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UNITY DAY COMMEMORATIVE ADDRESS BY PRESIDENT MNANGAGWA

AS THE NATION CELEBRATES UNITY DAY, WE PUBLISH BELOW THE UNITY DAY COMMEMORATIVE ADDRESS
BY THE PRESIDENT, HIS EXCELLENCY, DR. E. D. MNANGAGWA

Fellow Zimbabweans;

It is now exactly 35 years since the legendary leaders of our Liberation Struggle and founders of our Nation, Comrade Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo and Comrade Robert Gabriel Mugabe, appended their signatures to the Unity Accord at State House in Harare, on 22 December 1987.

That historic document forever changed the direction of our Nation. 22 December is one of the most important dates on our National Calendar. The iconic document including its inbuilt spirit, ideas and philosophy remain a rich heritage of our great country. It is a vital resource and instrument upon which we are anchoring our shared vision for inclusive development and a modern, industrialised, prosperous and empowered society.

Through that historic show of leadership and vision by our Founding Fathers, our Nation escaped the baneful cycle of post-independence conflict.

We take pride in the fact that the Agreement was home-grown, with our two liberation movements, namely the Zimbabwe African National Union, ZANU, and the Zimbabwe African People’s Union, ZAPU, putting aside their differences for the greater national good.

Today, we thus, celebrate this important National Unity Day as we deepen our resolve to defend and entrench the Unity bequeathed to us, which is permeating across our country. It is sacred and defines us as a people and nation to the extent that future generations have the weighty responsibility to defend and enjoy the benefits accruing from it.

This Day must inspire us to consistently work for national unity and to keep deepening and broadening its roots. Across generations, may this rich culture and tradition become the foundation for durable peace and stability for our people and nation.
Let us always remain mindful that we are a unitary state, with many languages, tribes and cultures, united under one national flag and national anthem. There is no room for division, hatred or conflict.

Our diversity is our collective strength and resources to resolve questions and challenges of the day. Together we must equally tap into the vast opportunities that are presenting themselves across all sectors of the economy. Today we, therefore, celebrate our diversity and take pride in our unity as one people.

Undoubtedly, under my watch and going into the future, Government policies, programmes and projects have crystallised around inclusive and broad-based sustainable socio-economic development that leaves no one and no place behind. The decentralisation of Independence Day celebrations, which began this year with the Bulawayo Metropolitan Province playing host, is now the norm.
This is a translation of our commitment to ensuring that all the people, from every part of our beloved country, coalesce around our shared national identity, events and symbols.

Similarly, development projects and investments being implemented throughout our country must be understood, in the context of the collective national good. Hence, the construction of dams, energy, health and education infrastructure is ultimately for the benefit of all Zimbabweans. This is the national character trait and unity which must be entrenched as we concertedly develop, modernise and industrialise our country for a higher quality of life for all our people.

Fellow Zimbabweans, Ladies and Gentlemen;
The Second Republic has been built on the ethic of National Unity, love and harmony. Guided by our development mantra, Nyika inovakwa, inotongwa, nevene vayo; Ilizwe lakhiwa, libuswa, ngabanikazi balo; we are working with all communities, through the traditional leadership to enhance social cohesion as well as propel production and productivity across all sectors, from the ward level upwards.

Our grassroots remain the key stakeholders who constitute the critical mass to drive this present national development epoch. My Government is making bold and deliberate decisions to ensure that programmes and projects impact the lives of every Zimbabwean, family and community. No one and no place is being left behind.

Of particular concern to my Administration is the quest to resolve the unique needs and pressures faced by communities, which we continue to purposefully and compassionately address. In this regard, I count on our esteemed traditional leaders, the custodians of our indigenous knowledge systems not only to lead in conflict resolution and transformation mechanisms but more importantly, drive the multi-pronged socio-economic development of our communities.
Through them and the broader local government architecture, socio-cultural and developmental matters are being brought to Government for appropriate attention and action.

Above all, I appeal to all of us to continue entrenching our unity and cohesion with forward-looking minds. We cannot change the past, but we must learn from it and chart a brighter and more prosperous future.

The Second Republic’s Policy of Devolution and Decentralisation aims to ensure inclusive and participatory development which is guided and directed by communities. Development priorities are now being identified by communities towards genuine and sustainable development designed to accelerate the process of taking our people out of poverty and into prosperity.

Broad-based, inclusive development and empowerment which leaves no person, no family or community behind are indeed the ultimate panacea to durable National Unity. Under the Second Republic, the very fabric and sense of national belonging is being consolidated.

Fellow Zimbabweans;
The year we are about to start is a year in which Zimbabwe goes to the polls. We need lasting unity and durable peace in our country. Elections should never be an excuse or pretext for political conflict, disturbances, hate speech or disharmony. Unity, patriotism, loyalty and love for our great motherland, Zimbabwe should always be our guiding beacon; no matter the season or times. This is the rich tradition we must bequeath to future generations.

Drawing from the legacy and lessons of the Unity Accord, unity, peace, stability, freedom and development are guaranteed under the Second Republic.
Our Motherland, Zimbabwe shall today, tomorrow and for all times be a united nation at peace with itself and for itself.

Lets us, therefore, individually and collectively use this day to recommit ourselves to jealously guard, defend, preserve and promote the unity, peace and development we are enjoying.

As I conclude, I urge the nation, motoring and commuting public to be safe and exercise extreme caution on the roads. Let us also remain vigilant and continue adhering to the COVID-19 public health protocols and getting vaccinated.

I wish all Zimbabweans at home and in the Diaspora, a joyous Christmas and a prosperous 2023. May the New Year bring new hope and greater prospects for our Nation as we march on in our irreversible socio-economic growth trajectory towards Vision 2030.

Happy National Unity Day Zimbabwe.

God bless you.
God bless Zimbabwe.
I thank you.

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