His Excellency the President and ZANU PF First Secretary Cde E.D Mnangagwa has challenged all Zimbabweans and the youth in particular to cherish, preserve and protect the independence and freedom Zimbabweans are enjoying.
President Mnangagwa said this whilst addressing thousands of people who had gathered at Barbourfields Stadium to celebrate the 42nd independence Anniversary.
The 42nd were for the first time in 41years celebrated outside Harare with Bulawayo being the first. Next year's main Independence Day celebrations will be held in Mashonaland Central.
"I challenge all Zimbabweans and the youth in particular to cherish, preserve and protect the independence and freedom we are enjoying and always advance our national interest.
"As we celebrate 42 years of our country’s independence, let us never allow divisive tendencies, greed and the pursuit of unpatriotic self-centred political gains, to weaken our bond of unity, peace, love and harmony. Individually and collectively we have a duty to wholeheartedly serve and work hard for the development and prosperity of our beloved motherland, Zimbabwe.
"Let us not grow tired but keep marching forward with joy, great optimism, determination, zeal and focus in unity, peace and freedom. Good times lie ahead and the fruits of our labour will be there for all to enjoy," President Mnangagwa said.
His Excellency President Mnangagwa went on to explain how the independence was as a result of collective efforts by all Zimbabweans.
"The Independence that we are celebrating today was a collective effort by all the people of Zimbabwe. However, we honour particularly, the gallant heroes and heroines who sacrificed their personal freedoms in order to liberate this country. The welfare of surviving veterans of the liberation struggle is, thus, being continually reviewed to accord them decent livelihoods.," President Mnangagwa said.
He also said, "Let us not grow tired but keep marching forward with joy, great optimism, determination, zeal and focus in unity, peace and freedom. Good times lie ahead and the fruits of our labour will be there for all to enjoy."
President Mnangagwa went on to commend Zimbabweans in the diaspora for their patriotism and said they are still welcome back to the free, independent land of opportunities and sovereign home, Zimbabwe.
"I once again commend all Zimbabweans in the Diaspora for their patriotism and the role they are playing in nation building. Like all other citizens, those in the Diaspora are indeed welcome to participate and invest in all sectors of the economy as we build the Zimbabwe we all want. In the meantime, I urge our citizens in the Diaspora to remain resolute, in spite of the many challenging circumstances they may face in their host countries.
"As your President, rest assured that our arms as your fellow countrymen and women remain out-stretched to welcome you back to our free, independent land of opportunities and sovereign home, Zimbabwe," President Mnangagwa said