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Heroes or herods Day ...political oxymoron of the day

08 Aug 2016 at 14:19hrs | Views
The people of Zimbabwe celebrate Heroes day.  A day set aside to remember the lives of disciplined, dedicated and brave sons and daughters who immensely contributed to the well being of our country in different capacities.

It is also a day for us to redefine heroism as a people. Heroes are exceptional individuals of valour who exceptionally rendered their services to the nation in different capacities. The people are now confronted with a political oxymoron when it comes to heroism, its now more of Herods day because of the toxic nature of the politics of the day.

People do not become heroes by being buried at the national shrine. People do not become heroes by being members of  ZANU-PF. People do not become heroes by venturing in politics. Hero status should not be seen as having a history of cordial relations with Mugabe and ZANU-PF. Such perceptions are deformed political constructs which the generation of the day has to deconstruct.

It's  a prerogative of the masses  to identify their own Heroes and not an exclusive responsibility of the Executive. The irony is that the Execuitive is encumbered with backlog of responsibilities which it is even failing to execute but still stoops so low to the  extend of convening an extra ordinary politburo meeting to "deliberate" on  Hero status. Thats unalloyed toomfoolery.

I stand to be corrected but its my humble opinion that our leaders need to be inducted  such that they can be in a position to know their responsibilities and do not go ultra-vires. A nation of 13 million people with sound mental faculties cannot be told who a Hero is by one geriatric. We do not want such micro managers in field of politics.

It is heart rending to note that people are now unable to distinguish between sycophancy and heroism. Sycophants see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil. What they know best is singing sweet and flattery melodies for the Big man. Our country is diseased with toxic  politics which is the reason why even a funeral can be politicised. A legacy of toxic politics is being bequethed to us by people who have lost a moral compass.

It's strange that we got people who think  they are  very responsible to the extend that they can think for the masses. ZANU-PF does not have the right to tell us who true heroes are. People know in their own the role played by Edgar Tekere, Masotsha Ndlovu, Jason Ziyapapa Moyo, Ndabaningi Sithole in the "liberation" struggle. Times have changed, we are now in a new political  epoch with different struggles. Development and Democratic struggles which call for new Heroes.

If we are to take the "erronous conception" of heroism by ZANU-PF then even President Mugabe is not a hero.However Liberation war credentials alone do not make an individual a hero. There are quite a number of Zimbabweans who lifted the flag of the country in different capacities. Individulas in the field of arts ,sports, theatre and academia. Individulas like Cont Mhlanga, Charles Mungoshi, Chenjerai Hove, Tsitsi Dangarebga, Petina Gappah, the late Dr John Makumbe, the late Dr Sam Moyo, Kirsty Coventry and Oliver Mtukudzi. They also deserve recognition in their sterling efforts in lifting the flag of the nation high.

The youths of the day need to jettison ZANU-PF heroism benchamarks and appreciate the roles played even by  individulas who were not recognised by ZANU-PF as heroes like Lookout Masuku, Thenjiwe Lesabe, Gibson Sibanda, Ndabaningi Sithole and Jairosi Jiri. The then Zanu PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa argued that his party denied Thenjiwe Lesabe and Zanu founder Ndabaningi Sithole hero status

because they were not consistent after they joined other political parties. He said Lesabe had joined Zapu led by Dumiso Dabengwa while Sithole had formed Zanu Ndoga and therefore could not qualify as they were not consistent with the ZanuPF
benchmarks. One then wonders what it means to be consistent if we are to picture  Nathan Shamhuyarira who habitually  changed  parties and even formed his own FRILOZI during the colonial era. He was buried at the National Shrine together with Edgar Tekere who formed ZUM in protest against ZANU-PF one party state shenanigans.   
The tragedy of the day is that the National shrine is now a place of gangsters,conmen, riffraffs, rapacious cows of bashan and  fraudsters . Individuals convicted of murder attempt like Kanengoni are buried at the National shrine, a militant fraudster Chenjerai Hunzvi who was convicted of embezzlement of War Victims Compensation Fund is buried at the national shrine. Nyagumbo an accomplice in the Willogate Scandal is buried at the national shrine, Kumburai Kangai whose name spoke for itself  defrauded GMB, Enos Chikohore of the Noczim scandal and even certified murders like Elliot Manyika. Its unAfrican to speak ill of the dead but under such circumstances the truth cannot be sacrificed. Speaking truth to power is a divine commandment!  

We need a new breed of politically circumcised leaders who do not divide the nation on petty issues. Leaders with conscience. Death is death and a grave is a grave. The is nothing called a district hero nor provincial hero for heroism knows no boundary. The issues of who must be buried at  the Heroes acre are issues of low politics.As Magaisa noted , true heroissm rests in the hearts and minds of the people not in the soil.

Real Heroes do not fuel anarchy, lawlessness and political terrorism. Real heroes know when to leave the scene.They do not brutalise those who differ with them. Real heroes do not shout at international forums nor campaign at funerals.They know the right thing to do or say at the right place and right time. Real heroes accept their weaknesses and strenghth of others.They are neither dogmatic nor bigotic. Real heroes got love. Heroes don't  fuel hate speech, they neither condone  corruption if the Willowgate Scandal and Sandura Commission  is to go by. They appreciate constructive engagement and accept the will of the people.

Most importantly Heroes and Heroines are not Saints.

Happy Heroes Day Zimbabwe!

Wilton Nyasha Machimbira, a Political Analyst.For feedback and comments can be contacted on

Source - Wilton Nyasha Machimbira
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