by DANAI MWARUMBA
HARARE, (CAJ News) – ZIMBABWE has for the first time marked its independence celebrations without veteran leader Robert Mugabe.
Instead, it was the new broom at the helm, Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Addressing a capacity 65,000 crowd at the National Sports Stadium (NSS) in Harare on Wednesday, Mnangagwa appealed to the nation to be tolerant and united as he assured to emancipate the country from years of economic poverty, dictatorship and corruption.
He assured Zimbabweans would soon hold credible, free and fair elections as there was nothing to hide from the international community.
Mnangagwa also told thousands of people the country would soon join the Commonwealth grouping to enhance its global participation.
“In a few months’ time, we hold harmonised elections. I urge all political leaders to shun violence, hate speech in all our contestations. We have invited countries to observe our elections from SADC, AU and EU. Elections will be free and fair,” Mnangagwa said.
H added: “We need to deal with violence perpetrated against women and girls. The Basic Education and Assistance Model seeks to assist 400 000 students from now through to August. Government seeks to observe good corporate governance. Following our engagement with China, water problems in Harare will soon be a thing of the past.”
Also attending the country’s 38th independence commemoration were diplomats from across the world, former African heads. Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Nelson Chamisa attended as well.
Mnangagwa reiterated the country’s new way of doing business following the amendment of controversial indigenisation policy.
“We know hardships associated with unavailability of cash, we are all working to address that in earnest. We will resolve shortages of cash in the economy. Our efforts are guaranteeing investor confidence. I urge the finance sector to have robust strategies that translate to demands of the economy. Surely, Zimbabwe is Open for Business,” Mnangagwa said.
Mugabe and his wife Grace could not be seen at the independence celebration.
– CAJ News