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Zimbabweans have demonstrated their independence and sovereignty by consistently voting against foreign funded opposition parties, Zanu-PF secretary for information and publicity Cde Rugare Gumbo has said.

In a congratulatory statement to the nation ahead of celebrations to mark 34 years of independence from British colonial rule tomorrow, Cde Gumbo said Zimbabwe under the leadership of President Mugabe had made great achievements since 1980.

The celebrations will be held under the theme: “Zimbabwe @34: Defending Our Sovereignty and Providing an Enabling Environment for Sustainable Economic Empowerment and Social Transformation.”

“Indeed this year’s independence celebrations are fitting, coming as they do barely nine months after our resounding electoral victory.

“It is against this backdrop that Zanu -PF wishes to congratulate the people of Zimbabwe for attaining 34 years of independence. This is a great achievement indeed considering how far we have come and the enormous progress we have made since 1980.

“Under the able stewardship of President Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe has continually insisted on the sanctity of its independence and sovereignty and this has seen even those bent on effecting regime change failing in their desperate attempts. And by voting consistently for Zanu-PF and shunning away from surrogate parties, the citizens of Zimbabwe have demonstrated what it really means to be an independent people,” Cde Gumbo said.

He said Zanu-PF’s victory in last year’s harmonised elections was indicative of Zimbabweans’ will for self-determination following the sacrifices that were made in attaining the country’s independence.

“The resounding victory of the people’s party in the last election was further affirmation of our independence as a country.

“It was confirmation that as a free nation, as an independent people, only we have the right to determine our destiny and our leadership. We will forever cherish our independence, which came about as a result of huge sacrifices.

“But what makes our independence unique and special is that as Zimbabwe, we have insisted not just on political freedom but on economic emancipation as well. We have embarked on policies that empower our people not just in political ways but socio-economically as well.

“The first form of empowerment came when President Mugabe revolutionised the education sector in Zimbabwe from what he inherited in 1980. Today we are the most literate nation on the continent. Indeed our people are admired universally for their intellectual prowess,” he said.

He said the Presidential Scholarship Scheme had also seen tens of thousands of Zimbabweans going through tertiary education while the land reform programme had improved lives of ordinary people.

Cde Gumbo added that the indigenisation programme had also been adopted to ensure Zimbabweans benefit from their resources.

“Millions of ordinary Zimbabweans now have access to land which was hitherto confined to a handful of white commercial farmers. This has helped boost the economy and improve ordinary lives. The government of President Mugabe has supported subsistence farmers with inputs and this in turn has assisted immensely with food security.

“Recently the country embarked on the indigenisation programme which has seen millions of ordinary Zimbabweans benefiting from Zimbabwe’s natural resources through Community Share Trusts, Employee Share Schemes and the setting up of the Sovereign Wealth Fund,” he said.

He added that other achievements which have been made since 1980 include increased access to health care and child welfare, rural electrification and provision of basic services amongst others.

The Zanu-PF spokesperson said the Zim Asset economic blueprint adopted by Government last year would also consolidate indigenous people’s control of their resource.

“However, our independence remains threatened by the debilitating economic sanctions imposed illegally on us by nations hostile to Zimbabwe.

“We continue to urge these countries with known vested economic and political interests to remove all sanctions against Zimbabwe fully and without any conditions,” Cde Gumbo said.

Source : The Herald