TODAY we celebrate 35 years of Independence at a time forces opposed to our total emancipation have ranged against us for daring to go beyond the façade of flag independence. As a nation we chose to take the bull by the horns, we dropped the short-end of the stick the erstwhile coloniser had given us at the Lancaster House Constitutional Conference.
And over the past 35 years we have systematically worked to transform our country into a truly independent unitary state.
Independence does not only mean flying our flag over our territory, neither does it mean having black faces in Government; independence means non-dependence on anyone but ourselves for our own destiny.
And when we look at the path travelled over the past 35 years, there is every reason to celebrate the achievements scored, gains that are unparalleled by any nation that attained political independence in our generation, or even those that have been free much longer.
It indeed is #1980sofarsogood
The gains in the social services sector are phenomenal, infrastructure development, housing, you name it, the only blight was an economy dominated by foreign-owned companies, and this is what we are painstakingly changing on the back of a genuine, wealth-creating black Zimbabwean resource-owning middle class.
Indeed, the fact that despite a sustained 15-year assault, our country has not gone under is testimony to the strength of the foundation laid since 1980.
Yes, there are those who point gleefully at the prevailing economic hardships as a sign of failure, we disagree, and disagree with them strongly.
What our nation is experiencing are the pangs of transformation, and any reasonable person can concur that the prevailing economic challenges are a result of illegal Western sanctions that decimated our currency.
This is why this year’s Independence theme — Zimbabwe@35: Consolidating Unity, Peace and Economic Development — enjoins us to unite against these illegal coercive measures and defend our independence and sovereignty.
Our economy has not collapsed, but that which we called our economy when it was in fact a white economy is collapsing, and in its place an indigenous Zimbabwean economy is emerging on the back of a genuine land-owning middle class.
That transformation cannot occur overnight, neither can it be cosy; it is a duel with dark forces whose very existence hinges on continued exploitation of our resources, with us as the labourers.
These are the forces we should all tell today, never again!
Never again will we allow them to reverse the gains we have made, amid so much opposition.
However, for that transformation to be achieved expeditiously, we must all pull in the same direction.
This is the last phase of our struggle, and history tells us that the myopia of those who opted to abet the enemy prolonged the liberation struggle.
This is why we need, this day, to dedicate ourselves to ideals of the struggle, close ranks to defeat the machinations of those seeking to torpedo and reverse our independence.
The sanctions imposed by the West are not for our benefit, but they are meant to benefit their kith and kin, who we dispossessed of resources that are rightfully ours.
Thus today, whether we are Zanu-PF, MDC-T, MDC or Mavambo, let us differ only on the modalities of governing our nation, not who should govern it, we won the right to self-determination 35 years ago.
Happy independence Zimbabwe.