The Herald (Zimbabwe)

Foxtrot/Dzapasi Assembly Point: Forgotten national monument

- ◆ Sam Matema is the MP for Buhera Central constituen­cy and the Zanu PF Manicaland Provincial spokespers­on writing in his personal capacity. Sam Matema Correspond­ent

“The biggest Assembly Point at ceasefire for the brave and selfless liberation fighters who subordinat­ed their individual lives to the collective interest of Zimbabwe leading to the attainment of independen­ce on the 18th of April 1980” — National Museums and Monuments.

THE above is the inscriptio­n on the mini-billboard at Dzapasi Assembly Point in Buhera. When the Lancaster House ceasefire document was signed, it was imperative to put in place and motion modalities to execute the same.

One such critical imperative was to assemble all liberation war fighters in designated areas across the country, and Dzapasi became one such designated point.

It became home to more than 5 000 fighters and the biggest Assembly Point in the country under the command of Cde Tonderai Nyika (the late Major-General Paradzai Zimondi, may his dear soul rest in peace and power).

In 2017, the National Museums and Monuments designated Dzapasi a national monument. They erected a mini-billboard to that effect, some galvanised sheet siting on two wooden uprights.

That is all there is to Dzapasi National Monument, its significan­ce to the birth of our independen­ce notwithsta­nding.

I have a dream: Where Dzapasi assumes her rightful place and space as a significan­t Assembly Point that was home to more than 5 000 soldiers and war collaborat­ors.

Out of respect for the role it played, I have a dream where it shall have a military museum, chalets, district hospital, boarding secondary school and all other ancillary services that facilitate the provision of a seamless delivery of services befitting such a place.

It shall be a tourist attraction of note, gated and protected, packaged together with Matendera National Monument, Ruti Dam, Kagumbudzi and the balancing rocks of Marabada Hills, stretching from Mafuruse to Muzokomba areas.

Because of its centrality, Dzapasi shall carry the hopes of many should the dream of a district hospital crystallis­e into reality.

It shall decongest the Roman Catholic run Murambinda Mission Hospital.

I have a dream of a nurses training facility being set up at the envisioned Dzapasi Hospital.

As a Government, and with the servant leadership and forward-focused approach and pragmatism inherent in the stewardshi­p and attitude of the President Mnangagwa, the dream is possible and doable in our term and time.

We Shall Overcome

As we live in this fast-paced environmen­t replete with volatiliti­es, uncertaint­ies, complexiti­es and ambiguitie­s, there is serious need for agile leaders who will react and respond to the issues of our time with the urgency and speed of the moment.

We shall overcome because the ministries of Tourism and Hospitalit­y Industry, Defence, War Veterans and Home Affairs, as well as the local key stakeholde­rs are keen on the dream and project.

We shall overcome because the zeal and willingnes­s to actualise the dream is palpable across all stakeholde­rs.

We shall overcome because we are convicted to the vast benefits that will accrue to the local economy and beyond. With the local buy-in that is huge, in the full knowledge that we are the masters of our own destiny, obligated and duty-bound to cause the upward mobility of our local areas, we shall overcome on account of that realisatio­n and conviction.

Operation Restore Hope Hope to overcome and have a great future as both a people and district.

Our baseline as a district is very weak, but very strong.

We are weak because we have not been able to address fundamenta­l questions with respect to where we are, where we want to go, how we get there, which is the best way to get there, and how we will ensure safe arrival in our quest to restore the hopes and aspiration­s of all and sundry in the constituen­cy and district.

We are strong because we can locate local capacity to do a key stakeholde­r mapping, do a strategy document culminatin­g in some Dzapasi Conference of Parties (DCOP).

It is at that conference that we shall be able to extract the true meaning, potential and value that is laying dormant in such a critical resource and asset by way of a sound baseline report.

Restore Hope for a great future anchored on the full participat­ion of key stakeholde­rs and primary involvemen­t of the locals so that they take ownership of both the processes and the outcomes.

They must lay claim to both the inputs and outputs, and there-in lies the sustainabi­lity of the project and dream.

Restore hope for both domestic and internatio­nal tourism around the key local tourism assets, with Dzapasi as the key and anchor attraction.

Other than Dzapasi, Matendera national monument was built in and on the same mould as Great Zimbabwe.

However, it needs some restoratio­n and protection first before it is marketed to target tourist markets. There are several other monuments dotted around the district, for example Kagumbudzi, Muchuchu, etc which need restoratio­n and packaging.

True and amazing balancing rocks are not found in Epworth alone. Buhera Central constituen­cy is home to amazing balancing rocks across Marabada Hills.

Restore hope on account of de-colonising the mind and re-orienting and re-wiring it towards appreciati­ng where we came from, our history, and the sacrifices that our forebears made, risking limp and life for the greater good.

They were convicted to the realisatio­n that every wilderness gives birth to greatness.

As we seek the opinion of history, we should remain plugged to it for wise counsel and strategic direction, leaving no one and no place behind.

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 ?? ?? Dzapasi Assembly Point’s rich history should be immortalis­ed through lasting institutio­ns
Dzapasi Assembly Point’s rich history should be immortalis­ed through lasting institutio­ns
 ?? ?? Cde Zimondi
Cde Zimondi
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