Friday, 17 April 2015
STATEMENT ON THE 35TH ANNIVERSARY OF ZIMBABWE’S NATIONAL INDEPENDENCE
Issue Date: 17 April 2015
The Committee of the Peoples Charter (CPC) joins all Zimbabweans in commemorating the 35th anniversary of our national independence. In our commemorations, we not only remember the tremendous sacrifices of all the people of Zimbabwe including our war veterans, war collaborators, fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters. We also remember the selflessness shown by our African brothers and sisters in directly assisting us to not only conduct our struggle for independence but for not wavering in their solidarity in the most trying of circumstances.
In the 35 years that Zimbabwe has been independent, the ideals of liberation struggle, inclusive of a better life for all, land redistribution, human rights and universal suffrage have been eroded by corruption, political repression, elitist capitalism and a political leadership with an undemocratic sense of entitlement to the state.
This entitlement by the ruling party has given the false impression that it is only by association with it that one can attain a fulfilling existence as a citizen of Zimbabwe.
Those that have opposed the ruling party have unfortunately also taken up the same characteristics even if they do not yield state power. Contrary to the ideals of the liberation struggle, they have sought to continuously pursue personal wealth at the expense of people centred and organic democratic leadership. To this extent they too have compromised the ideals and values of the liberation struggle while hypocritically accusing their rivals of doing the same.
This year’s independence anniversary occurs within the context of an economy that is insensitive to the needs of the majority poor, does not support innovation and stymies the ambitions of the working people of Zimbabwe. Social services such as decent public health, public education, public transport, access to telecommunications technology remain beyond the reach of many. The albatross of unemployment haunts the young people of Zimbabwe to the extent that most of them seek first to leave the country than to find a bright future in it.
Zimbabwe’s Diaspora continues to be left out in the cold without any structured overtures to invest revenue generated from its remittances in the development of the country. Furthermore, the lack of a direct interaction between the Diaspora and government has led to other countries treating people of Zimbabwean origin with not only disdain but tragic violence motivated by xenophobia.
The new constitution that is now two years old has again become the subject of direct abuse by political parties as and when they deem fit. From proposals to amend it that have been reported in the mainstream media, through to abuses of clauses on the recall of Members of Parliament to settle politician scores, the constitution has proven to be more a power sharing document between political parties than it is embedded in a people driven democratic culture.
The CPC however notes that the flame of independence is however not doused. Where there is adherence to social democratic values, principles and leadership that is guided more by posterity than self aggrandizement, the ideals of our national independence can be transformed into reality. In this vein, the CPC urges all Zimbabweans, of all races, ages and religions, to continue to believe in the attainability of the values of our national independence. But only if all us, together, think, act and lead.
Issued by the CPC Information Department.