This year’s Heroes’ Day celebrations saw parallel events taking place in the capital, with the MDC-T, led by their leader, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, burying Public Service minister Eliphas Mukonoweshuro at Warren Hills Cemetery and Zanu PF, led by President Robert Mugabe, commemorating the day at the national shrine.
PM Tsvangirai did not set foot at the national shrine, which his party insists has been privatised by Zanu PF while President Mugabe — who swore in Mukonoweshuro as a government minister — did not attend the burial.
The discord in the government of national unity (GNU) is unmistakable and this is just one of the clearest signs yet that all is not well. This kind of political grandstanding does not do the nation any good, and the sooner the two leaders realise this, the better for us all and our nation.
The simple implication here is that we have all been hoodwinked into believing that we have a government of national unity when, in fact, this is simply a time-wasting love-hate affair that can never deliver any solutions to the multi-pronged crisis that has rocked this nation for decades.
What is also critical at this time is perhaps to revisit the concept of national hero and consider other categories apart from having fought in the 1970s liberation struggle. People from walks of life other than political can also contribute to national development in their own different and unique ways, and this needs to be considered.
Determining a person’s heroism should not be the preserve of a particular group of people. A hero cuts across all societal groupings and, by the time they die, would have contributed to the development of the nation rather than a single political party or grouping. But of late, people with questionable histories of heroism lie buried at the Heroes’ Acre. On the other hand, the MDC-T has also come up with a list of people they believe are also national heroes because they died fighting against Zanu PF tyranny.
We believe that the most decent thing our leaders should have done was for PM Tsvangirai to also attend the National Heroes’ Day celebrations after Mukonoweshuro’s burial, and for Mugabe to earlier have done likewise. This would have left no trace of doubt in anyone’s mind that indeed, we have a government of national unity. But as it is now, it is clear all we have is a bunch of pretenders trying to fool us that we are united when, in fact, they are pursuing parochial and selfish interests through national offices.
We call on these leaders to do some serious soul-searching and consider whether or not what they are doing is for the good of the nation, or just selfish ego-soothing!