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In renaming streets, Bulawayo totally forgot my father: Zephaniah Sihwa

08 Feb 2020 at 07:31hrs | Views
I cannot help but comment on the renaming of streets in Bulawayo Town. I was so shocked to realize that my father was totally forgotten from the list of those whose names have been recognized in renaming the streets of Bulawayo. I am totally flabbergasted and dismayed about this loss of foresight. Is this lack of recognition by default? How do they recognize Cecil John Rhodes and Leander Star Jameson and leaving my father one of the first Zapu freedom fighters ever to get training in Libya?

Daddy Zephaniah Sihwa: largely known as ZK, was one of the first freedom fighters trained in Libya by Zapu back then in 1963. When he arrived home from his training, he was incarcerated by the Rhodesia government was put in prison and saved ten years together with all those stalwarts and revolutionary fathers and mothers back then: Joshua Nkomo, Robert Mugabe just to mention those he served with at Gonakudzigwa prison. Why is my father's name not mentioned anyhow, is his contribution to the struggle forgotten?

ZK was one of the Zapu cadres who convinced the Zapu presidium that an armed struggle was the only way to liberate the country hence he was sent for guerrilla training. In my humble opinion, my mother Mrs. Louisa too deserved some recognition in Bulawayo. She was in the National Executive Council of Zapu in Zambia and she worked in George Silundika's Foreign office department and was sent to Senegal as Party Representative in 1979 before independence. At the same breath she was deeply involved in Trade Union cause country-wide that led to her incarceration in Chikurubi in 1978.

Who in Bulawayo does not know the song: "Tina basebenzi sithi imali kayibuye: impondo nge hola imali kayibuye, impondo ngehola imali kayibuye, imali, imali, imali imali imali kayibuye!" Indeed, it is this song that punctuates my mother's contribution to politics and cause for the working-class in Rhodesia back then.

I saw my mother rising from a social worker to a national leadership of Zapu in Zambia and was indeed a formidable force in the NEC of Zapu. In Zambia, Comrade Josiah Chinamano would call her time and again: "What an intelligent girl, Louisa"

When she was released from prison she fled and joined the liberation struggle in Zambia. In Zambia she fought for the rights of women who were abused in the struggle in Zambia: she spoke loudly without fear and made her mark!

Does the death of my parents: ZK Sihwa and Masalu Sihwa, mean that their contribution to the liberation of this country is now forgotten? Why this selective recognition of renaming roads in Bulawayo? Comrade Jane Ngwenya, Mrs Eunice Ndlovu, Dr. Strike Mkandla, General Ambrose Mutinhiri, Mrs. Tracy Mutinhiri, Mr Michael Ndubiwa, General Valerio Sibanda, Mr. Albert Ngulube and many more are there still alive to confirm all that I have said about my dear parents who have departed from this Earth.

Those who are responsible for renaming streets, I am sure some of them will still remember my parents, it will go a long way to do your corrections by recognizing your stalwarts who sacrificed their lives and families for the good of all; some of them are indeed my parents. I am sorry I could'nt be modest. Umtwana ongakhaliyo ufela ambelekweni kanina
I rest my case: a very disappointed War Veteran

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