The Herald (Harare)

7 December 2013

Zimbabwe: President Bags Pan-African Award

Gweru — Africans should control their resources that some Western countries have plundered for long and must refuse to be subordinate citizens in their countries, President Mugabe said yesterday.

Speaking after being conferred with the Pan-Africanist President of the Decade Award by the All African Students Union at Midlands State University where he capped 3 854 graduates, President Mugabe said resources in Africa belonged to Africans.

AASU is a union of students from African Universities.

The Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces said Africans should continue to work towards both political and economic independence.

"We must work for sovereignty of our governments in Africa, sovereignty over our resources -- be it political sovereignty and socio-economic sovereignty -- that will enable us to develop our people to be masters of their own destiny," he said.

"That is what Pan-Africanism should mean to all of us and I am sure that is the meaning that you want to impart to these graduates that they are now on a mission to enable Africans to have the necessary skills -- skills intellectual and skills psycho motor so that we are not just able to develop our people but to develop our people with a purpose to become masters of their mineral resources, masters of their agricultural resources and masters of their wild animals, be they dangerous or not, they belong to us and should be managed by us. We should never be subordinate to other people." President Mugabe assured AASU members that he would do everything in his capacity to uphold the values and principles of Africa's founding fathers.

"These students have made this gesture to me and I ask for your forgiveness so that I can express my gratitude to them and assure them that we shall do our best to develop African Governments," he said.

President Mugabe said Africa was for the Africans. He added that Africans should put their countries first in everything that they do.

"This is what our founding fathers fought for, Kwame Nkrumah, Sekou Toure and Julius Nyerere, among others," he said. "They fought for our independence and formed the Organisation of African Unity, which is now called the African Union." AASU president Isaac Semanyi from Uganda said President Mugabe was a towering leader in Africa who fought in a distinguished manner to defend Pan-Africanism.

He said through President Mugabe's untiring efforts, Zimbabwe was ranked the country with the highest literacy rate in Africa. "Now Zimbabwe is the only country with a literacy rate which is over 90 percent," he said.

Mr Semanyi hailed President Mugabe's unequivocal and uncompromised stance on Pan-Africanism saying African youths were proud of him.

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