Today marks the 40th anniversary of Zimbabwe since it attained it’s independence from Britain in 1980.
However, due to COVID-19 the country celebrated it’s independence indoors as a result of a nationwide lockdown which is still in place.
Even the President of Zimbabwe Emmerson Mnangagwa had to abide by the same rules as he conveyed his independence day message from the State House.
Regardless, two of the country’s heavyweight political parties MDC-A and the ruling ZANU-PF’s youths expressed different sentiments over the country’s independence day commemoration.
“It is very sad that 40 years after independence, our country has regressed at an alarming rate as far as issues to do with the liberation agenda are concerned.
The liberation war agenda clearly speaks to fundamentals like one man, one vote, the land question and basic universal suffrage rights of man but unfortunately those who hijacked the liberation agenda have failed to address these issues.
Yes it is 40 years after independence but in reality it is 65 years of heightened repression and human rights abuses since the day Ian Smith declared UDI.
What we now have is black skin, white masks, a continuation of the repressive colonial system but this time by fellow black people that hijacked the liberation agenda.
There is absolutely nothing to celebrate. If anything, the day is a sad reminder of how the liberation agenda was hijacked by opportunists posing as liberators.
The day marks the greatest betrayal by opportunists on thousands that sacrificed their lives for a better Zimbabwe,” said Steven Chuma MDC-A’s national Youth spokesperson.
However, acting deputy secretary for ZANU-PF’s Youth Affairs Tendai Chirau said, “we celebrate today because selfless nationalist generation of young people in the 60s and 70s willingly joined hands with their forbears in a common cause, against a common enemy, and emerged victorious through determination.
Our national history of struggle, from the First Chimurenga, through the Second Chimurenga, and even up until now, has always been a story of young people drawing lessons from their elders and applying the wisdom towards defining their future.
We are indeed honoured as young people to have the opportunity to play our own part in this continuing revolution during our time, particularly as we are priviledged to have most of the veteran cadres of the liberation struggle still alive and with us, as they pass the legacy to younger generations. Vision 2030 is a fitting example of our enduring struggle, as we shape our discourse for the future and our destiny as a nation.
We fearlessly accept our mandate as a generation, to make sure that we spearhead the economic trajectory of the nation, working hand in glove with our leaders.
Our desired economic trajectory will forever remain one that aims for broad-based, inclusive prosperity for Zimbabwe. To achieve this, ownership of resources and means of production by the youth remains pivotal.”
Virtually every independence day commemoration is marked by a football galore which includes two of the largest clubs in Zimbabwe, Highlanders and Dynamos unfortunately due to the COVID-19 epidemic this year’s match was ruled out, Dynamos chairperson Isaiah Mupfurutsa was devasted that the match could not progress due to the COVID-19 epidemic.
“Its disappointing that we have missed the opportunity to celebrate our independence through participating in the ceremony. As a club the ceremony gives us an opportunity to entertain our fans and the rest of Zimbabwe. It also presents an opportunity for the team to play a part towards our independence. The reward given by government also goes a long way in aiding the club.
However, let us celebrate our independence with our families in our homes. With technology distance is not a barrier as we can still virtually connect and celebrate this great event of our motherland. Above all let us observe all precautions so we can remain health and alive to celebrate many more years of independence.”