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The war of liberation was not a stroll in the park

08 Aug 2023 at 19:26hrs | Views
Seized by the prophetic words of the mystic and condemned Mbuya Nehanda, "My bones will rise again", young Jorum left home without telling anyone. School, parents and siblings did not matter anymore, none but ourselves would free Zimbabwe from the shackles of colonialism.

The 'gospel' of Chimurenga preached to him by freedom fighters at an all night 'pungwe' in his village in Chiweshe the previous weekend had found a recruit in him.

Jorum left before dawn for the base in the mountains by Monera River. Shouting a slogan to announce his arrival and camaraderie, the comrades responded and emerged from behind some trees.

Sons of the soil, children of war staying in the bush to liberate the motherland. Assault rifles in hand, the group of ten and four recruits sat down to serious discussion on do's and don'ts, they were to lie low till sunset to leave for Mozambique.

Travelling by night and resting by day with food supplied by the ruralfork they reached Penhalonga. Jorum's legs swollen, clothes now mere rags, going back was no option.

Whilst crossing into Mozambique one recruit stepped on an anti-personal mine and lost a leg, they had to carry him on a makeshift stretcher all the way. Jorum had lost weight, hunger had become a constant companion, sometimes going for days on end without food.

The training was grueling and food was scarce. The Jorum name was discarded and replaced with a war moniker, he was now Comrade JJ. The new  combatant and his group were despatched to Tete war province for operations.

They had to fight the settler forces, giving them no rest and chasing the Rhodesian soldiers from every corner. Somewhere near Bhobho school in Chiweshe the cadres were sold out and a battle ensued.

Heavy  gunfire was exchanged with the famous AK spitting fire and delivering death to the white men.

A fully laden re-enforcement enemy truck from Centenary ran over a land mine and went Boom! Severed limbs and bloodied bodies lay about the twisted metals. The freedom fighters quickly melted into the bush for the AP (Assembling Point) in Banje mountains. Sounds of copters meant no food on that day since villagers would be holed in their huts trembling with fear.

Whenever the colonial forces got a baptism of fire from the people's gallant fighters they would vent their anger on the hapless villagers, sometimes burning down the whole village.

Comrade JJ and his men lost one Comrade Manu at that battle, one for the price of twenty enemy soldiers plus a bombed truck. Such was the sacrifice and cruelty of the war of liberation.

'Vatengesi' was another menace, lest we forget. As the Heroes Holiday nears and Zimbabwe goes to the polls very soon.

Remember Comrade JJ, the sacrifice and those who died for Zimbabwe. Building Zimbabwe brick by brick. Leaving noone and no place behind. Tsepete Tsepete. Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo. Hupenyu hamadzangu. Tondorindo. Chiweshe.

Source - Thomas Murisa
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