The Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, President Robert Mugabe has called on all Zimbabweans to shun fighting among themselves and remain united as one family.
Addressing thousands of people commemorating the nationâ€™s 31st anniversary of independence, President Mugabe said there is need for every Zimbabwean to observe the rules and regulations of the country and avoid all forms of violence.
â€œWe call on Zimbabweans to unite, to strive at all times for peace and not violence, for right and not wrong.â€œAs the government we give you support and we make sure that there is peace and tranquility. If we fight others, or do things which are against the law, we will be arrested.
â€œLet us work together for the development of the nation.â€ said the President.
Speaking on developments realised in the various sectors of the economy since the countryâ€™s independence, President Mugabe said a countryâ€™s prosperity is not only measured by money and its resources but by the education and empowerment of the nation.
He said: â€œThe nation can only develop when the people are educated.â€
The President also spoke of the developments in the manufacturing and tourism sectors, which he said, have realised considerable growth.
â€œThe manufacturing sector which was operating at a low level last year, has grown to a level of 50% and thus improving the production of local goods.â€™
â€œThe countryâ€™s tourism sector poised for full recovery last year, attracted 2.2million tourists and earned the country US$880 million,â€ President Mugabe said.
President Mugabe said although there has been growth in some sectors, many constraints mainly due to the illegal sanctions imposed by Britain and its allies, have led to lack of adequate employment opportunities for the youth.
He urged the nation to remember those who were steadfast and had oneness of purpose as they sacrificed their lives for the freedom of the nation.
â€œLives were lost and untold suffering was inflicted on our people, it is thus our joy and source of pride to say Happy 31st Birthday to every Zimbabwean.â€
President Mugabe said the government is committed to continually review the salaries of civil servants and working conditions.
He said despite limited resources, the government has introduced housing delivery projects and loans for the civil servants inorder to alleviate housing problems.
Cde Mugabe also said the government has made significant strides in provision of water to the communities and the rural community has seen the rehabilitation of irrigation water.
Commenting on the illegal sanctions imposed by Britain and its allies, the President appreciated the support given by SADC and the AU.
â€œSADC and the AU continue to give us support in condemning the renewal of sanctions by the west. We are grateful for the support. We pay tribute as we express appreciation for the contribution.â€
This yearâ€™s independence celebrations were held under the theme â€œUnity, Peace and Developmentâ€.
The President concluded saying: â€œWe are one, we may have differences, but we belong to one nation. Let there be peace, let there be unity.â€