero as a selfless cadre who was dedicated to the national interest. He also called on all leaders to be patriotic and honest.
“Our national hero leaves behind a legacy of dedication to duty, courage, selflessness, and patriotism. As we lay him to rest today, we should emulate his commitment to the national interest, dedication to duty, as well as the spirit of hard work and humility. Let us, therefore, take a leaf from his exemplary conduct by rekindling in ourselves that sense of national pride that entrants us to look inwards convinced that, “We are our own liberators.”
I challenge all of us in leadership positions of influence at whatever levels, in the various sectors, be it in industry, business and commerce, medical, legal and teaching fields; politics, religious and cultural arena, media and sports sectors among others to always strive to mould and mentor those around us to be dependable, loyal and patriotic citizens.
“Let us introspect and ask ourselves as leaders in our various fields if we can be counted on for the advancement of the cause of our nation. Can you as businessmen and women, civil servants of our nation be deployed to advance the present national development agenda? Can you put the national interests of the majority, ahead of your own? In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, can you be trusted to direct operations in the fight against the spread of the scourge? Can you be counted on to reject and expose practices that are contrary to the interests of the majority?”
President Mnangagwa mourned the death of Cde Nleya and other war heroes of the second Chimurenga who pioneered the country’s independence.
“Last month, we bade farewell to two other veterans of our Second Chimurenga, who were declared National Heroes. The nation is indeed gradually losing its pioneering crop of freedom fighters that inspired and recruited many others, who participated in the armed struggle for our National Independence.”
“As a Nation, we shall remain eternally grateful to them and forever cherish the immense sacrifices they made for our freedom.
We have been robbed of a veteran soldier, revered, and dedicated cadre of our struggle for independence. Cde Gagisa as he was affectionately known during the war was a fountain of military prowess and intelligence. We have lost an irreplaceable personality, an instructor and liberator whose institutional memory was invaluable in his account of our protracted liberation war heritage. Many freedom fighters including some amongst us, were oriented and trained by him during and after the liberation struggle.”
Cde Nleya, whose Chimurenga name was Gagisa, was one of Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA) commanders during the war of independence.
He also trained current Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander General Phillip Valerio Sibanda.
He succumbed to a heart disease at United Bulawayo Hospitals where he had been admitted.
He is survived by three children and two grandchildren.