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Its a mistake by Dabengwa to shun National Heroes Acre

31 May 2019 at 18:48hrs | Views
AS a people and an ethnic minority, Ndebele lives have been lives of pain, anguish and real and perceived marginalisation by the Zanu-PF government and a Shona majority. It doesn't help to hear that ours is the fate of minorities the world over.

We have always fought for true justice, equal rights and a fair and equitable governance field based on equal citizenship and merit. We have struggled to convince Zanu-PF that Zimbabwe is bigger than their party and that all the minorities have the same rights and must be accorded equal access to state resources as any card-carrying, loyal, Zanu-PF Shona citizen.

Equally, we have struggled to convince Zanu-PF of the short-sighted folly of investing in political party patronage and deliberately dividing Zimbabweans along race, ethnic and party lines.

Nothing seems more difficult than to convince them, even their most seemingly educated, of the value of a national unity built on the natural, social and political diversity of our people.

Nothing seems more difficult as to make them understand that state institutions are and must be neutral institutions available to all citizens and not prostituted to the sole service of a singular political formation. So is the land and all public service.

They always brag of some shadowy political school that purportedly trains their cadres "gwara" (ethos), and what the true values of the struggle are and what effective humanity and good governance is. I wish to get hold of the curriculum of that school or to attend just one class so that I can understand what influences their thinking.

None of them ever attempted to sell me their real philosophy and the basis of their policies. The MDC, at least tried to woo me, and I long rejected them on the equal bankruptcy of their value propositions and unabashed complicity to corruption.

There is no doubt in the minds of any sane, even insane Zimbabwean on the hero status of Dumiso Dabengwa or where his remains should be interred. No doubt at all.

That Zanu-PF should stop zanunising the National Heroes Acre and retain it for their narrow, inner political circle is a national necessity.

We woke up on November 17, 2017, to a newish kind of Mugabe who doesn't have difficulty acknowledging adversaries. Naturally, the narratives of innuendo and conspiracy will be awash as to why Mnangagwa didn't hesitate to declare "his foe" Dabengwa a national hero. We had no shortage of those when he personally declared our own dad, Velaphi Misheck Ncube, four weeks ago.

Should he or should he not be buried at Heroes Acre? I find the alternative school of thought that pushes for ZAPU national heroes to reject and shun their rightful station at the national shrine and instead opt for some provincial or rural home graveyards to be as short-sighted, unproductive and too emotional as the "chinhu-chedu" myopia that seeks to ring-fence the national treasure to their own cousins.

Dabengwa and any of his decorated military comrades from ZAPU are not national heroes at the mercy or benevolence of Emerson Mnagagwa or Zanu-PF. Everyday Zimbabweans know and consider Morgan Tsvangirai their national hero, way ahead of Constantino Chiwenga.

That Lookout Masuku and Swazini Ndlovu and all our great heroes from ZIPRA lie elsewhere away from the highest shrine of national honour is a monumental historical accident and pointer to the political myopia of the person of Robert Mugabe. It is his poor judgment and one of the multiple reckless own-goals of his political career and a blemish on Zanu-PF, rather than on the shrine.

To all intents possible, this, like all institutions unscrupulously usurped from society by Zanu-PF greed, the National Heroes Acre must be taken back to its rightful owners – Zimbabwean citizens.

Heroes do not and must not reflect our emotive and transient national political moment. Heroes are for posterity. The great great descendants of Dumiso Dabengwa, who, in 50 years' time will know little or nothing of the personal feud between one Robert Mugabe and his/her heroic, iconic, freedom-fighting great grandpa must not be punished to digging up explanations for why the warrior lies not at the only national shrine.

Dabengwa must be where he will be most useful to future generations, there where the historical glare of future cameras shall focus.

Lady Stanley Cemetery, where many lie, is potentially a future suburb landscaped over dry bones. Even as I write, the great Chief Nhlanhlayamangwe Ndiweni is battling back and forth to retain control of iNtabayezinduna. And Dabengwa's grave there could soon be inside a front-end loader.

The current crop of would-be politicians and social commentators must indeed have their usual say, but their narrow lenses and small egos must not be allowed to blunt the broader picture and limit our strategic thinking.

Let Dabengwa lie where his works and his footprint in life determined he should lie, with all the attendant honour and dignity his works deserve.

The conflicts behind us as well as the political exigencies of the here and now should not blind us to the demands of our enduring future.

My say.

Source - ZimLive
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