Zimbabwe is a giant that is now awake and ready to take its pride of place among the fast-developing countries, regardless of the sanctions imposed by the West, President Mnangagwa has said.
Addressing thousands of Gospel of God Church International pilgrims at their annual gathering at the Gandanzara shrine in Makoni district, Manicaland province, yesterday, President Mnangagwa said the country would not capitulate to external pressure.
“Zimbabwe will continue developing, whether our detractors want or not. We are an enemy to none, but a friend to all,” said President Mnangagwa, who became the first Head of State and Government since independence to visit the Gandanzara shrine.
“I was in the United States of America recently for the United Nations General Assembly and I told them in their own language that with or without sanctions, Zimbabwe will continue developing.
“Zimbabwe is a giant which is now awake and ready to take its position among the fast-developing nations.”
He hailed African countries for unequivocally calling for the removal of sanctions against Zimbabwe, at the recent 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. The two-decades-old unilateral coercive measures, he added, “will not break our spirit of working hard”.
“Zimbabwe has been under sanctions for 21 years now, but they will not break our spirit of working hard. After we embarked on the land reform, the whites decided to punish us with the sanctions, thinking that we would go down on our knees and beg them to come back and repossess the land,” he said.
“This is now history! We now own the land. Whether it is cold or hot, whether we have poor harvests or surpluses, we will not succumb to Western pressure. Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo, and we will not relent on that resolve.
“I want to express my sincere gratitude for the solidarity we received from most African Heads of State during the United Nations General Assembly. The Heads of State all spoke strongly against the sanctions.”
President Mnangagwa said the country will leverage its bountiful resources to grow the economy.
“We are equipping our youths with requisite skills for them to fully exploit the vast resources in the country, especially minerals. Our minerals should benefit everyone and facilitate economic growth.”
On land utilisation, President Mnangagwa said Government will not hesitate to repossess unproductive land in order to ensure food security.
“They should be prepared to go back to the reserves and pave the way for those who can produce and feed the nation. We should work hard to produce enough food. No sweat, no gain. You cannot expect a fruit to walk to your table without producing it and you cannot expect a fish to find its way into your plate without fishing it. Idya cheziya!
“If you slumber, you will lose everything. You cannot develop the country in your sleep,” he added.
He praised Gospel of God Church International’s stance of encouraging self-employment among its members.
“The founder of this church, Baba Johane, encouraged you to be innovative and self-reliant. This is the spirit that we want. Let us continue working hard in whatever we will be doing.
“I am happy to note that your church has embraced the land reform programme. We will support you in this regard. We will provide inputs and centre pivots for your farms so that they become mechanised. This will ensure more output and many people will benefit from their farming ventures.”
Government will also construct two schools for the church and will soon send a team to assess their needs “so that these projects start in earnest”.
The Gospel of God Church International was founded by Baba Johane Masowe in 1932 and has since spread its tentacles globally.
Yesterday’s gathering coincided with Baba Johane’s birthday. He was born on October 1, 1914.
October 1 is held in high regard by the church, which considers it as their “Christmas”.
Baba Johane died in Zambia on September 13, 1973.
His body was repatriated to Zimbabwe and buried at the Gandanzara shrine a week later.
Before his death, he bestowed the leadership of the church on women.
Currently, the church is under the stewardship of Sister Ellah Silver Tapera.
President Mnangagwa was accompanied by ZANU PF national chairperson Cde Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, who is also Defence and War Veterans Affairs Minister; ZANU PF national commissar Cde Mike Bimha; Secretary for finance Cde Patrick Chinamasa; Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services Minister Dr Jenfan Muswere; and Minister of State for Manicaland Provincial Affairs and Devolution Cde Nokuthula Matsikenyere; among other dignitaries.
— Sunday Mail