Ex-Zipra members urged to create own national heroes’ acre

THE Welshman Ncube-led MDC has called on former PF-Zapu members to secure their own piece of land to conduct separate burials for their national heroes, accusing the Zanu PF government of monopolising the National Heroes Acre.

BY SILAS NKALA

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The call was made by MDC Matabeleland South provincial chairman, Pilate Ndebele, who is also an ex- Zipra cadre.

“There is continual division between Zanu PF military wing, Zanla cadres, and PF Zapu military wing, Zipra in the consideration for heroes’ status,” he said. “Zanla members are easily declared national heroes or heroines in no time, while it takes time for Zipra, to a point where some are declared heroes after they have been buried elsewhere, while others are not even declared heroes at all.”

Ndebele said there was no clear criteria followed in declaring someone a hero, except that someone is known and loyal to Zanu PF. He questioned Vivian Mwashita’s hero status. Mwashita was buried at the national shrine yesterday alongside another heroine Victoria Chitepo.

“Surviving Zipra High Command members must assist in the purchase of land, where Zipra members would be buried as national heroes. If the way the ruling party does things continues, our children will not know the truth that Zipra contributed in the liberation struggle. They will think that Zipra was just a useless military wing and only Zanla fought the war,” he said.

He said an ex- Zipra combatant, Albert Sumbe was captured by the Rhodesian army during the liberation struggle, but heroically escaped the mighty Rhodesian security system.

“But when he died in 2000, he was poorly buried and was never recognised by government (as a hero),” he said.

Former Zipra Veteran Trust chairman, Buster Magwizi yesterday described Ndebele’s proposal as noble.

“It is a noble idea to have land for that purpose because we were just burying each other anywhere, where we are not recognised, as if we are nothing. Most Zipra cadres have not been considered for burial at the national shrine and that is a serious issue.”

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