Govt considers pact with Zambia over reburial of liberation war heroes

THE government is considering a memorandum of understanding with Zambia over the reburial of remains of freedom fighters who were killed in that country during the protracted liberation struggle, Home Affairs deputy minister Mike Madiro has said.

BY VENERANDA LANGA

Madiro last week told Senate that some of Zimbabwe’s freedom fighters were yet to be properly buried and were lying in unmarked graves in caves and forests in Mozambique and Zambia.

He was responding to a question by Midlands Senator Morgen Komichi (MDC Alliance), who had asked him to explain government plans to ensure that freedom fighters who perished in Mozambique and Zambia were properly buried, and government’s policy on the maintenance of their graves.

“It is true that we have many of our gallant fighters who died during the liberation struggle who are not properly buried and are lying all over in some caves and some unknown graves,” Madiro responded.

“Our counterparts in Zambia are ready for us — for the Minister of Home Affairs to sign a memorandum of agreement to assist each other as sister countries for proper burial and rehabilitation of the shrines in Zambia.”

Madiro said government would need to first identify the scattered graves for proper burials, as well as rehabilitate the shrines in Chimoio, Mozambique and Freedom Camp in Zambia.

During the liberation struggle against the Ian Smith regime, Chimoio and Freedom Camp primarily hosted Zimbabweans who crossed the border into Mozambique and Zambia to receive military training.

“This goes with many other sites within the country, where the ministers of State responsible for provincial affairs are tasked to make sure that the provincial heroes’ acres are properly rehabilitated and those fighters that would be identified will be reburied properly,” he said.

Madiro appealed to those with information of where some of the graves where to inform the Home Affairs ministry.

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