WASHINGTON DC —
In his independence message, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said April 18 is a day when Zimbabweans feel proud of their tenacity and resilience as a people.
The only tragic news, he said, is that independence did not come with basic freedoms as we had all assumed.
He said: “We still have a huge deficit when it comes to respect for human dignity and human rights because we take for granted the people’s basic freedoms of assembly, speech and association."
He noted that "independence must come with freedoms if it is to have total meaning to all of us, which is why some of us were party to the formation of a post-liberation political movement to complete the unfinished business of the liberation struggle.”
MDC-N leader Welshman Ncube applauded Zimbabweans for coming up with their own home-grown constitution this year but said independence has not translated into improved living conditions for all in the country.
A statement from ZAPU said there is “nothing to celebrate given that the independence that is there has no freedom to talk about.”
The party said the country lurched from a white racist establishment into a black racist regime that has turned itself into a semi god.
“The government of the day has turned a people’s revolution into a tragedy.
ZAPU is calling for a new dispensation because the present government has failed to stem corruption, nepotism and the handiyendi (I am not going anywhere) syndrome has gripped its old and non performing leadership,” said part of the statement.
Meanwhile, in Manicaland, provincial governor Chris Mushowe, took advantage of the country’s independence day celebrations to appeal to top Zanu PF leaders, in particular President Mugabe and Vice President Joice Mujuru, to urgently intervene in political squabbles affecting the former ruling party in the province.
Speaking on the sidelines of celebration to mark Zimbabwe’s 33rd anniversary at Sakubva Stadium, Mushowe said the two should stamp their authority, adding factionalism is tearing their party in the province.