HomeOpinion & AnalysisComment & AnalysisWananchi: Chirenda, Sharon - Revenge of history

Wananchi: Chirenda, Sharon – Revenge of history


TWO notable military men died this January, one a gallant son of the soil known as Colonel Harold Chirenda and the other a swash buckling gunslinger known as Ariel Sharon, the former Israeli Prime Minister.

By Tendai Biti

There are few lying at the national shrine who genuinely deserve the label of “hero”, never mind “national hero” .

The little acre near Warren Park in Harare has been reduced to a privatised burial ground for Zanu PF opportunists and other villainous characters who, by hook and crook, have worked themselves up on the ladder of patronage and bootlicking.

The motley of criminals buried there do great disservice to the genuine heroes whose remains are interred thereto.

Burying Chenjerai “Hitler” Hunzvi, Border Gezi and others at the same space that Joshua Nkomo and Solomon Mujuru lie is an insult to the gods.
Equally, how can it be called a heroes’ acre when the likes of Ndabaningi Sithole, Canaan Banana, Sarah Kachingwe, Walter Kamba, and others, are conspicuous by their absence?

Elliot Masango as Colonel Chirenda was known was a founding Zipra cadre who was among the first group of 90 comrades trained in Algeria before later being deployed to Morogoro where he cut his teeth as a trainer in the distinguished company of Nikita Mangena, the under-stated Ambrose Mutinhiri and the god father Tapson Sibanda.

This Wanachi had the privilege of being in regular touch with him during the golden era of Black Rhinos Football Club.

He was a humble, affable character, who was extremely perceptive and intelligent.

This was a time when football was still football and Black Rhinos was the Chelsea of Zifa Division One, delighting thousands of us with the majestic skills of the late and great Stanley “Sinyo” Ndunduma, Jerry “Dzungu” Chidawa, Maronga “The Bomber” Nyangela, Fanny Nyamkapa, Langton “Govender” Matimba, Simon “AK” Mugabe, Jimmy Mbewe, Hamid “Muzukuru” Dhanah, Mike “Maburugwa” Abrahams and his imperial highness Stanford “Stix” Mtizwa.

His tales of the war and the training camps were legendary and the one failure of these heroes is that they are dying without telling their tales.
In these days of ghost writers this is regrettable. In fact it was he who named the army team Black Rhinos from a wrist watch he had which had a rhino engraved in the same.

Like his friend and student General Mujuru (may his soul rest in peace), his love for the bottle was the stuff of legends, but like Winston Churchill before them, both men knew their limits.

He was simply too honest and too disciplined to last in an army that was increasingly becoming partisan and no wonder they retired him on the rank of a mere colonel. He truly was a gentleman and an officer. Those of us who knew him will surely miss him.

The same cannot be said of Ariel Sharon, who died on January 11, after eight years in a coma.

To put it, Sharon was a war monger, but brilliant military commander involved in historic battles such as the assault of the Sinai in the Six-Day War in 1967, the Yom Kippur War of 1973, the War of Attrition and the 1982 Lebanon War.

In the 1982 Lebanese War, Sharon hit his highest level of notoriety when he ordered the slaughter of 3 500 civilians, mostly Palestine and Lebanese Shiites in the Sabra compounds and the nearby Shatila refugee camp in Beirut on September 16, 1982.

International law defines the innocent massacre of unarmed civilians in a war as a war criminal and to many of us Sharon will always remain one.
The man was a master charmer, but behind the smile lay a cobra.

He was the master connoisseur of back-stabbing who took Machiavellian principles to another level.

You keep your friends closer and your enemies even closer.

But history is full of ironies and Sharon himself was one.

Despite the fact that he spent his life encouraging and pushing illegal settlements in Gaza and the West Bank as Prime Minister, in 2005 he bravely pulled Israel from the Gaza.

Cynics would argue that he took Israel out of Gaza, but not Gaza out of Israel.

Palestinians would angrily say he took Israel out of Gaza, but planted it in the West Bank.

Any visitor to the Palestinian capital of Ramallah would be shocked by the long man-made wall that was built in the West Bank to keep Palestinians out of Israel.

The visitor too would be shocked by the number of Jewish settlements that are being built every day in the West Bank, many of them unoccupied.

Ramallah itself, compared to Tel Aviv, is a shanty town comparable to the inner city of any African capital. The Palestine/Israel situation needs an urgent lasting solution.

One that recognises the equal rights of both the Philistines and the chosen tribes. One that recognises the rights of both Jew and Muslim to live side by side.

The two-State solution thus has no viable sustainable alternative.

Israel must pull out of the West Bank and formally recognise a Palestinian State. Equally radical fundamentalists, particularly from Gaza, must recognise that terrorism does not work and dialogue and peace are the way forward.

The citizens of Israel have a right to live peacefully without the threats of suicide bombers or rockets coming from Gaza.

They too are also entitled to a State of their own.

Equally the Palestinians are also entitled to peace and not the threat of bombs from the Tel Aviv administration. Much falls on the shoulders of the current Israel leadership. Courage is required on the part of Benjamin Netanyahu of doing the right thing and move towards the two-State solution.

John Kerry’s efforts deserve reward. It is in this regard that sadly and ironically the world will miss the departed Sharon. For he would have had the courage of doing it.

This, Wananchi, can only be called the revenge of history. Zikomo!

Tendai Biti is the secretary-general of the MDC led by Morgan Tsvangirai, who served as Finance minister in the Government of National Unity. He writes in his personal capacity

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  1. what hogwash, what is thi sfellah talking about jiberring about internal issues of other sovereign states, we surely need deliverance

  2. Ndaseka zvangu.Tendai Biti belittling the heroes status of Hunzvi and Gezi.These gentlemen did more than you ,Wanachi.When you were in that Inconclusive Government you failed to enact a law which gave powers of conferring heroes status to an independent national body rather than kusiyira chinhu chinonzi Politburo to make the choice.Actually,you wanted to use the same technicality to confer your own heroes through the so called national whatever had you romped to power.

    • Those two who where intered at The Heroes Acre tendai caused a lot of suffering, many women would testified they were raped because of the doctrine of those 2 you support, they did more harm to ZImbabwe and never were at the front line of the war. Many principled people did not last in the army. This is why the Chinhoyi battle is considered the first battle for Zimbabwe yet we had Zipra cadres who had already started it, some did not die but were captured like Black Mambazo and his friends who were to be sentenced to death and later pardoned after the Queen intervened. their history will never be told.

  3. Sickening verbal diarrhoea, from a relevance seeking puppet languishing in the wilderness of political annhilation and oblivion. RIP MDCT

  4. hanzi zvikomo zvaka wanda madii kutanga yenyu heroes acre. Those entered there did not impose themselves. It is not only wrong to point a fingure at anyone,but immoral demeaning unacceptable disrespectfull. Kushaya rukudzo.

  5. Good piece of writing but Wananchi why defend the ZANU PF quasi-fiscal thief by the name Gideon Gono ? The idiot even stole the future of our children . Kereke is my witness !

  6. Ana Biti musanyepere vanhu.Do you know the reason why Col Chirenda retired as Lieutenant Colonel when he had such a liberation war record. Do you know why he was at Bla ck Rhinos FC and not commanding a Battallion against Matsanga.
    Vatengesi like you wld neva understand how a great mind like yaGeneral Mujuru worked. Ndosaka muina Giles Mutsekwa as your advisor on defence issues. A former Rhodesian soldier.
    Did the late colonel deserve to be buried pa heroes acre YES. Did he deserve a higher rank in the ZNA NO. The late Gen wld agree.
    Makawana here churu chekuviga Tsvangirai.

  7. Boarder Gezi naHunzvi mahero ekuhura asi? svimwe svakazofa neAIDS svisina kana imba zvayo…kuchemerwa pazvimaflats zviya kuseri kweHarare poly. Kumusha kwaiva netsapi mbiri chete. Mukadzi svaiva nemurungu …. asi kuhura mhaiwe Chenjerai! Asi wati tourcher nekuhura? Asi Aids inogadzirisa! Tamirira Matibili tichivige kuMalawi paside nabhudhi vacho Kamuzu Banda.

  8. Tendai Biti..manje uhlutshwa yini ngokungcwatshwa kwalababantu e-Hero’s Acre? what is your problem you smelly sell-out…you little Chiluba…you won’t select who the Hero is,just shut-up you failour…you were given an opportunity to run a ministry of finance,you failed even a single day to raise the pays of civil servant…you utter rubbish everytime you write on the social network………stop your nonsense speeches…

    • You don’t know what you are saying. You think the only job of a finance minister is to raise your pay? What you don’t realise is that he ensured you always had a payout at the end of every month, for the duration of the GNU. he even ensured yougot your bonuses, as meagre as they were. Now realise what your Zanu PF only govt can do? Retrenching people, ZBC workers going without pay for months yet a CEO is getting enough to give them all their pay and some bit.
      You see, some of you measure success as simply a full stomach, you don’t care where that money comes from. If i told you now I could give you a stipend for life of say the Poverty Datum Line plus 75% or I can give you a hundred thousand cash as a lump sum, you would take a lumpsum, wouldn’t you? Your myopia is astounding.
      As an example, you war vets were clamouring outside Biti’s office for months saying there is money but Biti won’t release it. Now that he is no longer Finance Minister, did you get your war vet freebies increased by Matibiri and co?
      If you don’t have a clue what running a country entails akuyehlakula katshana labantu abayaziyo.

  9. Why are Zimbabweans so obsessed with this Heroes Acre nonsense? Disgusting! Why should people listen to what Tendai Biti, who was in his early teens when black rule was attained, has to say about what he calls “sons of the soil”? At 13 years a person is not mature enough to know what is going on on the political front, can they? What is a “son of the soil”? And who is not a “son of the soil”? I suppose Biti thinks if he uses the “son of the soil” nonsense then people will see him as a true “pan-africanist” whose criticism of ZanuPF is coming from a “pan-africanist”!
    In the 1960s people were forced to wear animal fur hats as a sign of solidarity with nationalism and politicians used to shout the slogan “mwana wevhu” to try and tell people this was their country, now it is being used in 2014 by some idiot politician! I don’t know what Biti is trying to achieve in this article which frankly makes no sense at all. Why does he go on to mention and attack Israel’s Ariel Sharon? This is typical of cowards who when they want to slag off ZanuPF try to dilute that, or make their criticism credible by citing political events in other countries.

  10. why do zanupf people always refer to mdc people as sell outs, puppets or cowards? Dont they realise that the war of liberation has been over for donkey years? There’s nothing ‘sell out’ or ‘puppet’ in being a member of a party that opposes zanupf. Its called democracy! I think the war really must have affected some of these guys mentally & caused permanent brain damage. Whatever belongs to noone belongs to everyone & vice versa. Zim ndeyedu tese

  11. What do you mean “mere colonel”, it shows you know nothing about the military profession and particularly military ranks. Can you really refer to the rank of colonel as “mere” colonel; I mean by any global standard!!! Please Biti stick to what you know best and where you are a novice seek advice.

  12. Biti, you seem to be a sell out masquerading as a fighter for democracy. Make up your mind. You are defending Gono while telling us that you detest the regime. Actions speak louder than words which makes me think you are in bed with zanu.

  13. MaCIO anoita kunge zvipembenene kumhanyira kudzima chiedza. Whenever Biti writes a piece a horde of CIO rushes to make comments to belittle him and oppose him. Luckily they give us intelligence by raising issues that their boss is worried about. And their concern reveals how MDC-T is a very big thorn in the flesh of ZANU PF. Mati madii? Write Biti write!!!

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