HomeLocal NewsZanu PF hogs national shrine

Zanu PF hogs national shrine


Zanu PF has insisted it will not cede the responsibility of declaring national heroes to any political party as it is the only one with a record of people who participated in the country’s liberation struggle, the party’s spokesperson, Rugare Gumbo, has said.

“We will not allow people who did not participate in the liberation struggle to be declared heroes.

“We cannot allow someone coming from college today to determine who lies at Heroes’ Acre.

“It is not a question of Zanu PF trying
to hold on to some power. Lingasitshaphazi (Don’t denigrate us in that way),” he said.

Zanu PF has been accused by its political foes in the past of usurping what they believe should be a state function to a narrow political responsibility which it uses to reward its loyal cadres and punish its perceived enemies.

The party has accused new political parties of being “foot soldiers of imperialism” who want to “mortgage the nation back to its erstwhile former colonisers”, and therefore unfit to be entrusted with such important national responsibilities.

Each time a prominent politician dies the issue of declaration of heroes and heroines springs up, and in the case of those who hail from the Matabeleland and Midlands provinces, a trend is developing where they leave instructions behind that they do not want to be buried at the National Heroes’ Acre in Harare.

This was the case with former PF Zapu secretary-general and former Zanu PF politburo member, following the 1987 Unity Accord between PF-Zapu and Zanu PF, Welshman Mabhena.

Mabhena left a will saying he did not want to be buried at the National Heroes’ Acre “alongside crooks”.

The late liberation war icon and former Cabinet minister Thenjiwe Lesabe, who died last Friday, reportedly left instructions that she did not want to be buried at the national shrine

Lesabe, who will be buried at her Fort Rixon farm, Insiza, Matabeleland South province on Saturday, was denied heroine status by Zanu PF’s politburo on Monday despite her immense contribution to the liberation struggle.

Instead, the party offered her a state-assisted funeral.
Before Zanu PF announced its decision, Lesabe’s family had already indicated she would be buried at her family farm.

At the time of her death, Lesabe had defected to Zapu where she chaired the party’s council of elders.

The late MDC vice-president Gibson Sibanda, another prominent politician from Matabeleland, was denied national hero status following his death last year.

Earlier, Ndebele paramount traditional leader, Chief Khayisa Ndiweni had been denied the status and given a state-assisted funeral. President Robert Mugabe has declared the national shrine a private Zanu PF domain.

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