- Monday, February 4, 2019

The following are President Mnangagwa’s remarks on Nov. 21, 2018, at the National Sports Stadium in Harare, Zimbabwe, during the Peace and Family Festival, Zimbabwe Hyojeong Cosmic Blessing. Masvingo Provincial Affairs Minister Josiah Dunira Hungwe delivered the remarks.

On behalf of the Government and people of Zimbabwe, and indeed on my own behalf, I welcome you, Madam Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon and your delegation. I commend you on choosing my country, Zimbabwe, to preach peace, reconciliation and family unity.

You are, indeed, welcome to fulfill your mission of preaching unity, peace, love, harmony and cooperation in Zimbabwe, as they constitute the fundamental bedrock for human advancement, a better world and an improved quality of life across all sectors of human endeavor.

I am reliably informed that the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU) is an organization that complements the United Nations in promoting lasting peace throughout the world. It is in this spirit that I commend you on your goal to create God-centered families as a basis for healthy communities, stable societies and a peaceful world.

I am advised that you are currently visible and operating in 194 countries worldwide. Your organization has developed several affiliates, such as the Universal Peace Foundation (UPF) that encourage all religions to dialogue and cooperate for peace, the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP) that promotes cooperative peace building, the International Chiefs Association for Peace and Prosperity (ICAPP) that aims to address rural, socioeconomic and political problems.

Furthermore, it is sweet music to my ears that your organization has several award-winning programs such as the Heavenly Africa Project, the Sunhak Peace Prize that is equivalent to the Nobel Peace Prize, and many other awards that promote education among the youth and the observance of family values.

I am advised that, since the North and South Korean conflict in 1953, the FFWPU, under the leadership of the now-late Rev. Moon and yourself, played a pivotal role in ensuring that South Korea had a new beginning, setting the stage for its phenomenal growth.

I am exhilarated by the fact that your arrival in Zimbabwe coincides with our New Dispensation, characterized by the quest to attain a Middle Income Economy by 2030 with a per capita income of 3,500 USD, underpinned by increased investment, job-rich economic growth and freedom from poverty. I, however, remain alive to the fact that attaining such a goal calls for a discerning spirit, a corruption-free citizenry and unity of purpose, buttressed by peace, love and family unity.

Here in Zimbabwe, we are on a thrust to rebuild the country across all economic sectors, a process that requires diligence and hard honest work, tolerance of each other’s views and self-belief. It is, therefore, vital that we transform the attitudes, way of doing business and the material existence of our people.

More importantly, we need to understand the times and discern the opportunities availing themselves to us, as we seek to revive the economy. In support of this, 1 Chronicles 12, verse 32 states, and I quote: “… men of Issachar, who understood the times and knew what Israel should do — 200 chiefs, with their relatives under their command.”

This clearly testifies to the importance of the ability to discern the times and leverage them for successful economic takeoff.

To that end, your coming on Zimbabwean soil during my Presidency in this country marks a new beginning for Zimbabwe and an era of economic rejuvenation. We will, therefore, take a leaf from the successful story of your great country by relying on the inspiration you are giving us.

We were once under colonial rule by the British, and we took up arms to liberate our country. During the war to liberate ourselves, we were all united towards one purpose to gain freedom in order to determine our own destiny. We created democracy where there was no democracy, we fought for peace where there was no peace, and we labored to achieve unity where there was no unity.

However, we continue to experience problems associated with the failure to accept one another and to unite and work together. I, therefore, exhort you all to follow the good example of our predecessors such as Nelson Mandela of South Africa and Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, just to mention a few, who endured many years of suffering and yet remained focused on the need to build peace and tranquility in Africa.

We pray for a common vision towards stable and sustainable economies across the continent. At the family level, we continue to face several problems that threaten our desire for peace and harmony. These include challenges of substance abuse, sexual abuse of minors and early marriages, divorce and family disintegration, among other problems.

My Government has set up a Peace and Reconciliation Commission that, among other things, superintends over our efforts to unite and forgive each other over the conflicts and misunderstandings of the past. To that end, I will continue to blow the sirens of peace and unity, which have become my trademark ever since my inauguration from the 24th of November 2017. I have resolved to continue preaching the need for peace, love, unity and forgiveness. Furthermore, I have taken my crusade to religious institutions. Just like other political party leaders, I have also taken my crusade to rallies under the auspices of my party, ZANU-PF. To further institutionalize the above, my Government will also consider a request to declare this day, the 21st of November, as “The National Day of Peace and Family.”

As the President of the Republic, I am well aware that we cannot achieve development and progress without peace. Peace is the source of our happiness, our growth and our future. I reiterate the sentiment from the FFWPU that peace begins with me, peace begins with my family. I accept all the blessings and good wishes that come with your visit in my country.

Before I conclude, I say Congratulations to all those whose marriages are being rededicated on this glamorous occasion. I wish you happy marriages, filled with peace and love!

I thank you.

Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa was sworn into office on an interim basis in November 2017. He won election to a five-year term in July 2018.

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