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Zanu PF ‘stole’ independence — Opposition

Local News
OPPOSITION parties yesterday lamented that Independence Day is a painful reminder that the freedom war veterans fought for remains elusive. Zimbabwe today marks 44 years of independence from British colonial rule.

OPPOSITION parties yesterday lamented that Independence Day is a painful reminder that the freedom war veterans fought for remains elusive. Zimbabwe today marks 44 years of independence from British colonial rule.

The main celebrations will be held in Murambinda, Manicaland with provincial festivities lined up across the country.

Then Prime Minister the late Robert Mugabe’s 1980 Independence Day speech was one of reconciliation, inclusion and freedom for all.

Opposition parties, however, said Mugabe, his successor Emmerson Mnangagwa and Zanu PF have failed to deliver on the promise of a free Zimbabwe for all since 1980.

Zapu leader Sibangilizwe Nkomo said fallen heroes, who sacrificed their lives, must be turning in their graves in disappointment.

"Independence is painful because it has no freedom,” he said.

“Just a few days ago, we saw people being arrested for booing first lady Auxillia Mnangagwa. Just basic freedom for one to laugh at a leader, you have to be arrested!

“I do not believe that this is what they fought for.”

Nine villagers were detained and later charged with disorderly conduct after they booed the First Lady when she was addressing at Watsomba business centre, Manicaland.

She was in the province donating foodstuffs and other goodies to villagers.

Charges against the nine were later withdrawn on the instruction of the First Lady.

Nkomo said there could not be Independence Day festivities in some parts of Matabeleland that bore the brunt of the Gukurahundi massacres.

"Our independence will not be complete unless the issue of Gukurahundi is addressed,” he said.

“Gukurahundi is a painful wound in Zimbabwe. It brings bad omen and conflict among Zimbabweans. If it is not resolved the nation will not progress. It affects the whole country and not Matabeleland only.

“This is because the acts of Gukurahundi are still there and continuing.”

He also said ordinary people had nothing to celebrate when they see the Zanu PF elite looting the country’s resources.

"The other sad thing is that the liberation war was waged for majority blacks to own land and wealth, but our wealth is being looted out of the country to foreign lands,” Nkomo said.

“The gap between the rich and the poor is ever widening and this is painful. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer.”

Freedom Alliance spokesperson Nhlanhla Moses Ncube said the day provided an opportunity for the Zanu PF elite to showcase their riches to the poor.

"For this day to be of value to everybody there is need for true democracy, non-tribalism and equal opportunity for all,” Ncube said.

“There should be respect for fundamental human rights, political, economic, cultural and religious freedom which the war of independence was about, among other things."

Ncube said the day had been hijacked by Zanu PF.

"However, in all other aspects, the difference is the same. The event is still about Zanu PF and not the nation. It is about how to stay longer in power against the will of the people," he said.

"Only Zanu PF leaders are independent in Zimbabwe. They do as they please whether right or wrong.

“It has been the case since 1980 and it is nowhere near changing. It is the unrepentant nature of Zanu PF.”

Self-styled Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) interim secretary-general Sengezo Tshabangu faction’s, Charles Moyo, echoed similar sentiments.

“Although we appreciate the effort by the second republic to make sure the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission is on the ground trying to address Gukurahundi, if this issue is not closed, people of Matabeleland in particular will not see independence as practical," Moyo said.

Mthwakazi Republic Party leader, Mqondisi Moyo, said ordinary Zimbabweans and government critics were being denied the opportunity to enjoy their rights as enshrined in the Constitution.

"For independence to be complete,  the inalienable right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness must be evident, such is not found in Zimbabwe,” Moyo said.

To derive value in this day for everybody, there must be genuine reconciliation administered through justice and reparations for the crimes committed against humanity after independence. “

Zanu PF information director, Farai Marapira, however, said independence meant a lot to all Zimbabweans.

"This importance reverberates and resonates across the length and breadth of Zimbabwe. The younger generation needs to be more curious about their history as the President said, a tree cannot grow branches without roots,” Marapira said.

"Independence since 1980 has always been an important occasion for the Zanu PF government. We are all independent, we achieved political independence in 1980 and are in the process of defining and attaining our total economic independence."

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