No gun salute, hon­our for sui­cide war vet­eran

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Nqo­bile Tshili @nqot­shili

LIB­ER­A­TION war hero Cde Joe Moyo who com­mit­ted sui­cide last week was buried yes­ter­day with­out the hon­our of a gun salute as tak­ing one’s life is con­sid­ered dis­hon­ourable in the mil­i­tary.

Cde Moyo hanged him­self from the roof trusses of his house last Fri­day in Bu­l­awayo’s Pu­mula South sub­urb.

He was buried at the Bu­l­awayo He­roes Acre in Nku­lumane.

Nor­mally when a war vet­eran dies the Zimbabwe Na­tional Army con­ducts the burial where the army’s chap­lin leads the pro­ceed­ings be­fore sol­diers fire a salvo for the de­parted mem­ber.

How­ever, Cde Moyo’s burial was unusual as sol­diers and Gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials who usu­ally grace such buri­als did not at­tend.

Zimbabwe Na­tional Lib­er­a­tion War Vet­er­ans’ As­so­ci­a­tion Pu­mula district chair­per­son Cde Kwanele Ng­wenya said the army did not par­tic­i­pate in his burial be­cause of the way he died.

“He hanged him­self. There­fore it is against the mil­i­tary ethos to give a gun salute hon­our to some­one who com­mit­ted sui­cide. In the army com­mit­ting sui­cide is an act of cow­ardice. That’s why there is no one from the uni­formed forces rep­re­sented here,” said Cde Ng­wenya.

He urged war vet­er­ans to as­so­ciate with other lib­er­a­tion fight­ers who can vouch for them when they die.

“We’re hav­ing a prob­lem with war vet­er­ans that hide that they’re free­dom fight­ers. Is it em­bar­rass­ing to be known that you’re war vet­er­ans? When such peo­ple die we’ve prob­lems when their fam­i­lies come and claim that they were war vet­er­ans. It be­comes dif­fi­cult be­cause no one knew them,” he said.

Cde Ng­wenya said war vet­er­ans should tell their own sto­ries by writ­ing clear auto-bi­ogra­phies show­ing their in­volve­ment in the strug­gle.

He said the bi­ogra­phies will en­sure that they are ac­corded the re­spect that they de­serve.

“The bi­ogra­phies will as­sist their fam­ily mem­bers who are sup­posed to ob­tain ben­e­fits from the State. But with­out a clear bi­og­ra­phy their war con­tri­bu­tions can be dis­puted,” he said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Zimbabwe

© PressReader. All rights reserved.