By ZBC Reporter
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa who turned 78 yesterday says he is a satisfied man after achieving the aspirations of his parents who wanted him to be a lawyer and making the resolve to fight head-on white settlers who had expropriated land and wealth from indigenous black Zimbabweans.
The President, who was born on September 15, 1942, in Zvishavane District, has transformed Zimbabwe in less than two years through pragmatic policies that experts say will inevitably lead the country to become an upper-middle-income economy by 2030.
In an interview with The Herald this Tuesday at State House, the President paid homage to his late parents, Mr Mafidhi and Mrs Mhurai Mnangagwa who were both politically active, for inspiring him to become the servant leader he is today.
He said his parents bestowed on him virtues of education and family.
“I feel very happy that the Lord above, God has mercy. He has allowed me to grow by another year, from 77 to 78.
“My parents taught me differently. My father always wanted me to go to school, become a lawyer and reply to whites in English. That is what he wanted because he felt that when they speak in English and had to be translated, he did not feel confident that the translation was correct.
“So he felt that I must go to school, become a lawyer and reply to whites in English. But for my mother, she was different. She wanted me to be a family person, be a farmer. She felt that there is nothing that keeps you solid as a family if you have a farm, cattle, goats and chickens. I have achieved both, for my father and mother,” the President who is both an accomplished farmer and lawyer said.
In a statement, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Senator Monica Mutsvangwa, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry Mr Nick Mangwana, management and staff, said President Mnangagwa has inspired “all at the ministry to put Zimbabwe on the map and be the bridge between the Government and the general citizenry”.
“President Mnangagwa’s life has been one of unwavering, selfless dedication and humility, having taken up arms at a tender age to fight the unjust colonial system. By this act of self-sacrifice, he was not spared the pain and suffering that were the hallmark of every facet of the armed struggle that shaped our road to Independence and sovereignty. He went through capture, incarceration, life in prison, death row, and had a lucky escape from the hanging noose of the colonial settler regime” Minister Mutsvangwa said.
She said President Mnangagwa, after Independence, “continued on as a dedicated son of the soil and has spent each year working for a better Zimbabwe”.
The Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Dr Misheck Sibanda, his deputies, senior management and staff in the Office of the President and Cabinet said they are honoured to work under the servant leadership of President Mnangagwa.
“We note with satisfaction that through His Excellency’s wise stewardship of the Second Republic, our beloved nation continues to scale new heights in entrenching unity, peace and stability, thus paving the way for accelerated socio-economic development under the Transitional Stabilisation Programme.
“Equally inspiring is the wisdom which the President has demonstrated in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak, steering the nation away from a catastrophe through the robust and judicious deployment of human, material, and financial resources. The nation can now look ahead with renewed hope to the finalisation and launch of the National Development Strategy, the implementation of which the Office of the President and Cabinet will spearhead towards the attainment of Vision 2030 for a prosperous and knowledge-driven Upper Middle-Income society.
“Once again, the entire staff of the Office of the President and Cabinet would like to assure His Excellency the President of its total commitment to effective service delivery as we guide and lead the policy formulation and implementation process of the Whole of Government Concept for the ultimate good and prosperity of all Zimbabweans,” reads the statement.
Zanu PF Secretary for Administration Dr Obert Mpofu said President Mnangagwa has imprinted indelible marks of delivering justice, unity and equality for all Zimbabweans.
“Zanu PF wishes to convey its profound delight in His Excellency and the First Secretary of the revolutionary party for yet another anniversary of his long-lived commitment to the freedom of Zimbabwe.”
The revolutionary party’s National Secretary for Women Affairs Cde Mabel Chinomona said President’s Mnangagwa’s life serves as an insignia of not only political democratisation but also epitomises the mainstreaming of the gender equality which exists in the country.
“The Zanu PF Women’s League joins the nation in celebrating this important and special day, September 15, 2020, as we celebrate the birth of a nationalist figurehead of our nation and a decorated luminary of our struggle for Zimbabwe and First Secretary of Zanu PF, Dr Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa,” said Cde Chinomona.
Acting Secretary for Youth Affairs Cde Tendai Chirau issued a statement saying “on this auspicious day, we celebrate the birthday of a man who has travelled the road, a far-sighted leader deeply committed to achieving social justice through pragmatic practical action, and an epitome of resilience”.
“From his life, which is servant leadership personified, we as young people continue to draw inspiration and vital lessons. His example in all facets of statecraft promotes the ideals of hard work, discipline, honesty and forthrightness, which have coalesced into a defining ethos now synonymous with the new dispensation.
“On behalf of the rank and file of true Zanu PF Youth League, and indeed, on behalf of all like-minded revolutionary young people, we extend our warmest heartfelt birthday wishes to a man who continues to inspire us to stand firm with courage, tenacity and determination as we continue in the fight against international isolation, self-hate and other adversities such as illegal sanctions, political duplicity, corruption and lately, the Covid-19 curse,” reads the statement.
The ZBC board Chairman Dr Josaya Tayi, board member, management and staff of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation also joined the first family and the nation at large in wishing President Mnangagwa a happy 78th birthday.