War vet­er­ans urge na­tion to re­main vigilant

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Opinion/analysis/ National News - Abi­gail Ma­wonde

ZIM­BAB­WEANS have been urged to re­main vigilant and safe­guard the coun­try’s hard won in­de­pen­dence.

War vet­er­ans said this in dif­fer­ent in­ter­views ahead of the Heroes’ Day com­mem­o­ra­tions to be held in the var­i­ous pro­vin­cial and district cen­tres across the coun­try.

Heroes Day is com­mem­o­rated to hon­our heroes and hero­ines who sac­ri­ficed their lives to lib­er­ate the coun­try.

In an in­ter­view, Wel­fare Ser­vices for War Vet­er­ans, War Col­lab­o­ra­tors, Ex-Po­lit­i­cal De­tainees and Restrictees Min­is­ter Tshinga Dube said the Heroes’ Day is a very im­por­tant day on our na­tional cal­en­dar and should be ac­corded the worth it de­serves. “Heroes’ Day is a very im­por­tant day on our cal­en­dar. That’s the day when we com­mem­o­rate and re­mem­ber our fallen heroes, those we left in Mozam­bique, in Zambia and those in the bushes of Zim­babwe.

“We will all gather to pay our re­spects to th­ese peo­ple and we take them very se­ri­ously. We wish our chil­dren could be taught to take it very se­ri­ously,” he said.

Cde Dube urged Zim­bab­weans to safe­guard the coun­try against de­trac­tors say­ing peo­ple should un­der­stand the depth of hav­ing one sac­ri­fic­ing his or her life to lib­er­ate oth­ers from colo­nial rule. He warned war vet­er­ans against di­vert­ing from their values. “I’ve heard that some war vet­er­ans had pledged not to at­tend the Heroes’ Day cel­e­bra­tions but I think that will be the gravest thing they could do.

“We must ac­tu­ally make sure that all of us come in large numbers to com­mem­o­rate this day.

“I know a lot of peo­ple have been say­ing a lot of things about our coun­try, but, yes, I must say we’re not an­gels in our coun­try. We’ve our own short­com­ings like any other coun­try. There is no coun­try in the world with­out its own prob­lems, if there is one, I would be very sur­prised.

“So th­ese peo­ple un­der­stand that like all other peo­ple, we want to make our coun­try bet­ter; so it’s not right for peo­ple to crit­i­cise our wa­ter, our soil, and our peo­ple and for­get that we own this and we de­cide. Rather they should fo­cus on their own prob­lems,” he said.

Speak­ing to the me­dia yes­ter­day, Zim­babwe Lib­er­a­tion War Col­lab­o­ra­tors (ZLWCo) Chair­man Pupu­rai Tog­a­repi said the Heroes’ Day was a spe­cial day to re­mem­ber fallen heroes.

He dis­missed ru­mors that as­so­ci­ated his as­so­ci­a­tion with plans to boy­cott the na­tional event. “We’re go­ing to the Heroes’ Acre. We’re go­ing to re­mem­ber our mu­jibas and chimb­wi­dos who died to lib­er­ate this coun­try.

“War vet­er­ans may have their own way of com­mu­ni­cat­ing is­sues, we’ve our own way of com­mu­ni­cat­ing and we’ve not taken a united po­si­tion to say be­cause war vet­er­ans are not do­ing this, then we’re go­ing to do that . . . we’ve not gone to a point where we would then boy­cott revo­lu­tion­ary events,” he said.

Cde Tog­a­repi added: “We re­mem­ber our com­rades not only on Heroes Day but ev­ery day and this is a spe­cial day where we go as the peo­ple of Zim­babwe and I wouldn’t want to find my­self not in at­ten­dance, that will be very wrong.

“My mem­ber­ship is still say­ing that we will have to do it in re­mem­brance of our mem­ber­ship who per­ished dur­ing and after the war who have been buried on th­ese shrines. We need to go there, re­mind our chil­dren and the peo­ple of Zim­babwe that those who lie there gave us our freedom and in­de­pen­dence.”

Re­tired Bri­gadier Gen­eral Am­brose Mutin­hiri said the Heroes Day com­mem­o­ra­tions re­minded him of the painful his­tory of the coun­try. “As a war veteran, Heroes’ Day cel­e­bra­tions take me back to think about where we came from, the jour­ney we trav­elled to in­de­pen­dence,” he said.

“It was a long and painful jour­ney, a jour­ney where you lost some of your friends and it’s dur­ing this time that we’re re­minded of all those sad mo­ments.”

Cde Mutin­hiri urged Zim­bab­weans to safe­guard their na­tional her­itage.

“As war vet­er­ans we’re pained when see peo­ple who don’t value what we fought for dur­ing the lib­er­a­tion strug­gle. I would like to tell all Zim­bab­weans that the coun­try is ours and we’ve a duty to build it.

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