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Sandi Moyo's hero status rebuff sparks outrage

by Staff reporter
21 May 2024 at 08:25hrs | Views
The government's decision not to grant the late former Bulawayo Provincial Affairs Minister, Eunice Sandi Moyo, national heroine status has ignited outrage in Matabeleland, with accusations that the ruling elite continues to marginalize the region.

Civic groups, residents, and political parties have criticized the criteria for awarding hero status, arguing that it has lost credibility.

Sandi Moyo, who died last Thursday at the age of 78 while receiving treatment for hypertension at Mater Dei Hospital, was accorded a State-assisted funeral by President Emmerson Mnangagwa. Reports indicate she will be buried at Lady Stanley Cemetery tomorrow.

Zapu President Sibangilizwe Nkomo claimed the refusal was a deliberate effort to erase the contributions of people from Matabeleland, particularly those who played significant roles in Zimbabwe's liberation struggle.

"Sandi Moyo was a Zapu cadre who went to Zambia to fight for this country alongside Lookout Masuku, Thenjiwe Lesabe, and others," Nkomo said. "Unfortunately, artists are now being granted hero status ahead of those who fought in the war, forgetting that these war veterans are the reason we are here today."

Nkomo also accused the Zanu-PF leadership of trying to distort the contributions made by individuals from Matabeleland to Zimbabwe's liberation struggle.

Mthwakazi Republic Party President Mqondisi Moyo stated that some undeserving individuals had been declared national heroes.

"In 2010, Zanu-PF refused to grant Thenjiwe Lesabe national heroine status, claiming she had become inconsistent and joined Zapu. I challenged Didymus Mutasa on this while I was in Zapu. Last week, Mnangagwa declared a certain Madzibaba a hero because he had 13 wives and 85 children, but this man did not participate in the liberation struggle," Moyo said.

He argued that the hero status designation remains a Zanu-PF tribal prerogative.

"Eunice Sandi Moyo is paying for her sins in death for being a G40 member," he added.

Human rights activist Ambrose Sibindi also questioned the criteria used to select the country's heroes.

Source - newsday