Chimoio shrine in sorry condition

THE Chimoio national shrine in Mozambique where thousands of Zimbabweans perished during the war of liberation is now in a sorry state due to neglect, it has been established.

LIZZY KUTYAURIPO RECENTLY IN CHIMOIO, MOZAMBIQUE

Yesterday marked the 37th anniversary of the Chimoio massacre where thousands of Zimbabwean liberation war fighters and refugees lost their lives after an attack by Rhodesian forces.

Many who survived the massacre in 1977 always revisit the site in honour of their fallen colleagues. Others visit the site for historical reasons.

War veterans from Rushinga who recently visited the shrine said they were shocked that the site was being neglected unlike other heritage sites such as the National Heroes’ Acre in Harare.

Tall brown grass greeted the war veterans who walked in through an open and rusty fenced gate.

The shrine’s fence is torn and worn out and hangs precariously on rusty poles. The better side of the fence has collapsed.

A semi-finished building constructed 10 years ago acts as the museum. But the building is almost on the verge of collapsing due to neglect.

Adjacent to the museum are rusty drums that were used to prepare food during the liberation struggle.

A rusty anti-aircraft gun and five AK-47 rifles lie in muddy water at the centre of the structure.

The shrine lacks water. There is no shelter from the rains for visitors, worse still for the custodians safeguarding the site.

There are no proper ablution facilities, people are welcomed by a strong stench coming from a nearby pit latrine.

In an interview, the director for the National Museums and Monuments Dr Godfrey Mahachi said he was not happy with the current state of all the historical sites.

But he said there was nothing the department could do as they no longer got government grants in the face of low revenue inflows.

“We used to get grants from Treasury, but this stopped in 2005 due to economic hardships. Developmental plans are there, but cannot be implemented as there are no funds,” Mahachi said.

He said Harare Polytechnic had been engaged to design new plans for the Chimoio site.

“We also engaged Zanu PF youths in Hurungwe district who have since raised $3 500 towards the construction of Chimoio shrine. The ball is now left in our court to raise the same amount for the project to commence.”

Custodians of the site, Agushto Manuere (20) and her husband Maritinyo Agushto (27), said they were not being paid anything.

The war veterans donated second-hand clothes and $17 to the young couple.

However, Mahachi said his organisation was, in fact, paying the young couple. He claimed the two were actually getting more than what some museums employees were getting in Zimbabwe though he refused to disclose the amount.

Manuere said the historical site was haunted and strange things sometimes happened at the shrine.

She said when there is political instability in Zimbabwe, voices are heard of people who appear to be doing toyi-toyi.

Manuere claimed that making bad comments at the shrine attracted a swarm of bees.

Some of the visitors wondered why prominent Zanu PF cadres always made reference to the fallen heroes and heroines laid at Chimoio, but never did anything about the shrine.

They also wondered why Zanu PF was not pushing government to release funds for the development of the site.

Newly-elected war vets national chairman Christopher Mutsvangwa could not be reached for comment.

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10 Comments

  1. Ndarangarira gamba.

  2. my friend’s mom makes $88 /hr on the internet . She has been without work for nine months but last month her payment was $12290 just working on the internet for a few hours.
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  3. With the sorry state of the NATION OF ZIMBABWE what do you expect of the relics of war?

  4. strange how things change. Newsday you now concerned about the comrades that died during the struggle.

  5. kkkkkkk You want the Government to consider the dead when it is failing to consider the welfare of its citizens you guys get your priorities right. Mazimbos what is wrong with us. The government can make that place heaven on earth but it wont change anything. Ko isu vapenyu cant you see we are failing to make ends meet. Moti ehhe kuHeros ngakuiswe magetsi isu tisina magetsi mutown for that matter deno kuri kumusha kusina magetsi pamwe zvaimbotaurika

    1. We may be struggling but let us respect the dead – moreover the leaving can always fend for themselves. things may be bad but at least lets maintain a modicum of respectability – a little genteel poverty will do for now instead of abject neglect – and by the way who is stealing the wages of the caretakers???

  6. kunamata vanhiu vakafa hakuna dhiri,ngatinamate Mwari

  7. Rega vakafa vavige vakafa iwe end unoshandira Mhuri yako. Tsitsi dzei kudakuona makuva akapendwa ini ndichitambura. Newsdayka? Kutanga rinhi.? Handidi zvema double standard

  8. the dead have no remembrance, their love, hatred,fears etc its all gone. they are simply at rest awaiting the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ when they will be raised some to everlasting life and some to everlasting condemnation. why waste money upgrading a cemetery when the dead cant make use of it? take care of the orphans and widows.

  9. It is a pity the ZANU looters have completely forgotten the fallen victims of the armed struggle. In Europe they have been mainlining graves of soldiers who died during the first world war but Mugabe and his diamonds rich cronies they have already forgotten their comrades after a mere 35 years. Tinokurangarirai hama mese makapararira paChimoio, Tembwe etc.

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