Africa Day Statement – Hon. Temba P. Mliswa (MP)
Today, the 25th of May marks Africa Day, a day when we celebrate the vision of the founding leaders of this continent who in 1963 established the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) with the agenda of liberating Africa from colonial clutches.
In 2002 the OAU was transformed into the African Union (AU).
On this day we commemorate a day that speaks of the visions and unified objectives which the forefathers of this continent had. These objectives and the vision thereof resulted in the liberation of all African states.
What however abides through time, even after these positive results, is the objective to create on this continent a free and empowered people.
Having achieved the primary agenda of freedom from colonial bondage, the onus today, is not just different, but even more urgent.
The need for the economic freedom of our people is an emergency and is a much more herculean task which should be the focus of every other leader on the continent.
As a country this is an agenda which we have already been set on achieving through the past years as government has set in place various economic policies which include the Economic Structural Adjustment Plan (ESAP), ZimAsset, the Transitional Stabilisation Program (TSP) and currently the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1).
However all these initiatives require unity of purposes as exemplified by the continent’s founding fathers coming together for a common agenda.
The current polarisation characterising the country is inconsistent with the goals which we intend to achieve.
In our factional camps, divided by political differences, we are delaying the achievement of such goals as, the economic emancipation of the people and the building of the foundation laid by the founding fathers in 1963 and further renewed in 2002.
I implore us all to take stock of our standing as individuals, parties and institutions and see how our conduct is aiding or derailing the achievement of goals to solidify our standing as the offspring of great minds that came together in 1963.
Africa Day should serve to awaken us to the high standards of progressive minds from whom we received the baton of leadership and inspire us to act in the correct manner.
As a continent we remain beset by poverty, wars and human degradation but let us not despair but take the torch of initiative handed by our forefathers and work towards the erasure of these blights both for ourselves and our children.
Corruption, the neglect of human rights, selective application of the law and persecution continue to remain the albatross around the neck of our country. These scourges require a direct and concerted effort towards eradication for us to experience meaningful success. Success not for just a select few, but for the majority.
Political will and unity of purpose will enable Zimbabwe to be counted amongst the powerhouses of Africa. We have the resources, we have the intellect and the people, what is required is cohesion.
So today, on this Africa Day, whilst we look back in remembrance of those who had a vision for this great continent, let us also look forward, see where we want to be and strategise how to get there.
Happy Africa Day, Zimbabwe and the rest of the continent as we witness the unveiling of the Mbuya Nehanda statue on such a befitting day acknowledging the AU theme for 2021: “Arts, Culture and Heritage: Levers for Building the Africa we Want”