Former president Robert Mugabe distinguished himself as a principled man who did not deviate from what he believed to be right, President Mnangagwa said yesterday.
The President said this in a statement on the second anniversary of the passing on of former President Mugabe, who died at the age of 95 on September 6, 2019, two years after retiring. Mugabe was universally praised for leading the land reform programme, which ensured equitable distribution of land, resulting in more citizens joining commercial agriculture.
“As the nation remembers the second anniversary of the passing on of our founding father, leader and inaugural President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Robert Gabriel Mugabe, let us focus on his illustrious life of selfless sacrifice for the political freedom and independence we enjoy today in our country,” said President Mnangagwa.
“There is no better way to remember him than recalling to ourselves the values which he stood for and embracing them as our own in order to develop our country in peace and harmony.
“The founding father of our nation distinguished himself as a principled man who would never compromise on what was right and just for his people.”
President Mnangagwa said quite often, Mugabe would remind them about the late Kwame Nkrumah’s adherence to principle, adding that “principles should never be sacrificed on the altar of expediency.”
“Our liberation struggle was waged over our land which had been taken away from us by the white settler imperialists, thus justifying our noble cause,” he said. “Now that we own the land, we cannot ever let go because it is sacrosanct. It is, therefore, incumbent upon every Zimbabwean to protect and defend our land at all costs.
“The land defines our sovereignty, and to lose it for whatever reason, would be a great betrayal to our patriarch and all the heroes of our liberation struggle.”
President Mnangagwa praised Mugabe for challenging the super powers who seemed untouchable. “Our inaugural President taught us that right is might, challenging the great powers of the world that espoused the doctrine of might is right,” he said.
“Our late leader would always invoke one of the key tenets of the United Nations Charter which asserts the sovereign equality of nations.
“Equally, he would remind us and the world that Zimbabwe is for Zimbabweans, and that the destiny of our nation lies in our own hands. Hence, whatever we do, we do it for ourselves as Zimbabweans foremost and for nobody else.”
President Mnangagwa reiterated that the land redistribution programme was irreversible even in the face of illegal sanctions, emphasising that under the Second Republic he leads, the challenge was on ensuring that the land was used profitably to transform the economy and ensuring food security.
“Land is the economy, the economy is the land, we have repeatedly said,” he said.
“May his soul rest in eternal peace re-assured of our resolute commitment to defending and promoting the everlasting values and ethos of the liberation struggle.”