EDITORIAL COMMENT : Safeguarding fruits of independence

07 Aug, 2020 - 00:08 0 Views
EDITORIAL COMMENT : Safeguarding fruits of independence

The ManicaPost

EVERY year on the second Monday of August, Zimbabweans commemorate and honour those who dedicated their lives to the country’s struggle for independence, during which thousands perished.

Some of the soldiers from the revolution are buried at the National Heroes’ Acre.

Unidentified insurgents who lost their lives during the liberation war are recognised through the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which towers at the national shrine.

While a lot of heroic sacrifices involve a loss of life, some characters survived. However, they surrendered something of equal importance to get the job done.

Some sacrificed their youth, some forego their education while others lost their limbs in the quest to liberate Zimbabwe.

These are the heroes and heroines that we still interact with to this very day.

This year, the 10th of August has been set aside for the commemoration of our fallen and living heroes. The following day, the role of Zimbabwe’s defence forces – that is the Zimbabwe National Army and the Air Force of Zimbabwe – will also be honoured.

Traditionally, the main ceremonies to mark the two days were held at the National Heroes’ Acre and the National Sports Stadium in Harare respectively.

Multitudes would converge there to honour the fallen and living heroes of our country.

In the provinces, thousands would converge at the provincial and district centres nationwide to honour the sacrifices made by the heroes and heroines who sacrificed themselves to liberate the country from colonial bondage, as well as those who continue to do so.

However, this year’s celebrations will be different as they will happen virtually due to the ongoing national lockdown.

While Zimbabweans will not be able to physically meet to honour the country’s heroes, it doesn’t take away the gloss from the celebrations as their efforts remain etched in the hearts of all patriotic Zimbabweans.

The struggle for independence – the First and Second Chimurenga – seek to end minority rule, guarantee democracy through the ‘one man one vote’ as well as guarantee equal access to land and other economic resources.

The Second Chimurenga lasted for close to 15 years and ended in 1980 as Zimbabwe officially gained independence from Britain.

During the conflict, thousands of civilians also perished.

All these are heroes and heroines in their own right.

Sadly all that remains are the monuments constructed as everlasting tributes to them – their chance to some sort of immortality.

Those are the tombs that can be seen and touched, or admired.

For a section that was not so lucky, their remains are still scattered in various mass graves and abandoned mine shafts across the country.

The best way to honour these fallen heroes is through giving them proper burials.

However, this year’s Heroes and Defence Forces Days coincide with a litany of corruption cases that are before the courts of the land and are under investigation.

Corruption has become endemic in the public, private and civil sectors and our fallen heroes must surely be turning in their graves because they did not sacrifice their lives to pave way for the looting of State resources.

Equal access to opportunities and resources is what they fought for, not the 1988 Willowgate Scandal, the 1995 GMB Grain Scandal or the Gwanda Solar Scandal.

Former Tourism and Environment Minister, Prisca Mupfumira’s case involving $95 million from the State pension fund is still pending before the courts, while her Health and Child Care counterpart, Obadiah Moyo, also has a case to answer with regards to some Covid-19 deals.

Both were shown Cabinet’s exit door. It is encouraging to note that President Mnangagwa’s administration is dealing decisively with the menace so as to safeguard the fruits of an independent Zimbabwe for the benefit of every citizen. The zero tolerance to corruption policy must continue to be implemented without fear or favour. A reduction in corruption should translate to improved ease of doing business, increased investment and economic growth as capital flight will be minimised. If the heroes and heroines from the different nationalist movement managed to put their differences aside and join hands to end minority rule, nothing should stop people from various political parties and business sectors to pursue this evil monster called corruption and deal with it once and for all.

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