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Who is a hero: who is a heroine in Zimbabwe?

by Moses Mzila-Ndlovu - ANSA Party President
14 Aug 2017 at 07:52hrs | Views
Moses Mzila-Ndlovu - ANSA Party President
We people of Mathebeleland celebrate hero's day with sadness all the time because those who are celebrated and decorated heroes and heroine are a prerogative of Zanu PF, are mostly people who were Zanu army officials and politicians. The president of the party and government decide who is the hero/heroine in Zimbabwe. The definition of heroism according to Zanu PF, is based on the participation in the struggle for independence. Did Zipra freedom fighters not participate in the freedom war? The systematic exclusion of their heroes' status is very painful to those who were with them in the struggle and exile.

There are thousand heroes/heroines: it is those citizens some of whom made outstanding heroic contributions for the nation before and after independence without any liberations credential. What name should we give them if to be named a hero in Zimbabwe you must have participated in the Zanu-PF Chimurenga liberation struggle, most fallen Zipra heroes and heroines are systematically excluded from this great day! History has been rewritten and remade to give praise to one sided struggle. Zanu PF has remade history to mean that it is only them who defeated racist Ian Douglas Smith regime. The independence for Zimbabwe was negotiated in a round table in Lancaster House. Both armed struggles: Zapu/Zanu put pressure on the racist regime to sit down and negotiate a settlement. Zanu PF did not win the war in the battlefields as they want us to believe!

The 1980 elections were the most violent elections in the history of Zimbabwe. Zanu PF used a tribal card to win the elections: and they won. But winning the elections fraudulently did not mean that they won the war for independence in the battlefields. This fact must be spoken in the strongest terms. Fraudulent winning of elections in 1980 did not mean that Zanu PF be given the right to rewrite and distort history about the Zipra contribution to the liberation of this country.

This question who is a hero/heroine in Zimbabwe is the most debatable issue. We need not go into the debate on how Zapu split to make two formations because we know this history of Zapu and Zanla very well. These two parties were parties formed on the premise that the people of Mathebeleland cannot be leaders in a new Zimbabwe. Hence most political parties will field Ndebele deputies in political party positions. Should that surprise us if those who fought for liberation for independence including Zapu are left out altogether: very few handpicked Zapu liberation heroes were declared heroes. We call this a travesty of justice. It is not only a rewriting of history but nauseating, emotional degrading, delimiting the other! We want and we demand justice for all, beginning with acknowledging the contributions other political and military parties did to gain independence of this great country.

We remember those freedom fighters that lost their lives in Zambia and Tanzania and Mozambique. We remember those civilians who lost their lives in the cross-fire encounters of Smith's army and the freedom fighters, those men and women who fed the freedom fighters, those civilians who were falsely labelled enemy collaborators and were dealt with in most excruciating circumstance. We remember all front line states: Zambia, Angola, Tanzania, Mozambique and Botswana that sacrificed so dearly for the betterment of a free Zimbabwe. We remember the contributions Soviet Union, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and other East European countries.

 Indeed heroism is convoluted and much debated and must be given a non-partisan approach. It should never be the prerogative of one man. President Mugabe monopolizes the declaration of heroism this must be condemned. The people of Zimbabwe themselves should know who has outstanding talent that deems one a hero. May all our heroes and heroines of this great country rest in peace; we remember them and their outstanding contributions. We shall always value their contributions for generations to come!


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Source - Moses Mzila-Ndlovu

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