President to make televised independence address
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa will make a televised address to Zimbabweans on the country’s 40th Independence Day tomorrow in respect to the measures implemented by Government to contain the spread of coronavirus.
The day comes at a time when the country is under a 21-day national lockdown declared by the Government to contain the spread of Covid-19 that has claimed more than 130 000 lives globally while confirmed cases of the virus are almost at 2 million.
Prior to announcing the lockdown, President Mnangagwa announced that the Government had postponed the holding of major social events like the Independence Day celebration whose main programme was scheduled for Bulawayo. The deputy chief secretary to the President and Cabinet, who is also Presidential spokesperson, Mr George Charamba, yesterday said in line with the Government measures, the President would make a televised address.
“The President will make a televised address to the nation on Independence Day in respect to the efforts to contain Covid-19. The address will be broadcast from State House so he will reach Zimbabweans through television and other media platforms,” said Mr Charamba.
Speaking to journalists on Monday after touring Gweru, President Mnangagwa said the country has progressed in the 40 years of self-rule while calling for unity among Zimbabweans towards a shared prosperity. An impromptu tour of Gweru to assess residents’ compliance with the 21-day lockdown turned into a nostalgic journey for him as he reminisced on the days of the liberation struggle sparked as he passed through iconic institutions like Monomotapa Hall, in Mutapa suburb where Zanu held its first congress in 1964.
“All what we need to do is to be united and be focused to make sure that the resources of our country are exploited to develop, modernise our country and upgrade the life standards of our people. Yes, there are things like climate change, which has affected us, the consecutive droughts are also a challenge and currently of course as a result of Covid-19, we are suffering both economically and socially and it’s a back-draw,” said President Mnangagwa. “But it’s not only Zimbabwe, the effect of Covid-19 is worldwide, we have to do our best.
“Primarily, what is most important is that we preserve lives because if we lose lives, we will never resurrect them but if we have problems with the economy, we can always reconstruct the economy and grow it again.”
The first celebrations outside Harare since 1980 were meant to be held in Bulawayo at Barbourfields Stadium and preparations were at an advanced stage but everything was halted because of the coronavirus pandemic.