Zanu PF Secretary for Administration Didymus Mutasa’s utterances in response to requests from Bulawayo for Adam Ndlovu to be conferred with national hero status have sparked a furore that is not likely to end soon.
We hear officials from his party were tearing him apart at the burial of the soccer legend at the weekend. He was called all sorts of names and his party, Zanu PF, also got a bashing from its own senior members.
The Mutasa-Adam gaffe could very easily cause serious problems in Zanu PF, especially during this time when parties are seeking votes.
But then, people should pause and reflect on the Mutasa “boob” before blasting the party’s known motormouth.
It must be remembered that President Robert Mugabe is on record declaring publicly that only members of his Zanu PF party — those that never entertained second thoughts about the “righteousness” of that party — will lie at the national shrine.
Mugabe made the declaration upon the death of Ephraim Masawi, the late party deputy spokesperson in September 2010. The declaration put paid to any hopes that inclusivity of governance could include the determination of national heroism.
Zanu PF, no doubt, believes the National Heroes Acre is its private property which nobody else outside that party can lay claim to.
It is difficult to understand then how the party’s Matabeleland officials would fret over an issue which has clearly become one GPA matter that will never be resolved.
According to Zanu PF, there are still many elements of Zimbabwe’s heritage that are a patent of the revolutionary party and for which it would be taboo for Morgan Tsvangirai or anybody else to claim a stake in the name of inclusivity.
Politicians like Tsvangirai, who had hoped to make contributions towards decisions such as hero status ,have given up. Mugabe has made it clear his party will not allow a mixture of minds on such issues.
“We are like water and oil,” President Mugabe is on record saying so recently. Hero status is something that can be achieved and bestowed upon people without having to be Zanu PF.
But Mugabe obviously believes otherwise. On paper, our national heroes should be the men and women who have excelled on the social, economic, educational and other fronts.
That is why Nelson Chamisa — obviously still believing the theoretical understanding of how heroism is bestowed in our country — has expressed anger in the past, refusing to take part in events at the national shrine.
“It’s a gated and walled affair and we respect their (Zanu PF) bedroom, so why should we barge in?” Chamisa said.
We, however, remain hopeful that one day reason will prevail and we can witness persons like philanthropist Jairos Jiri and other selfless Zimbabweans, who have rescued the country from today’s vicissitudes, being honoured as a new breed of national heroes alongside our liberators.