As Zimbabwe marks its 37th anniversary away from colonial rule, President Robert Mugabe has stated the need for Zimbabweans to “constantly defend our independence so that it can have meaning.”

Mr Mugabe, 93  while speaking at Independence Day celebrations in the capital, Harare, before inspecting a guard of honour Mr Mugabe said:

We always remind ourselves, our people, those that fought the battle, those who were in what were known as ‘the keeps’, detention centres, villages and prisons, they all endured untold suffering at the hands of the colonial regime…

Fellow Zimbabweans, now we enjoy the fruits of our independence and we can call ourselves masters of our own destiny.

We however, need to be mindful that our assignment is not yet over. We have to constantly defend our independence so that it can have meaning.

As government, we continue to pursue socio-economic programs that consolidate our independence.”

Opposition leaders and supporters have expressed disdain towards the celebration. leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) party, Morgan Tsvangirai said in a statement:

“We commemorate and not celebrate because the stinking poverty around us and the extreme suffering of the people is not worth celebrating. Our current sad national predicament is not commensurate with the sacrifice we made as a nation in the brutal struggle for our independence,”

Zimbabwe is due to hold its next presidential and parliamentary election in July 2018, but With elections little more than a year away, Zimbabweans in London are planning to hold a “What Independence?” demonstration.  Zimbabwe has battled with economic imbalance, political instability, and protests against the Mugabe regime, in Zimbabwe which gained independence from the United Kingdom on 18 April 1980.

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