President Emmerson Mnangagwa has described this year’s 38th independence celebrations as historic as they are the first under the new dispensation.

Addressing thousands of Zimbabweans who thronged the National Sports Stadium in the capital for the main independence commemorations, President Mnangagwa urged Zimbabweans to work together despite creed and language.

He said the past 38 years have seen the country facing challenges and missing opportunities, hence the need to focus on the pursuit of economic recovery, poverty reduction, rehabilitation of social services and respect for the rule of law.

“Government is committed to revitalising the social services sector, health, education, and water provision,” he said.

 President Mnangagwa described the renewed spirit of hope and determination being shown by Zimbabweans as encouraging saying the country is now receiving positive change in areas that include mining, agriculture and the tourism sectors.

The president expressed government commitment towards infrastructure development saying the revitalisation of ZISCO and the railway sector are crucial for the rebirth of the manufacturing sector.

“Revamping of rail and road infrastructure remain key priorities of the new administration, in particular, Harare-Beitbridge road, Victoria Falls-Lupane road, and expansion of the RGM International Airport.

President Mnangagwa says there is need to modernise the country’s economy, adding that it is everyone’s duty to build the economy.

He revealed that during his regional and international trips, he met diasporans whom he briefed regarding the situation at home and invited them to make contributions towards economic recovery.

The President also urged all political leaders to shun violence and hate speech in all contestations, adding that the culture of dialogue will enhance accountability to the people and this will help the nation achieve its goals.

“I urge all political parties to be exemplary as the country prepares for elections. Let us shun hate speech. My government commits to free, fair and credible elections.

“As leaders, let us embrace the spirit of dialogue as we try to improve the lives of our masters, the people of Zimbabwe,” said President Mnangagwa.

He revealed that the government has invited SADC, African Union and European Union countries to observe the harmonised elections to be held later this year.

President Mnangagwa said the government is committed to improving the conditions of service of public servants, imploring also the workers to develop a new work ethic.

He said government is working tirelessly to resolve the cash shortages in the economy through mobilising foreign capital and engaging regional financial institutions.

“We will not achieve all our goals overnight. Zimbabwe will rise again and be great,” he said.

The President said the US$4.2 billion Karo Resources platinum investment will directly create 15 000 jobs and other downstream employment opportunities.

President Mnangagwa said building on the success of command agriculture, government will continue to ensure food self-sufficiency, with command agriculture having spread to livestock, wheat and fisheries.

“We are strong when we work together,” he said.

Investment-led economic recovery, effective provision of social services, respect for the rule law are some of the principles enunciated by the new administration.