Despite 41 years of poor governance, political intolerance, corruption and cronyism, it is not too late to redeem ourselves, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has said.
In a statement to mark the country's 41 years of independence, ZCTU secretary general Japhet Moyo said there was need for government to change the manner in which it has been running the national economy so as to improve the country's fortunes.
Moyo bemoaned how millions have been forced to flee the country for greener pastures outside.
"As we look back to the last 41 years, it is sad to note that we missed great opportunities for Zimbabwe to be a great country," said Moyo.
"Through greediness, misgovernance and selfishness, those whom we entrusted with leading the country led the country in the opposite direction.
"Millions of Zimbabweans have left the country in despair and desperate for a better living, some have died in foreign lands as they faced xenophobia.
"From the jewel of Africa, we have become a laughingstock of the world.
"It is not too late to redeem ourselves yet... we only need to change the way we do things, particularly our politics, we must offer the politics of tolerance and deal decisively with corruption and cronyism."
Zimbabwe's economy was once considered among the best in Sub-Saharan Africa especially during the period soon after independence in 1980.
However, the situation worsened in the past two decades with world record inflation recorded as locals were made to trade in trillions of local dollars for miscellaneous transactions such as buying a loaf of bread over the counter.
A promising revival under a unity arrangement between Zanu PF and MDC ended with the defeat of the main opposition in the 2013 election and the latter's simultaneous exit from the hybrid administration.
The new dispensation under President Emmerson Mnangagwa's promises to clean Zimbabwe's tainted human rights and governance image have failed.
Added Moyo: "Independence Day should be for everyone and non-partisan.
"There has been a tendency to treat the event as a political party function resulting in many shunning the commemorations."