State of the Nation Address by President Mugabe at State House in Harare, February 19, 2016.
THANK you members of the Press. I thought, we should address you, so you in turn tell our people on the situation.
Firstly, that which occurred, was it yesterday, in regard to what was regarded as the extraordinary meeting of war veterans that was called by Minister Mutsvangwa, who is Minister of War Veterans and also chairman of the association of war veterans.
Then, secondly, on the other aspects of our situation in regard to security matters.
In regard to the so-called extraordinary meeting of war veterans, none of us here heard about it in advance and that means the President, the Vice Presidents.
The ministers I had occasion to talk to yesterday at night, (Sydney)Sekeramayi, (Kembo) Mohadi and (Ignatious) Chombo, they are all security ministers, also had not heard about this event until it happened.
I am the patron of the war veterans, I wasn’t informed about it. Let alone, even getting to know what the subject was. And Cde Mutsvangwa, we have appointed him as Minister of War Veterans, the first ever person to occupy such a position when we created it for the first time in Cabinet.
I don’t know in which capacity he invited the war veterans, but he was, it does not matter in which capacity. Even if he invited them as chairperson of war veterans, he was still minister, their minister. Aand if the intention was to be a demonstration, demonstrating against what? A Government of which he is a minister?
If it was to express grievances, what grievances? He has the channel now in Cabinet as minister to inform us about the situation of war veterans, channel their grievances to us through his ministry and suggest to us what measures we can take to alleviate their conditions.
But for him to have called a meeting about which we knew nothing in circumstances in which he had not clearly sought permission from the authorities in violation therefore of the law.
He being a minister, he cannot at the end of it all after the law and order officers have taken action against the meeting and war veterans, complain that he was ill-treated or that they were ill-treated.
He must bear the responsibility to have invited the war veterans in the name of the President, telling them that the President would want to address them when, in fact, the President didn’t know about his invitation of them, is to dis- abuse his authority as minister in the gravest way possible.
We take exception to that. He has acted in a manner we describe as irresponsible, completely irresponsible. And in a manner which brings the name of the party and that of Government, brings it, you see down in disgrace, in a manner in which it is now blemished, criticised, and the people are beginning to wonder whether, in fact, we are governing properly or governing in accordance with the rules.
People were naturally hurt or at least they had this water from the cannons down their bodies, let alone the teargas in their eyes. We regret that they suffered this. But the man to blame is their chairman and their minister and of course he has to answer as minister why he has done it without authority.
Ministers have, as you know, their own governing rules. They take oaths here and when we swear them in, that they shall be disciplined, they shall be loyal, they shall hold secrets and not reveal to anyone what happens in Cabinet.
And then these, always, as guiding us in the performance of our duties, the rule and tradition that we act collectively so that the mission or even good performance of the one becomes the omission or good performance of the rest of us.
But when there is this negativity and clandestine, completely surreptitious way of doing things, one wonders whether Minister Mutsvangwa is one and all with the rest of us.
He may have grievances which are personal to himself, but those have nothing to do with Government.
But insofar as the rights, conditions and interests of the war veterans, we are interested in them. We are war veterans ourselves. These two gentlemen you have here have been gunholders. You can call them vana bhombadhiya (bombardiers). And you find this situation even in the police force.
We have people who have been outside fighting, who are war veterans, the army, the intelligence, the security, Government, in the civil service.
We find them also now in their homes retired, some are farmers, in industries, some are intellectuals, universities.
We have not, of course, been able to cater for everyone and everybody. We have tried our best along the way. However, the matter is about the meeting of yesterday. And let Mutsvangwa not blame the police, law and order officers, for what they did.
He deserved that treatment. But the rest of the people he had invited did not deserve it, but he himself deserved it.
Now, let me also make reference to the disturbing phenomenon of what we might safely regard as man devouring man, comrade devouring comrade, kind of dog fights that are taking place.
During the liberation struggle we had contradictions, sometimes contradictions of a very antagonistic nature. Very ugly! But we dealt with them in the manner which recognised that the party had an ideological direction.
The party had the objectives, national objectives, to pursue and if these were offended then those who offended them, bended against them, were punished. And this is so even unto today.
We are a party, a people’s party, but a people’s party means people with various ideas. However, the basic principles of the party must continue to be adhered to and pursued.
The political direction of the party must also continue to guide us. The comradeship and need for unity and togetherness of the party, that’s a fundamental basis on which we built ourselves and must continue to exist.
Now, if contradictions develop, they should be never be of the nature that is that antagonistic, too negative, where people start fighting each other, insulting each other, abusing each other.
And we are seeing this happening now. Even now young people, the party aside, there is also the culture that guides us. Our culture never, never allows a young person, even an elder, to abuse another but now you get – we are all being abused – the President, his wife, in a manner that is very disgrace- ful.
It’s a shame. If a man or woman belongs to the opposition party, yes we may criticise them, but we don’t abuse them. We don’t abuse them, culturally its wrong. Hazviitwe.
So, we will definitely take action where we feel action should be taken within the party. There is need for a whip of discipline now to be shown and to be used.
However, I should end this address by saying our struggle continues we will not be diverted by whatever else happens and we know the enemy is working very hard amongst us, to get us, to deviate us from the direction we have taken as Zimbabweans with the right of self-determination on programmes that are meant to endow our people with the necessary wealth, wealth intellectual as we educate them and wealth material as we exploit resources, their natural resources which belong to them, beginning with the land.
It doesn’t matter what tribe we belong to, we are all nationals, Zimbabweans, sons of the soil. Vana vevhu, abantwana bemhlabati. That’s what we have called ourselves in the past and still call ourselves today.
This is because we belong to one another regardless of which region we come from, which province we come from, which tribe we belong to.
And the war was fought on the basis of that recognition that we belong to one another. We belong to each other, we are one as Zimbabweans and as Zimbabweans, therefore, the sufferings of our people in one region are our sufferings.
And Government in being the party that they belong to must recognise and pay attention to their suffering and try to provide the necessary remedies.
Quarrels maybe, there are always quarrels in families, in villages, but our togetherness as Zimbabweans shall never be broken and that’s why we say we are just one Zimbabwe .
Pamberi neZimbabwe. Pamberi nekubatana.
Those programmes, as is now regulated and motivated by our engine Zim-Asset, are people’s programmes and they should not be allowed to fail, but let us take care, I want to repeat this again, take immense care to guard against the machinations of the external enemies, our detractors.
They want Zimbabwe not to succeed, they want Zimbabwe to fall. We won’t allow it. So, those who are saying we belong to this faction or that faction, I say to them shut up, you belong to Zimbabwe.
First and foremost, whatever you might say, shut up and let us not hear any divisive voices from you, the G40s or what you call Lacoste, whatever, shut up!
Our young people are arranging that we get together on their day, which is in praise of the President, as it is meant to be recognition of the President’s birthday.
We regard it as the day of our youths, the 21st of February, although the recognition of it is put on the 27th and what they have prepared for will take place at the Zimbabwe Ruins.
We want the road to be clear, we want to go there without divisions, without the insults from any quarter, with the unity of purpose, with the oneness I have talked about of our being Zimbabweans.
And going to Great Zimbabwe is going to our birthplace for we are now the Republic of Zimbabwe and the children of that Republic are Zimbabweans and that’s why we are going there and I am glad our youths have chosen that venue.
We want to go and pay our tribute to our best place.
Let us think of that, think of what our ancestors have bequeathed as a legacy for us and what we ourselves in turn shall bequeath as a legacy for our own children.
We don’t intend to leave a legacy of differences, insults, indiscipline and quarrels and misunderstanding, no.
We want harmony and peace, togetherness and one drive. Defend, fight for that legacy, fight against any interference from outside, against it.
I mean for any interference from outside with that legacy, it must not be interfered with. To be that togetherness, that peacefulness, is what we want to see in Zimbabwe.
This season has not been that good and as we wrestle to provide our people with means whereby they can make do and manage, you know, to cross over to next year. As we do that, we must not have the disturbance, the fights and quarrels that appeared to be taking place now.
This is time that we all should put our shoulders to the wheel and say let’s work for our people to survive, for our children to continue to go to school.
Let’s work so we can survive together, all of us without exception, all of us regardless of our parties, regardless of our regions, regardless of our culture.
All of us must survive this year, Zimbabweans must survive together.
I say once again, let’s remain united. Sibe muntu omunye. Tive munhu mumwe chete, munhu mumwe chete, takabatana. Zvondo tirikande pasi, tirikande pasi tive nekunzwanana.
Mawar veterans batanai. Zvichemo zvenyu tinazvo, tine ministry yenyu, inoramba iripo ministry iyoyo. Asi hatidi nyonganyonga pakati penyu, kwete.
Gwara, gwara, gwara romusangano, gwara, gwara rorukudzo, gwara rokunzwanana, rokubatana rirambe ririgwara redu. Kwatakabva kure, toyeuka izvozvo.
Kwatirikuendawo kure zvakare, toyeuka izvozvo. Isu vatungamiriri tinoramba tichiedza kuti mubatane.
Ndinokutendai mose. Hapana muno muZimbabwe watingati uyu ndiye anosungirwa kufa, hapana.
Uyu muvengi, angave muroyi, angave atisingabatane naye muhurongwa hweparty yedu, asi kana totarira panyaya yehupenyu tinosungirwa kumuponesawo, ave nekudya.
Tinosungirwa zvekare kuti vana vakewo vave sevana vevamwe vese, vanoyamurika nefundo.
Saka ndohunhu hwatinoda ihwohwo. Izvi zvamaakuita vadiki vedu siyanai nembanje dzenyu.
Zvokutuka vakuru nemazwi akadzama hatizvide, zvikandei pasi, zvikandei pasi, zvikandei pasi.