By Idah Mhetu
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa on Wednesday urged the people of Zimbabwe to value the use of the country’s indigenous languages in the fight against corruption and promoting unity, peace and exercising non violent behaviour, as the country approaches the 2023 Harmonised General Elections.
President Mnangagwa said this while officially opening the National Languages Conference in Victoria Falls. The conference is running under the theme “Redefining the role of Zimbabwean languages for national development towards Vision 2030 and beyond.
“Drawing from our traditional customs and African value system of Ubuntu/hunhu, the use of our own indigenous languages should see our people concertedly fighting corruption and promoting unity, love, peace, harmony and non- violence, more so as we approach the 2023 Harmonised General Elections,” said President Mnangagwa.
“The languages of our people are therefore a resource that should be harnessed, not only to ensure cultural diversity, inter-cultural dialogue, but to also facilitate social transformation, human capital development and wealth creation,” he said.
President Mnangagwa also called upon parents and guardians to set a good example teaching children indigenous languages.
“Our children should be taught indigenous languages because this will help enforce cultural norms which emphasise respect of each other’s community and environment,” added President Mnangagwa.
President Mnangagwa said his government is committed to keeping languages alive.
“The Second Republic is implementing development that leaves no one and no place behind. Equally, we are committed to keeping our languages alive by leaving no language behind,” he explained.
“As you are aware, indigenous languages are critical for improving social cohesion as they give our communities a sense of inclusivity while nurturing national cultural identities, pride and the dignity of indigenous people,” said President Mnangagwa.