President calls for self-belief •Emulate national heroes • . . . none but ourselves can do it for Zim
Lloyd Gumbo Senior Reporter—
President Mugabe has implored Zanu-PF cadres and Zimbabweans in general to emulate the late national hero, Cde Lloyd Kotsho Dube’s principled stance on the country’s liberation than hinging their hope on the country’s detractors. The President, who was speaking at the burial of Cde Dube at the National Heroes Acre yesterday, urged Zimbabweans to be masters of their own destiny in remarks that appeared aimed at embattled Vice President Dr Joice Mujuru and her cabal who were reported to have been working with the MDC and some hostile Western nations for what they called ‘a post-Mugabe era’.
“As we mourn the passing on of this courageous fighter for our freedom, let us draw life-long lessons from his career,” said the President.
“He served with loyalty, always standing by his people and for his people. He was not a self-seeker, but searched for common good.
“Not once did we get an adverse report suggesting any deviation from the path of principle or integrity. We need the lessons of his illustrious life, those of us who often think that Zimbabwe needs a white man to prosper.
“We need the lessons of his impeccable career, those of us who think setting aside one’s people’s interests in order to win the white goodwill marks modernity and better leadership.”
President Mugabe said because of Cde Dube’s educational qualifications, he would find it easy to find employment, but subordinated that for independence of the country.
“By any prevailing African standards, his prospects seemed bright enough to secure for him and his family a fairly comfortable life, albeit under colonial conditions,” he said.
“It speaks highly of comrade Kotsho Dube that when the declaration of UDI (Unilateral Declaration of Independence) was made in 1965, he immediately abandoned his promising career for a life of struggle.”
President Mugabe said Cde Dube joined Zanu, becoming its representative at the United Nations as well as covering South America, the United Kingdom, Scandinavian countries and the whole of Western Europe, a huge responsibility that required a lot of intellect, self-drive and confidence.
“For here was a young black Rhodesian tackling the white world in order to end its occupation of his motherland. Quite a daunting task! We thank him for rendering that service so well in those difficult years,” he said.
“Alongside those onerous duties, he took time to read more until he acquired his doctoral qualifications.”
President Mugabe said during the liberation struggle, it was difficult for blacks to attain better education as the settler regime preferred that “native education restricts itself to preparing the native for a life of a manual labourer. The white door was thus slammed on him”.
President Mugabe said it took the sacrifice of people like Cde Dube who subordinated their elitist education and careers to the demands of the struggle.
“Some would simply reject any such invitations, hiding their educated heads into the sand of their highly rewarding professions,” he said.
“Others would turn very hostile to the cause of nationalism, castigating those involved as ‘ignoramuses’, as ‘men of brawn’. They would end up collaborating with the white establishment against their own people.”
President Mugabe said Cde Dube was to be deployed to Zambia where he helped with information dissemination in aid of the struggle, but continued to serve his party and country after independence, playing a major role in integrating Zanu-PF after the 1987 Unity Accord.
“Recognising his vast experience in the field of diplomacy, I wasted no time in enlisting him into our diplomatic service where he served us well,” he said.
“From France, he covered Spain, Portugal, the Vatican and Unesco. Later he served in Nigeria before moving to Zambia, his last post as he headed parastatal boards, including at ZBC, the Zimbabwe Investment Centre and the NRZ.”