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Take up challenge to develop Zim, youths urged

PRESIDENT Mnangagwa has challenged young people, both in Zimbabwe and abroad, to shoulder the burden of developing their country, emulating their forebears who liberated it and driving the developmental agenda. The President said this yesterday while addressing thousands of young people at Mushagashe Vocational Training Centre in Masvingo to mark the National Youth Day. February 21 is a national holiday set aside for youths to interact with their leaders to ensure the rich national ethos and character that brought about freedom, democracy and independence, is passed to future generations. It is also the birthday of the founding father of Zimbabwe, the late former President Robert Gabriel Mugabe. Yesterday’s celebrations were held under the theme: “Positioning youth empowerment and development towards achieving Vision 2030”. In his remarks, President Mnangagwa said youths should take pride in being Zimbabweans and embrace national development initiatives. “Today, on one hand, we look back in honour of one of our founding fathers, the late former President and national hero, Cde Robert Gabriel Mugabe, as well as the many brave and fearless young people who sacrificed their youth and schooling to wage the protracted war of liberation. “We must never ever forget their supreme sacrifices. On the other hand, we look forward to the future with great confidence, guided by our philosophy, ‘Nyika inovakwa, inotongwa, inonamatirwa nevene vayo/Ilizwe lakhiwa, libuswe, likhulekelwe ngabanikazi balo’.” President Mnangagwa urged youths to remain vigilant and defend the country from its detractors. “We are strengthened by the strides our nation continues to make. Even though sanctions were imposed on our country, we are marching forward. “We remain a friend to all and an enemy of none. We are our own liberators. You, our Zimbabwean young people, no matter where you are in the country or around the world, know that you have the weighty responsibility to develop our country. “The young people of yester-year played their part. You must play your part. The challenge is now yours,” said the President. The Second Republic led by President Mnangagwa is working towards achieving Vision 2030, which seeks to fundamentally transform Zimbabwe to an empowered upper-middle income economy. The President said the nation has “great targets to achieve, aspirations to realise and a national vision to attain”. “By 2030, our great motherland Zimbabwe must be a prosperous and empowered upper-middle income society. “You the youth of this great nation have a role to play in the ongoing journey. You are the descendants of the Great Munhumutapa. You must believe in yourselves. You are not an inferior people,” he said. During yesterday’s proceedings, President Mnangagwa had the opportunity to tour exhibition stands for youths who are into various businesses. He also commissioned a business unit at Mushagashe Vocational Training Centre. To underline his determination to empower young people, President Mnangagwa donated 10 tractors to vocational training centres across the country. He also urged youths to be confident in their unique national identity. “No matter which province you come from or where in the world you may find yourself, always remember that you are one people. “Zimbabwe is your home, together. Say no to tribalism, say no to self-hate and denigrating your own country,” President Mnangagwa said. The President test drives one of the tractors he donated for the youths during the National Youth Day commemorations He also challenged youths to refrain from drug and substance abuse, among other social ills which continue to ruin the moral and social fabric of the country. “All of us must work harder to fight this scourge. Families, institutions and in particular, you the youth, must rally behind all efforts to end drug and substance abuse. Say no to drugs,” President Mnangagwa said. He urged youths to reject any agendas that advance regionalism, tribalism, division and hatred. President Mnangagwa also encouraged young people to refuse to be deceived into accepting alien and foreign cultural practices and identities. The road to a modernised, industrialised and prosperous society, said the President, must be anchored by the country’s rich cultural heritage and the philosophy of Ubuntu/Hunhu. “The marriage institution is sacred and so are our communal family ethos, values, traditions and respect for our traditional institutions,” he said President Mnangagwa said Government will scale up support for all vocational training centres so that they are well equipped and capacitated to be drivers of community empowerment, rural industrialisation and economic development that leaves no one and no place behind.