President Robert Mugabe says Zimbabwe’s 2013 general elections, won resoundingly by his Zanu PF party, had silenced his critics, in particular the West and the opposition MDC formations.
Addressing thousands of people gathered to mark Heroes Day at the national shrine, Mr. Mugabe said his party is now implementing some of its election promises, including its five-year economic blue print - the Zimbabwe Agenda for Social and Economic Transformation (ZIMASSET).
President Mugabe said his party’s resounding victory stopped what he termed evil machinations of the West to influence regime change in Zimbabwe.
“Fellow Zimbabweans as we mark the first anniversary of the July 31 harmonised elections, successfully held under the provisions of the new constitution, put paid once and for all to the evil machinations that were being pursued by our erstwhile colosiners,” he said.
The 90-year old leader, well-known for his long and winding speeches at such events, on Monday delivered a short speech and kept largely to his prepared notes.
He urged Zimbabweans to cherish their independence, which he said was bought by the millions who shed their blood fighting white minority rule.
“We gather here today to remember; pay tribute to the living and fallen heroes of the liberation war,” he said.
"As we recall the many lives lost, the maimed, scarred lives of survivors of that protracted struggle we indeed celebrate our freedom.”
President Mugabe said his party is wholly focused on implementing ZIMASSET, designed to resuscitate crumbling industries and generate millions of jobs.
Critics have dismissed ZIMASSET as an unworkable, saying the country is not in a good position to get the much-needed $27 billion dollars to kick start it.
Mr. Mugabe said major strides have been made in reviving the agriculture sector with good maize harvests expected this year.
President Mugabe said his government’s 2012 national housing policy is still being implemented to provide houses for thousands of families around the country with no accommodation.