Today, Zimbabwe commemorates Heroes’ Day, the official remembrance of the selfless dedication of our heroes and heroines in the long and torturous history of our great nation.
The heroes, remembered today, gave their souls for the country and for future generations, so that every Zimbabwean could taste the true essence of independence, freedom and the return of collective national dignity.
Heroes’ day therefore should not be privatised by MDC-T, Zanu PF, MDC or any political party for that matter as is the case with the former ruling party.
Even the selection of heroes must not be a preserve of a particular political party, for it is demeaning to the people of this country to give an impression that their sacrifice should be a narrow and parochial possession of political organisations.
One wonders where the former ruling party Zanu PF is getting their example from.
Curiously, every day Zimbabweans are bombarded with Zanu PF propaganda on the country’s only television channel and radio stations: party apparatchiks wriggling their bodies, waving their fists and singing endless refrains in praise of Zanu PF.
Zimbabweans hear nothing of heroes from other political parties; nothing of the thousands who have died in the last 10 years in the struggle for good governance, democracy and new leadership in the country.
Nothing of the ordinary Zimbabweans failing to make ends meet due to the economic demise brought about by selfish politicians keen to own the gains of the liberation struggle.
The heroes are people in rural areas who have borne the brunt of political intimidation, harassment and violence. Knowing that if their name is not on the “good” list of the headmen they will not get food, seed, fertiliser.
People who continue to endure the most primitive of conditions in homes, which are still without piped water, plumbing or electricity 30 years after Independence.
The heroes are the professionals: doctors, nurses, teachers, and so many others who have held their heads high, worked in the most appalling circumstances for miniscule wages, determined to offer their skills which have held Zimbabwe together.
The heroes are the ordinary workers who have toiled for the smallest of wages, wearing threadbare clothes, struggling through endless power cuts, going for days, weeks and months without water and coping with years of not having garbage collected.
As the country looks back to the first Heroes’ Day commemorations in 1980, one would realise Zanu PF has bastardised this day to become a day of rhetoric and sloganeering, name-calling and cheap politicking.
But, the point will remain, that the heroes of this country are the masses who have lost everything, and given everything, to bring freedom for us all.
Heroes’ Day must be celebrated by every Zimbabwean regardless of race, colour, creed or political persuasion.