Commemorating True Heroes
by Trace Dube,
Once again I write to you my Brothers and sisters in the struggle, fellow Zimbabweans within the boarders and those in the Diaspora. This time I do so with a more saddened heart. I am grieving for the continuous downfall of the bread basket of Afrika, our motherland. The rich landscape that the heroes fought for which used to produce food for the masses is now lying barren. Land was the moral basis for us to fight the white settlers so we can claim it back for the good of everyone Zimbabwean. Many of our elders paid with their lives for us to realise that dream. My question yesterday, today and tomorrow is, “has that goal been achieved?”
The simple answer is no. The same land our elders fought for has been parcelled by Robert Mugabe’s ruling ZANU (PF) party for the benefits of his cronies. The masses or povo as they called us, have been cut out of the inheritance. Those that are benefiting know nothing about land tiling and all they can do is blame drought for crop failure when we know too well that nothing was planted in the first place. Gono and Musakwa dished out tractors like they were giving out aid and none of the tractors found their way to the farms. Instead, we have seen them being used as commuter omnibuses. I bet the graves of the fallen heroes are turning in disgust at the misuse of the resources meant for the benefit of the majority rule rather than for the few people who did little or nothing at all to free the nation.
Soon we will be commemorating Heroes Day as well as Zimbabwe Defence Forces Day and both days will be dominated by ZANU PF stooges. Decorating only people who sing praises for Robert Mugabe while shunning the real heroes. Before 1980, many Comrades did not come back home and for now, Zanu PF has forgotten the reasons they laid down their lives. Many people were murdered by the Mugabe regime fighting for freedom which many of us thought we had until we found ourselves living outside our own borders.
Many women were raped and are still being raped today while Mugabe himself is busy punching the air and telling people that we are now living in a free Zimbabwe. How can we be in a free Zimbabwe, where opposition political ministers are being arrested and detained without charge? If a minister is treated in such appalling and callous way, what chances are there for us the ordinary activists?
Today, a new breed of heroes has emerged. Mothers and grandmothers left to look after children and manage families when shops could not sell anything to them. We have seen the plight of children who have gone for years in Mugabe’s free Zimbabwe with very long school holidays. Those political activists forced to go underground for daring to speak out loudly for human rights and the rule of law.
Those serving in the defence forces now are being given heroes status for brutalising innocent people on the streets. Remember the Shona saying, “Chinobhururuka chinomhara”. A time will come when Robert Mugabe and his cold-blooded thugs will be gone. Then, shall we see proper Heroes being commemorated. A Zimbabwe that shall be colour blind shall emerge. A nation that will cease to discriminate on the basis of race, creed or political affiliation will rise. This will be a new Zimbabwe where women shall leave without fear of being sexually harassed and where ordinary people will speak freely without the fear of pro-government militias.
With all that is happening in the world, if we don’t speak out against human rights abuses, particularly the weapon now used extensively against women, rape torture, we will lose more heroes, and more women who are powerless to speak out will be infected with diseases such as HIV. Let’s all rise up this August and show the Robert Mugabe regime that we know the real Heroes of our nation. All those people he murdered to protect his evil empire. All that is left for him is to take the honourable action to step down and let democracy prevail.