PRESIDENT Mnangagwa, who spent his 78th birthday at work yesterday, says he is a satisfied man after achieving the aspirations of his parents who wanted him to be a lawyer and making the resolve to fight head-on white settlers who had expropriated land and wealth from indigenous black Zimbabweans.
The President, who was born on September 15, 1942 in Zvishavane District, has transformed Zimbabwe in less than two years through pragmatic policies that experts say will inevitably lead the country to become an upper middle income economy by 2030.
In an interview with The Herald yesterday at State House, the President paid homage to his late parents, Mr Mafidhi and Mrs Mhurai Mnangagwa who were both politically active, for inspiring him to become the servant leader he is today.
He said his parents bestowed on him virtues of education and family.
“I feel very happy that the Lord above, God has mercy. He has allowed me to grow by another year, from 77 to 78.
“My parents taught me differently. My father always wanted me to go to school, become a lawyer and reply whites in English. That is what he wanted, because he felt that when they speak in English and had to be translated, he did not feel confident that the translation was correct.
“So he felt that I must go to school, become a lawyer and reply whites in English. But for my mother, she was different. She wanted me to be a family person, be a farmer. She felt that there is nothing that keeps you solid as a family if you have a farm, cattle, goats and chickens. I have achieved both, for my father and mother,” the President who is both an accomplished farmer and lawyer said.
Walking the talk while working around the clock, the President yesterday chaired a Cabinet meeting that touched on economic development as well as progress, which has been made under the dark clouds of the Covid-19 pandemic. It was business as usual as the President conducted his normal duties while at the same time being conscious of the Almighty’s grace for the birthday milestone.
In a statement, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Senator Monica Mutsvangwa, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry Mr Nick Mangwana, management and staff, said President Mnangagwa has inspired “all at the ministry to put Zimbabwe on the map and be the bridge between the Government and the general citizenry”.
“President Mnangagwa’s life has been one of unwavering, selfless dedication and humility, having taken up arms at a tender age to fight the unjust colonial system. By this act of self-sacrifice, he was not spared the pain and suffering that were the hallmark of every facet of the armed struggle that shaped our road to Independence and sovereignty. He went through capture, incarceration, life in prison, death row, and had a lucky escape from the hanging noose of the colonial settler regime” Minister Mutsvangwa said.
She said President Mnangagwa, after Independence, “continued on as a dedicated son of the soil and has spent each year working for a better Zimbabwe”.
The Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Dr Misheck Sibanda, his deputies, senior management and staff in the Office of the President and Cabinet said they are honoured to work under the servant leadership of President Mnangagwa.
“We note with satisfaction that through His Excellency’s wise stewardship of the Second Republic, our beloved nation continues to scale new heights in entrenching unity, peace and stability, thus paving the way for accelerated socio-economic development under the Transitional Stabilisation Programme.
“Equally inspiring is the wisdom which the President has demonstrated in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak, steering the nation away from a catastrophe through robust and judicious deployment of human, material, and financial resources. The nation can now look ahead with renewed hope to the finalisation and launch of the National Development Strategy, the implementation of which the Office of the President and Cabinet will spearhead towards the attainment of Vision 2030 for a prosperous and knowledge-driven Upper Middle Income society.
“Once again, the entire staff of the Office of the President and Cabinet would like to assure His Excellency the President of its total commitment to effective service delivery as we guide and lead the policy formulation and implementation process of the Whole of Government Concept for the ultimate good and prosperity of all Zimbabweans,” reads the statement.
Zanu PF Secretary for Administration Dr Obert Mpofu said President Mnangagwa has imprinted indelible marks of delivering justice, unity and equality for all Zimbabweans.
“Zanu PF wishes to convey its profound delight in His Excellency and the First Secretary of the revolutionary party for yet another anniversary of his long-lived commitment to the freedom of Zimbabwe.”
Dr Mpofu further said since his formative induction to leadership through the armed struggle at a tender age, the President forwent the treasonous risk of confronting the colonial regime in the pursuit of our independence.
The footsteps of his leadership path, Dr Mpofu said, underscores the creed of the country’s decolonisation triumph. He described President Mnangagwa as the founding father of the New Dispensation
“Your Excellency, through this life anniversary, as ZANU PF we join the rest of the nation in commemorating the divine validation of your vocation. We also cherish your consistent ideological leaning to the decolonisation agenda and your meticulous reinvention of our liberation legacy as the Founding Father of the New Dispensation. Under the Second-Republic, we enjoy the tide of peace and reconciliation in our nation. However, through your leadership, we are confident in the wide prospects of national unity and cross-cutting solidarities of our people which transcend our artificial binary divides of race, ethnicity, gender and partisan affiliations,” he said.
“Without doubt, your inaugural electoral endorsement as the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe in 2018 has reasserted the magnitude of your popularity. You remain a symbol of broad-based aspirations of the divergent sections of our citizenry. To this end, we are confident that under your leadership Zimbabwe will be ushered to a future of endless prosperity,” Cde Mpofu said.
The revolutionary party’s National Secretary for Women Affairs Cde Mabel Chinomona said President’s Mnangagwa’s life serves as an insignia of not only political democratisation, but also epitomises the mainstreaming of the gender equality which exists in the country
“The Zanu PF Women’s League joins the nation in celebrating this important and special day, September 15, 2020, as we celebrate the birth of a nationalist figurehead of our nation and a decorated luminary of our struggle for Zimbabwe and First Secretary of Zanu PF, Dr Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa.
“As the Women’s League, we take pride in your footprints of unwavering loyalty to the decolonisation agenda as well as the post-colonial reconfiguration of our permanent national interests and the ideological integrity of our revolutionary Party, Zanu PF.
“Your Excellency, your life serves as an insignia of not only political democratisation, but it also epitomises the mainstreaming of the gender equality that we are enjoying as a modern, independent and democratic African state. Your ascendancy to the Presidency has widened the vistas of de-patriachising our politics, the economy and our general social livelihoods,” said Cde Chinomona.
In an ardent pursuit of the political-cultural reform agenda of the Second Republic, she said, the country under the leadership of President Mnangagwa, has sustained the constitutional premise for gender equality in a manner never witnessed before since independence in 1980.
“You have created equal opportunities for us in governance and leadership in general and more importantly in financial inclusion through the Zimbabwe Women’s Microfinance Bank. With these and many more milestones, we are certain that under your wise and visionary leadership Zimbabwe will continue on the verge of perennial prosperity in a sustainable manner.
“The Women’s League reaffirms its total support and loyalty to the Leadership of President Dr Mnangagwa and pledges its commitment to play its part in pursuit of Vision 2030,’’ she said.
Acting Secretary for Youth Affairs Cde Tendai Chirau issued a statement saying “on this auspicious day, we celebrate the birth day of a man who has travelled the road, a far-sighted leader deeply committed to achieving social justice through pragmatic practical action, and an epitome of resilience”.
“From his life, which is servant leadership personified, we as young people continue to draw inspiration and vital lessons. His example in all facets of statecraft promotes the ideals of hard work, discipline, honesty and forthrightness, which have coalesced into a defining ethos now synonymous with the new dispensation.
“On behalf of the rank and file of true Zanu PF Youth League, and indeed, on behalf of all like-minded revolutionary young people, we extend our warmest heartfelt birthday wishes to a man who continues to inspire us to stand firm with courage, tenacity and determination as we continue in the fight against international isolation, self-hate and other adversities such as illegal sanctions, political duplicity, corruption and lately, the Covid-19 curse,” reads the statement.
Since making the resolve to confront the racist colonial regime by being among the first ZANLA cadres to be sent for military training to China, President Mnangagwa has never wavered in his dedication to the freedom of his country. He has committed his entire life to the struggle for Zimbabwe’s quest for total independence through economic development and empowerment as exemplified by Vision 2030, which seeks to achieve an Upper Middle Income country.