zimbabwe-independence 2008.jpgZimbabweans from all walks of life are in a celebratory mood ahead of Monday’s Independence Day anniversary.

 

The country celebrates 31 years of self rule after a fearce battle, which called for selflessness and sacrifice, yielded in the defeat of the British colonial rule in 1980.

 

Ahead of the main celebrations penciled for the National Sports Stadium, Harare residents hailed the visionary leadership of the Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, President Robert Mugabe and the boldness of the liberation war fighters for the role they played for the country to attain political and economic independence.

 

As the residence say, Independence Day is time to reflect on the critical role played by dedicated liberation war fighters who sacrificed their lives for the political and economic independence that Zimbabweans enjoy today.

“It is time to reflect on who we are and how we got where we are today.

 

“It is because of the bold cadres and the leadership of His Excellency, President Mugabe for the role he played before and after independence,” one Glenview resident said.

Zimbabwe is one of a few countries in Africa that has managed to embark on various programmes to economically empower indigenous people.

The country is currently implementing the indigenisation and economic empowerment policy, which seeks to correct the imbalances in the ownership of companies operating in the country.

The law stipulates that at least 51% stake of foreign firms, valued at US$ 500 000, should be owned by local Zimbabweans.

The indigenisation drive comes after a successful land reform programme, which has been credited for an increased tobacco output this year.

Paying tribute to the economic empowerment policies, especially the land redistribution, farmers described the Independence Day as a time to celebrate  the successes of the agrarian reforms, which has transformed them from being farm labourers to being owners of production.

Farmers who spoke to ZBC News said independence facilitated the reversing of the colonial land ownership imbalances that saw indigenous people being reduced to mere farm workers while minority white farmers owned large farms.

“To us, independence is seen through the success of the land reform programme which is a symbol of total emancipation from minority rule,” said one tobacco farmer, who was at BOKA Tobacco Auction Floors waiting for his produce to go under the harmer.

The spokesperson for BOKA Auction Floors, Rudo Boka said independence is a time for every Zimbabwean, regardless of their political affiliation to thank those who sacrificed their lives for the liberation of the majority.
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“We are in business because of independence, so all the fallen and surviving liberation war heroes deserve credit,” Boka said.

When Zimbabwe gained independence in 1980, 46,5% of the country’s best farming land was owned by around 6000 white commercial farmers who made up less than 1% of the population.

It is under such segregatory circumstances that the revolutionary party, Zanu PF embarked on the land reform programme in 2000 to redress the colonial imbalances.

Over 300 000 families benefitted under the successful agrarian reform and as the country celebrates its 31st independence anniversary this Monday, all Zimbabweans have something to smile about.

The main celebrations, which will be under the theme ‘Unity, peace and development,’ are penciled in for the National Sports Stadium, where an entertainment galore is lined up for the event.

The major highlight will be the Independence Trophy final clash between the country’s most decorated football teams, Dynamos and Highlanders.