Zimbabwe is this week heading into a long weekend to commemorate Heroes and Defence Forces days.
Holidays are usually times of travel when families and friends get in touch and have a good time, strengthening their relationships. It is the time when over the years we have seen carnage on our roads rising due to largely human error. The country has been facing fuel problems for a while now but there is still reasonable traffic on the roads hence our plea to those that travel to abide by the rules of the road.
We have lost many people needlessly on our roads during holidays due to drunk drivers and motorists that do not pay attention to the need to rest when they are behind the wheel.
The shortage of fuel has also brought with it new risks. It is our hope that those travelling into the country from outside our borders carrying fuel and local travellers, do so using the safe and legal containers to avoid fire incidents due to negligence in the storage and transportation of fuel. While for many it is likely to be a gloomy holiday period due to the high prices of basic goods and even transport that could prevent them from visiting their relatives or going to places of interest, we are likely to have some partying by some that we would want to caution to do so responsibly.
We extend a similar warning to school children to stay away from reckless behaviour and negative peer pressure that gets them into drugs during the holidays.
Every country that has endured subjugation in its history celebrates a generation that won it freedom. It is the same with Zimbabwe where the country celebrates the sacrifices of our heroes that got the country’s independence on 18 April 1980 and it is important that while we celebrate or wallow in despair, we remember why these days were set aside.
What the present generation takes for granted, the freedom that Zimbabweans enjoy today, came as a result of the sacrifice of the men and women, the heroes that we remember on Monday. We believe that these heroes were ordinary people at some point in history but that they were driven by extraordinary dreams, a vision for their country.
We believe we also should be consumed by a vision of a prosperous Zimbabwe, and take the baton and run the remainder of the race for economic growth. It starts with small steps such as serving our country where there is a need such as supplying products where there is a shortage, being involved in community advocacy for clean governance and shunning corruption.
As we mark Heroes and Defence Forces holidays, let us do so with the hope and conviction that together we can make Zimbabwe a better place. That is all the nationalists of the 1960s had, and that conviction brought us Zimbabwe in 1980. We wish you a safe and peaceful holiday period.