Thou­sands cel­e­brate He­roes Day

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Chron­i­cle Re­porters

THOU­SANDS of Zim­bab­weans from all walks of life thronged var­i­ous venues across the coun­try to com­mem­o­rate He­roes Day.

The an­nual event is used to pay trib­ute to the fallen he­roes and hero­ines who sac­ri­ficed their lives to lib­er­ate the coun­try from colo­nial rule.

In Bulawayo, scores of peo­ple con­verged at the Provin­cial He­roes Acre in Nku­lumane sub­urb.

Although peo­ple started trick­ling to the venue as early as 8AM, the pro­ceed­ings of­fi­cially be­gan shortly after 11AM with a com­bined brass band com­pris­ing the Zim­babwe Pris­ons and Cor­rec­tional Ser­vices (ZPCS) and Zim­babwe Na­tional Army (ZNA) lead­ing the crowd in singing the na­tional an­them.

The Min­is­ter of State for Provin­cial Af­fairs in Bulawayo, Cde Nomthandazo Eu­nice Moyo read the Pres­i­dent’s speech at 12.21PM.

Cde Moyo laid a wreath on the Tomb of the Un­known Sol­dier be­fore she was joined by the Com­man­der of ZNA 1 In­fantry Bri­gade, Bri­gadier-Gen­eral Au­gus­tine Chip­were, the Of­fi­cer Com­mand­ing po­lice in Bulawayo prov­ince, Se­nior As­sis­tant Com­mis­sioner Stephen Mu­tamba and his coun­ter­part from the ZPCS, Snr Asst Comm Mai­los Njo­mani.

Fam­ily mem­bers of the he­roes and hero­ines also had an op­por­tu­nity to lay flow­ers on the graves of their de­parted beloved ones.

Some of the rel­a­tives of the fallen he­roes and hero­ines who spoke to Chron­i­cle com­mended the Gov­ern­ment for hon­our­ing fallen lib­er­a­tors.

“We re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate the ges­ture by our Gov­ern­ment to hon­our our rel­a­tives who died for this coun­try. We know our de­trac­tors are not happy with the free­dom that we are en­joy­ing to­day which is why they de­cided to im­pose sanc­tions on us, but that will not deter us as we will con­tinue to de­fend our coun­try,” said Mr Charles Ka­mu­soro whose mother was the first hero­ine to buried at the provin­cial shrine in 1995.

Ms Mo­line Sibanda, whose hus­band was buried at the Nku­lumane shrine, also com­mended the Gov­ern­ment. She called on au­thor­i­ties to re­fur­bish the shrine, which is in a poor state. The event was punc­tu­ated with scin­til­lat­ing per­for­mances from the ZPCS band.

A choral mu­sic group com­pris­ing war vet­er­ans en­ter­tained the gath­er­ing with su­perbly chore­ographed dances cap­tur­ing the mood of the oc­ca­sion in praise of the coun­try’s fallen he­roes and hero­ines.

Among those who at­tended the event were the Mem­bers of Par­lia­ment for all con­stituen­cies in Bulawayo.

Se­nior gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials, war vet­er­ans and res­i­dents also at­tended the oc­ca­sion.

The Min­is­ter of State for Provin­cial Af­fairs Mata­bele­land North, Cde Cain Math­ema, presided over the pro­ceed­ings at the provin­cial shrine in Lu­pane.

He read the Pres­i­dent’s speech at about 12 noon be­fore vis­it­ing the graves of he­roes and hero­ines laid at the Mata­bele­land North Provin­cial He­roes Acre.

Se­nior Zanu-PF of­fi­cials who in­clude the Min­is­ter for Macro-Eco­nomic Plan­ning and In­vest­ment Pro­mo­tion Cde Obert Mpofu, his wife Sikhany­isiwe, Deputy Min­is­ter of In­for­ma­tion, Me­dia and Broad­cast­ing Ser­vices Cde Thokozile Mathuthu, MP for Tsholot­sho South Cde Zenzo Sibanda and Zanu-PF chair­per­son Cde Richard Moyo and se­nior Gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials and ser­vice chiefs at­tended the event. Youths pro­vided en­ter­tain­ment. All roads led to the Mata­bele­land South provin­cial shrine to com­mem­o­rate He­roes Day in Gwanda.

By 8AM peo­ple had started gath­er­ing at the shrine where lo­cal po­ets and mu­si­cians en­ter­tained them.

At about 11AM the guest of hon­our, the Min­is­ter of Ru­ral De­vel­op­ment, Pro­mo­tion and Preser­va­tion of Na­tional Culture and Her­itage, Cde Abed­nico Ncube ar­rived and was re­ceived by ser­vice chiefs be­fore he in­spected a quar­ter guard mounted by 1.1 Com­bat Group from Bulawayo.

The event started with the singing of the na­tional an­them, be­fore Cde Ncube read the Pres­i­dent’s speech.

After that there was lay­ing of wreaths at the Tomb of the Un­known Sol­dier by the guest of hon­our, ser­vice chiefs, Zanu-PF of­fi­cials and war vet­er­ans.

Cde Ncube led the en­tourage of VIPs to tour the graves of the de­parted he­roes.

It was a day to remember as the crowd was thrilled by en­ter­tain­ing groups with a new group, MaTricks, be­ing the favourite.

Zanu-PF Gwanda District Youth League said they were chal­lenged by the Pres­i­den­tial speech and promised to con­tinue with sol­i­dar­ity marches in terms of eco­nomic ac­tiv­i­ties in line with Gov­ern­ment poli­cies.

“As youth we also recog­nise our he­roes both fallen and liv­ing with hard work which they did dur­ing the gru­elling lib­er­a­tion strug­gle. We are 100 per­cent be­hind our Zanu-PF First Sec­re­tary, Com­man­der-in-Chief of the De­fence Forces, Head of State and Gov­ern­ment His Ex­cel­lency Pres­i­dent Robert Gabriel Mu­gabe,” said the District Youth Sec­re­tary for In­for­ma­tion, Cde Cle­ment Zikhali. Cde Em­manuel Ncube, the youths’ district sec­re­tary for the com­mis­sariat also hailed the Pres­i­dent.

In Plumtree, also in Mata­bele­land South, the He­roes Day com­mem­o­ra­tions were held at the Bulil­ima-Mangwe District He­roes Acre lo­cated in Bulil­ima District. Home Af­fairs Deputy Min­is­ter, Cde Obe­d­ingwa Mguni who is also MP for Mangwe read the Pres­i­dent’s Speech.

Cde Mguni urged var­i­ous stake­hold­ers from the border town and the two ru­ral dis­tricts to con­trib­ute to­wards spruc­ing up the dis­tricts’ shrine. He gave a brief back­ground of the lib­er­a­tion strug­gle. A to­tal of 19 fallen he­roes from Plumtree, Bulil­ima and Mangwe have been laid to rest at the district shrine.

Also present at the com­mem­o­ra­tions were Bulil­ima East MP, Cde Mathias Siqhoza Ndlovu, and Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary in the Min­istry of Small and Medium En­ter­prises, Mrs Eve­lyn Ndlovu, among oth­ers.

He­roes Day com­mem­o­ra­tions in the Mid­lands prov­ince started in earnest at the He­roes Acre in Gweru around 9AM.

The com­mem­o­ra­tions were held at the new-look he­roes acre, which was re­fur­bished to give re­spect to the 188 gal­lant sons and daugh­ters in­terred at the shrine.

Scores of peo­ple, in­clud­ing for­mer provin­cial gov­er­nor Cde Cephas Msipa, of­fi­cer com­mand­ing po­lice in the prov­ince Se­nior As­sis­tant Com­mis­sioner Abi­gail Moyo and se­nior gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials at­tended the im­por­tant event. Provin­cial Ad­min­is­tra­tor Mrs Ce­cilia Chi­tiyo read Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe’s speech.

There was a fly past by three jets from the Air­force of Zim­babwe as Mrs Chi­tiyo read the Pres­i­dent’s speech.

In Masvingo a ca­pac­ity crowd thronged the provin­cial he­roes shrine in Mucheke where 50 he­roes and hero­ines were buried to cel­e­brate the im­por­tant day amid calls for the war vet­er­ans to unite.

Cel­e­bra­tions were held through­out the seven ad­min­is­tra­tive dis­tricts com­pris­ing Chivi, Mwenezi, Chiredzi, Zaka, Bikita and Gutu while the main provin­cial event was in Masvingo.

The pro­ceed­ings were ably sup­ported with colour­ful dis­plays by Mu­timurefu Pris­ons in­mates.

They be­gan in the morn­ing but reached a crescendo with the ar­rival of the ser­vice chiefs, Masvingo Min­is­ter of State for provin­cial af­fairs Shu­vai Ma­hofa and Min­is­ter of State for Li­ais­ing on Psy­chomo­tor Ac­tiv­i­ties in Ed­u­ca­tion Josiah Hungwe.

Min­is­ter Hungwe in­spected a quar­ter guard mounted by 4 In­fantry Bri­gade on be­half of Min­is­ter Ma­hofa.

Min­is­ter Ma­hofa de­liv­ered the Pres­i­den­tial speech be­fore a 21 gun salute by the army to show re­spect for the fallen he­roes.

Min­is­ter Hungwe to­gether with 4 in­fantry Bri­gade com­man­der Bri­gadier Gen­eral Exse­bios Tshuma, the of­fi­cer com­mand­ing in Masvingo Se­nior as­sis­tant Com­mis­sioner Martha Mo­folo, Zim­babwe Pris­ons and Cor­rec­tional Ser­vices (ZPCS) Masvingo of­fi­cer com­mand­ing As­sis­tant Com­mis­sioner So­cial Ndanga and Masvingo Act­ing Mayor Coun­cil­lor Ta­si­cio Man­dava laid wreaths on the Tomb of the Un­known Sol­dier.

War vet­er­ans’ provin­cial chair­man Cde Ten­deukai Chi­nooneka led rel­a­tives of the 50 de­parted he­roes and hero­ines in lay­ing wreaths on the tomb­stones of their loved ones.

Cde Chi­nooneka hailed peo­ple of Masvingo for re­spect­ing the fallen he­roes and called for war vet­er­ans to unite.

“We hail peo­ple of Masvingo for coming in their thou­sands to join hands with the rest of the coun­try to cel­e­brate this day. We call upon war vet­er­ans to unite so that we don’t fail the fallen he­roes and hero­ines,” said Cde Chi­nooneka.

For­mer Zim­babwe Sug­ar­cane Milling Work­ers Union (ZSMWU) sec­re­tary gen­eral who is also a war vet­eran Cde Ad­more Hwarare said He­roes Day is a special day for ev­ery Zim­bab­wean re­gard­less of po­lit­i­cal af­fil­i­a­tion and urged free­dom fighters to pull in the same di­rec­tion to build the coun­try.

Cde Nomthandazo Eu­nice Moyo reads the Pres­i­den­tial speech at the Provin­cial He­roes Acre in Nku­lumane, Bulawayo, yes­ter­day

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