Harare mayor Muchadeyi Masunda, who appeared to have been the only non-Zanu PF member at the burial of the late Ephraim Masawi at the National heroes’ acre last Thursday said people should have the right to speak their minds arguing that Zanu PF should not have monopoly over national shrines.
Masunda said the continued political bickering and fighting in the coalition government would affect the country’s recovery particularly cleansing Harare and the country’s battered image.
Referring to the non attendance of Masawi’s funeral by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his deputies Arthur Mutambara and Thokozani Khuphe and the declaration by President Robert Mugabe that the shrine was meant only for Zanu PF cadres, Masunda said it was high time the principals understand the importance of uniting the nation and concentrate on issues that are important to the people.
“The two (Tsvangirai and Mugabe) should channel their respective energies and that of their parties towards all things that unite us than those that divide us,” he said.
“We have had a polarised environment for far too long and there is need for people to be at peace with themselves. If you are not at peace with yourself, you can’t be at peace with anyone,” Masunda said.
Masunda said that the continued “fights” in the coalition government affected service delivery as it compromised the local authority in serving people from the political divide.
On the selection of national heroes, Masunda said Zanu PF should not monopolise the national shrine but should put heads together and come up with a criteria as to who is eligible to be a national hero or provincial hero.
“It should not be too difficult. The bottom line is that the National Heroes Acre is a national shrine and who should be there should not be debatable. The deeds should speak eloquently for one to be accorded hero status,” he said.
He said Zanu PF’s monopoly reduced people into party heroes and not national heroes and said that the people should speak out on their true heroes.
“In a mature jurisdiction there is a referendum — Who do you think should be accorded hero status? The people will speak what they think.”