Former liberation movements should learn from history and rekindle their collective solidarity to defeat the looming threat of neo-colonialists who are determined to ensure movements that liberated the continent were removed from power, President Mnangagwa has said.
He said this yesterday in his solidarity message on the occasion of Mozambique’s ruling party, Frelimo’s 12th congress.
The President addressed the congress virtually as he is in New York, the United States, for the United Nations General Assembly 77th Session.
“None but ourselves can jealously guard and protect the independence and freedom we fought for,” said President Mnangagwa.
“Further, the common vision outlined in both the SADC vision and the African Union Agenda 2063, demands that we work in closer collaboration for tangible and sustainable development.
“We owe it to our heroes and heroines to lift many more of our people out of poverty into prosperity. To guarantee that future, it is imperative that we consolidate peace in Mozambique. As it was during the liberation struggle, our unity and solidarity must see us decisively defeat terrorist insurgency.”
President Mnangagwa said the Zanu PF Government remains unwavering in its commitments within the ongoing SADC efforts to realise peace in the region, guided by the rallying war-time philosophy, ‘an injury to one, is an injury to all’.
Frelimo and Mozambique, President Mnangagwa said, can always count on Zanu PF and Zimbabwe, during both good and difficult times.
“Our bond is unbreakable. Side by side, in unity as one people, Aluta continua; Vitoria e’ certa; Aluta continua, Victory is certain.
“ZANU PF is honoured and privileged to share this historic event with you, our revolutionary brothers and sisters. We have a shared history and culture cemented by the blood and sacrifices made to liberate our two countries.
“We are neighbours and comrades-in-arms who can never be separated,” said President Mnangagwa.
Zanu PF and Zimbabweans, said President Mnangagwa, remember with a deep sense of gratitude how Frelimo warmly welcomed and accommodated cadres during the liberation struggle
“You availed your territory, opened your doors and hearts to us, as we sought to regain our freedom and independence from the brutal white colonial regime.
“You selflessly made our cause and our struggle your own, sharing our dangers and sacrifices. Personally, along with many luminaries of Zimbabwe’s struggle for independence, we stayed in your country and worked closely with the majority of the current and past leaders. Like most of you, these are ‘shamwari dzeropa’.
“Together, we witnessed sad moments in your country, characterised by death, destruction and devastation as a result of the countless cross-border raids mounted by the racist Rhodesians. Your precious peace and new-found democracy was constantly destabilised. This did not discourage Frelimo,” said President Mnangagwa.
He said Mozambicans remained determined to fight alongside Zimbabweans to the very end, and for that, the nation is “forever indebted to you, our brothers and sisters”.
Soon after Mozambique attained its independence, it closed its borders with Rhodesia as a gesture of solidarity with the liberation movements fighting for Zimbabwe’s independence.
That decision close borders with Rhodesia, remained in force until 1980 when Zimbabwe attained independence.
A number of Mozambicans were killed in Zimbabwe, said President, after the late President Samora Machel, deployed units of Frelimo fighters into Zimbabwe to join in direct combat against the Rhodesian forces.
The President called for the deepening of ties between the two countries so as to improve the quality of life of people.
Frelimo held its first congress in 1962 in Tanganyika, now Tanzania, under the leadership of Cde Eduardo Chivambo Mondlane.
President Mnangagwa said the 1962 congress took place at a critical time in the history of the decolonisation of the continent, and in particular, the Southern African region.
“It was a time when the great ‘wind of change’ was blowing across Africa. State after State, nation after nation and people after people, our continent broke the shackles of colonial rule, to gain political Independence, beginning with Ghana in 1957,” he said.
From the 1960s and beyond, many more African countries gained independence.
Zambia and Malawi gained independence soon after the Federation ended in 1963.
However, Zimbabwe continued to face brutal misrule under the hard line Rhodesia Front.
In November 1965, barely a year after Frelimo had launched its armed struggle, Ian Douglas Smith declared the Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) in Rhodesia.
President Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe’s struggle for independence was undoubtedly motivated by the bravery and unflinching determination of Frelimo comrades to expunge colonialism in Mozambique.
Going forward, the participation of women and youths in governance as well as their empowerment in the entire social and economic spectrum, should remain a priority for Zanu PF and Frelimo, said President Mnangagwa.
He added that opportunities must continue to be created so that young people realise their full potential, riding on abundant natural resources and the present digital revolution.
President Mnangagwa called for peace in the region, as former liberation movements scale up efforts to silence the guns across the continent.
“This is who you are as Frelimo; this is part of the soul of Frelimo, part of Zanu PF and part of all former liberation movements in our region. “Therefore, as our countries scale up efforts to ‘Silence the Guns’ on the African continent, in our region and in particular within Mozambique, against the terrorist insurgency in Northern parts of Cabo Delgado, let us remain emboldened by this rich legacy bequeathed to us by our founding fathers,” he said.
Between 1973 and 1974, Frelimo facilitated Zanu fighters to use Tete as a launch-pad for operations into Rhodesia.
Joint operations were mounted against the Portuguese as the forces fought their way into Zimbabwe.
With the independence of Mozambique under Frelimo in 1975, the struggle for Zimbabwe escalated resulting in Harare’s independence in 1980.