In yesterday’s issue, we carried a disturbing story about how Nkulumane Heroes’ Acre has been neglected.
Understandably, Bulawayo Metropolitan governor Cain Mathema and residents said the sacred ground where some of the country’s provincial heroes are interred needs to be maintained.
Although those who lie there are provincial heroes, they should not be thought of as any lesser than those whose remains are at the National Heroes’ Acre in Harare as they were also vital cogs in the liberation war machinery.
It was a combined effort so, even in death, they all have to be considered equal.
The excuse given of lack of funding is too lame to be acceptable.
Instead of using the youths as cannon folder to achieve certain political ends by beating dissenting voices into submission, these youths must, as a call to national service, spruce up the heroes’ burial grounds.
Surely, what’s the difficulty in cutting grass sprouting in the Heroes’ Acre?
We also urge the corporate sector to heed Mathema’s appeal for funding so that the shrine can be rehabilitated.
The fact that the corporate sector exists is because, in part, independence afforded them the opportunity to be in business, something that blacks could not easily indulge in during the colonial era.
This is ripe ground for corporate social responsibility through which the sector can acknowledge the crucial role played buy our heroes from all walks of life — both the big and the small — in contribution to one colossal national cause.
The manner in which such monuments are handled can as well reflect the government’s attitude to those who lie there because, as they say, actions speak louder than words.
It would also be important to consider that these places can also be regarded as tourist attractions, but once they are neglected, no one will feel inclined to go there.
The sad thing is that some families of heroes buried there are now saying it would have been better if their loved ones had been buried at sites of their choice rather than at this eyesore, and some of the graves are yet to have tombstones.
We call on the inclusive government and other stakeholders to act on this as a matter of urgency.