2019 Independence Day Celebration Remarks by Ambassador Brian A. Nichols

  •  The Honorable Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Retired Lieutenant General, Dr. Sibusiso B. Moyo;
  • Your Excellencies Fellow Ambassadors and Members of the Diplomatic Corps;
  • Honorable Members of Parliament;
  • Representatives of political parties;
  • Your Worships, the Mayors of Harare, Herbert Gomba, and Mutare, Blessing Tandi;
  • Zimbabwean recording artist Buhle;
  • Illustrious Representatives of the Media;
  • Colleagues, ladies and gentlemen.

Masikati.  Tinokuchingamidzai pa Embassy yedu itsva.

Allow me to recognize and profoundly thank the sponsors of our Independence Day celebration:

AVIS Rent a Car
BW Kahari Law
Corteva Agriscience
Cummins Zimbabwe
Deloitte & Touche
Delta Corporation
Ernst & Young (Zimbabwe)
FedEx Zimbabwe
Grant Thornton Zimbabwe
Jetvest Investments (Skechers)
PriceWaterhouseCoopers Zimbabwe, and;
Varun Beverages (Pepsico)


Tiri kupembera innovation gore rino.  The theme of today’s celebration is innovation.  You will see examples of first-in-Zimbabwe innovation throughout our campus.

Twenty nineteen marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo Program that landed a dozen American men on the Moon between July 1969 and December 1972.  In 2024, the United States will send the first woman to the Moon aboard our new Orion Spacecraft—which underwent a successful test yesterday.

President Kennedy said “We choose to go to the Moon and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win…”

Zimbabwe now faces a choice, whether to accept the challenge of implementing the political and economic reforms that will fulfill the promise of its democracy or to postpone the path to progress and prosperity.

Two hundred and forty-three years ago, America’s founders affirmed that all of us are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable Rights, among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

We stand with the people of Zimbabwe as they pursue their unalienable rights at this decisive moment.  In the last year, we have given over $300 million dollars of assistance to better health, food security, democratic governance, and education for the people of Zimbabwe, including $3.2 million in aid to the victims of Cyclone Idai—which includes an additional $600,000 provided this week.

Today, we also welcome our new Deputy Chief of Mission Thomas Hastings and his family.  I wish to thank the amazing Embassy team that made this event possible for their stellar work.  More broadly, I thank them for their unwavering commitment and wonderful work to the betterment of both our nations.  Maita basa.

Allow me to propose a toast to the peace, prosperity and welfare of the people of Zimbabwe and to the good health of its President.  Tinenyota!  Cheers!

We should also raise a glass to the U.S. Women’s National Team for qualifying for the FIFA World Cup Final last night with a hard fought victory over England.  Makorokoto!