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Zimbabwe celebrates Independence Day

Zimbabwe celebrates its independence, attained on 18 April in 1980, from British colonial rule. We remember and honour all those who sacrificed their lives during the struggle against colonialism. Happy Independence Day to our Zimbabwean brothers and sisters.



Today Zimbabwe celebrates independence from colonial British rule. 18 April, 1980 marked the end of white minority rule and racial segregation after a protracted war of liberation that claimed many lives.

The freedom fighters in the country pushed for independence. At the forefront of the liberation struggle were two liberation fronts, the Zimbabwe African National Union’s Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army (ZANLA), and the Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU)’s Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA). The militant groups performed various operations, which eventually led to independence.

Independence Day is a public holiday in Zimbabwe, which is celebrated every year. The day honours the country’s fallen heroes, its gallant sons and daughters who fought for the independence of their country from British colonial rule.

Thousands of  freedom fighters were killed during the liberation war. Many were executed, jailed, tortured or maimed and thousands were detained in appalling conditions in the fight against colonialism.


Today, we honour all those who sacrificed their lives during the struggle against colonialism.

File picture. A young child holds the Zimbabwe flag aloft as Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe (unseen) Photo: ANP/ EPA/STRINGER

These are some of the words said by the country’s liberation heroes, during  the struggle, at independence and after independence.

1. “Zimbabwe will never be a colony again”. President Robert Mugabe.

2. “What some of us are fighting for is to see that this oppressive system is crushed. We don’t care whether, I don’t even care whether I will be part of the top echelon  in the ruling, I’m not worried but I’m dying to see a change in the system, that’s all, that’s all. I would like to see the young people enjoying together, black, white, enjoying together. In a new Zimbabwe, that’s all…” Josiah Magama Tongogara, ZANLA commander.

3. “I write because I feel that our country is in danger of complete disintegration, to the detriment of all its citizens now living and of generations to come,” Joshua Nkomo wrote to then Prime Minister Robert Mugabe in 1983.

Zimbabwe flag Photo: AN/P EPA/STR

4.  “Ladies and gentlemen, it’s my great pleasure to present – not present, introduce to you again – the next prime minister of the free Zimbabwe, Robert Gabriel Mugabe.” Edson Zvobgo handles the press at the airport at Mugabe’s arrival after a five year absence.

5. “There is something radically wrong with our country today and we are moving fast towards destruction…Young men and women are on the streets of our cities. There is terrible unemployment. Life has become harsher than ever before”. Joshua Nkomo speech given at the funeral of former ZIPRA commander Lookout Masuku, Bulawayo on April 12 1986.


6. “Democracy is… and should remain disciplined rule requiring compliance with the law and social rules. Our independence must thus not be construed as an instrument vesting individuals or groups with the right to harass and intimidate others into acting against their will. It is not the right to negate the freedom of others to think and act, as they desire”. Robert Mugabe, speech made on the eve of Zimbabwe’s Independence on 17 April, 1980.