THE MDC Alliance yesterday said as they commemorate Heroes’ Day today they will also consider their own fallen heroes like the late former Prime Minister and MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who was not conferred with national hero status.
BY VENERANDA LANGA
MDC Alliance information committee member Jacob Mafume told NewsDay that while it was important to commemorate the country’s heroes for their sacrifices, it was sad that current political leaders have betrayed their fallen comrades.
“Heroes’ Day remains relevant forever to us as it is written in our memories as Zimbabweans that the sacrifices of many people cannot be forgotten in this and the next generation,” Mafume said.
“The only problem that can be pointed out as we celebrate is the betrayal by the current generation of the ethos of the liberation struggle, in particular the issue of one-man, one-vote which was fought for by many of these people, yet in this election this was one value which was unfortunately not strictly followed.”
Mafume said the MDC Alliance was sad that “national hero” Tsvangirai was more celebrated dead than alive as he got “a State helicopter in his death”, adding they have always spoken against the partisan conferment of national hero status on people. “Even though Tsvangirai was not buried at the national shrine (Heroes’ Acre), he is a hero in the hearts of many… We believe Tsvangirai is still a national hero even if he was buried at his village,” Mafume said.
Zanu PF secretary for legal affairs, Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana said the work that the national heroes did to free the country from colonial rule must be celebrated.
“They gave us the luxury that we have now whereby the main opposition leader Nelson Chamisa can enjoy the luxuries of bringing baseless court cases. The heroes brought us this independence, so that he can also celebrate this national event,” he said.
“When they went to war, they were not fighting in a partisan manner, but they were liberating the country so that everyone can enjoy, including the MDC Alliance.”
Political analyst Innocent Batsani Ncube said there was need to reflect on whether what the heroes died for had been achieved. “The national conversation should use this commemoration to reflect on the path travelled so far, for instance, issues like whether the promise of the liberation has been delivered and to what extent,” he said.