The Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, President Robert Mugabe says the countryâ€™s hard won independence has enabled government to put in place policies and programmes for the total empowerment of the young people hence the need to jealously protect and guard the sovereignty from erstwhile colonisers.
As has become the tradition every year before the independence celebrations, President Mugabe holds a party, which is attended by children from the countryâ€™s 10 provinces.
When the President arrived at the City Sports Centre in Harare, the venue of the childrenâ€™s party, there was ululation as the children showered praises on their role model, Cde Mugabe.
Addressing the children, Cde Mugabe said young people should be on the forefront of defending the countryâ€™s sovereignty as former colonisers are employing the social and economic route to effect regime change.
“We have to be very careful of these former colonisers. They will come into our system by taking control of our economy, by taking control of our institutions and swaying the minds of our people. So if they have that kind of control, then our minds are also under their control,” President Mugabe said.
On interference in Zimbabweâ€™s politics by western nations, Cde Mugabe said these countries cannot teach Zimbabwe any lessons on democracy as they are the worst violators of human rights.Â
“Let the outsiders keep out and not interfere in the domestic affairs of our country,” he added.
Turning to education, President Mugabe advised the young people to take intellectual development seriously as it is critical in national, social economic and political development programmes.
Child President, Nigel Gwanzura, who attended the childrenâ€™s party for the first time, paid tribute to President Mugabe for his people oriented programmes that have seen many people benefiting 31 years since independence.
â€œPresident Mugabe spearheaded a lot of people centered programmes to ensure that local people benefit from their resources. Most notably was the land reform programme and now the indigenisation and empowerment drive, which all seek to address the racial imbalances in the ownership of the countryâ€™s resources,â€ he said
The childrenâ€™s party was attended by cabinet ministers including Media, Information and Publicity Minster, Cde Webster Shamu; Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Minister, Cde Saviour Kasukuwere, who stood in for Education, Arts, Sport and Culture Minister, Senator David Coltart; Local Government, Rural and Urban Development Minister, Dr Ignatius Chombo; senior government officials , child parliamentarians and school children from the countryâ€™s 10 provinces.
The party was punctuated by song and dance, performances from various schools as well as displays of banners containing various messages on childrenâ€™s rights.