As the country moves towards the attainment of Vision 2030 of an empowered upper middle income society, understanding of the country’s history will be critical, President Mnangagwa has said.
Under the Second Republic, Zimbabwe is now shaking off the unflattering tags of past misfortunes, channelling all its energy to the development agenda of leaving no one and no place behind.
Even when dealing with nations that have been hostile to it, the President has clearly stated that Zimbabwe will be a friend to all and an enemy to none.
Speaking at the burial of national hero and founding Vice Chancellor of Midlands State University (MSU) Professor Ngwabi Bhebe last Saturday, President Mnangagwa said history remained a key pillar for the country.
“We must, therefore, never shy away from defining our own national narratives concerning our past, present and future as a people and as a country,” he said.
“As we march forward towards Vision 2030, the understanding of our rich history and the works articulating our chosen development trajectory remain a material force.
“These must serve to advance nation building, and to accelerate our country’s modernisation and industrialisation for collective prosperity. In this regard, the academia is challenged to rise to the occasion.”
As a way of honouring Prof Bhebe, President Mnangagwa urged the private sector to build synergies with tertiary institutions so they become a catalyst for accelerated sustainable socio-economic and cultural development.
“I commend the various milestones and successes across all sectors we have so far realised through unity, peace, hard honest work, focus, determination, love and harmony,” he said.
“This culture must be entrenched going into the future. This is the mind-set that the late National Hero, Professor Bhebe advanced.”
President Mnangagwa challenged the nation to emulate the late national hero together with his peers who never used their intellectual and academic prowess to denigrate their motherland.
“Vakaramba vari mugwara rekuda nekuremekedza nyika yedu. This is how it should be. I challenge our people, especially the youth, to always take pride in being Zimbabwean and being African, no matter how educated they are,” he said.
“Our intellectual and academic prowess must be deployed to advance our national development agenda and to lift our people out of poverty.”
Prof Bhebe, who was laid to rest on Saturday, is survived by his wife, five children and nine grandchildren.