Farirai Machivenyika recently in GWANDA
As Zimbabwe celebrates Heroes Day today, President Mugabe has challenged citizens to honour heroes who fought for the liberation struggle by safeguarding land which was at the centre of the war of independence.
President Mugabe said this on Saturday while addressing a highly-subscribed zanu-pf Youth Interface Rally in Gwanda, Matabeleland South Province.
The President, who is also zanu-pf First Secretary, urged Zimbabweans to take advantage of economic opportunities that had been brought about through the country’s independence.
“So, going to Joni ( Johannesburg) is no longer necessary,” he said.
“The conditions there are not better than the conditions created after independence here.
“There is land for you, which is a gain of the suffering that men and women from here together with others from other provinces went through.
“We are going to celebrate the day after tomorrow (today), Heroes Day. Heroes Day leads us to take to heart what those who fought for the struggle and died for it left behind.”
President Mugabe said it was dishonourable to freedom fighters not to recognise the importance of land.
“It is not an honour to them, not respectful to them when we do not want to recognise what they fought for at Lancaster House,” he said.
“Chiro chatakasokwidza kumusoro sechichemo chevanhu vedu. The number one grievance was the loss of our land as the British settlers took it from us. And that was the number one grievance we talked about.”
The President said even during the Lancaster House conference, they had emphasised the importance of land as a symbol of the country’s independence.
“Yes, we said you have agreed for our country to be set free,” he said.
“We were addressing the British delegation at Lancester House.
“But within that freedom, within that independence, we must secure our land through a process of land acquisition which should be supported by you, the British. Then the issue of compensation arises.
“Ndochichemo chokutanga chatakasusukidza. Zvose zvimwe zvakazotevera mushure kuti civil service yedu must reflect in terms of the proportions and efforts which our population holds, zvose zvakazotevera shure.”
President Mugabe said land belonged to every Zimbabwean and should be shared equitably among the country’s citizens.
“But number one grievance is the land,” he said. “We baptised the land when we said to the colonisers this is our country, ilizwe lethu.
“Zimbabwe yakafirwa nevana vedu. Zimbabwe yava yenyu iye zvino in the context of freedom. Yava yedu tose.
“No aggrandisement, no. We must be fair in our distribution of it; whether we are leaders or just ordinary people, we need the land. We need it on an equal level.
“Zvino kuti tinzwe kuti maleaders, vamwe vane 3 000 hectares or more, when others have just 500 hectares or less than that, maplots, that’s not fair.”
Article Source: The Herald