Dongo blasts Zanu PF

HARARE - War veteran Margret Dongo, has blasted Zanu PF for its failure to honour genuine war heroes like the late Wilfred Mhanda, whose burial passed unnoticed by the ruling elite.

Mhanda, an indisputable national hero who fought tenaciously to free this country, died of colon cancer last week on Wednesday at the State-run Parirenyatwa Hospital.

The ruling party flatly refused to entertain recognition of the distinguished former Zanla commander, whose nom de guerre was Dzinashe Machingura, with the party’s top brass ruling out the honour for the ex-war commander who turned into a staunch critic of the ruling Zanu PF.

Margaret Dongo, an ex-combatant, told the Daily News yesterday that most of the persons buried at the Heroes Acre do not deserve the status.

“That was a serious betrayal. Most of the heroes, the fighters are not being buried at the Heroes Acre and only nationalists, who were enjoying life in foreign countries receiving education are getting that privilege, while the likes of Dzino who were fighting have been forgotten,” said Dongo.

The former legislator for Harare South, who co-founded the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association to secure the rights of marginalised war veterans in 1989, said her heart bled whenever she came face to face with forgotten heroes.

“War veterans were young during the war, they are not at the Heroes Acre, now I think enough is enough we should have a voice.

“The problem with Zanu PF is they take grudges to the graveyards, they don’t forgive. It is unfortunate that those who brought about this independence are not buried at the so-called National Heroes Acre,” said Dongo.

Notwithstanding their glowing contribution to the liberation struggle the likes of Zanu founder Ndabaningi Sithole, veteran nationalist Thenjiwe Lesabe and Lookout Masuku were denied hero status by Mugabe, who last year declared that the “national shrine” is only for Zanu PF cadres.

Speaking at the burial of Kumbirai Kangai, Mugabe said in Shona and English: “Inga takati zvuru zvakawanda. Ngavatsvagewo zvavo zvuru. Isu takatsvaga chedu, tikabhadhara paida kubhadharwa kuti tivige magamba edu."

"(We told them that there are many places they can choose to bury their own heroes. This is ours and we chose it and paid for it),” Mugabe famously declared.

Dongo told the Daily News that it was time that war veterans came together and corrected historical distortions authored by Zanu PF.

“It is high time that war veterans come together and challenge the politburo monopoly. How can you call something national when you abandon some deserving heroes simply because they differed with you?”

Dongo said the banishing of heroes like Mhanda will ultimately backfire on Zanu PF.

“The history of this country has been distorted. One thing that is embarrassing is that (Rugare) Gumbo was part of the Mhanda Vashandi Rebellion team so was (Police commissioner general Augustine) Chihuri who came back from the war through the back door,” said Dongo.

Comments (22)

"The problem with Zanu PF is they take grudges to the graveyards, they don't forgive" Point of correction comrade- the problem is that Mugabe does not forgive, not ZanuPF. In fact ZanuPF does not have a voice, Mugabe is a true dictator and he runs the show. If you cross him like Mujuru did, you get killed. So what are you going to do comrade Dongo? How are you going to challenge Mugabe? Like you once said, all the men in ZanuPF are like Mugabe's wives, no one can challenge him.

Disaster - 4 June 2014

.............Chihuri came back from the war through the back. could yu please explain this mama Dongo so I can understand it as well. what happened really?

wany to know - 4 June 2014

Dongo is just seeking attention. She sold out - period

peter mayor - 4 June 2014

Dongo sold out to who you son of a hyena?O

MABODYOd - 4 June 2014

peter mayor uri mboko.

Chimuti - 4 June 2014

tRUE HEROES ARE EASILY FORGOTTEN.

WATYOKA T . S. - 4 June 2014

True what you say Margret & it means if you were to die, yourself today you wont be honored for standing up for the truth. Every dog has its day people of Zimbabwe!!Mugabe is mortal & shall surely leave & a new dispensation ushered in. One day is one day

CT - 4 June 2014

mhanda vashandi,please kana pane anoizivawo andibetserewo,yaiva yei?yangaisiri yemabhunu here?.....ko uyu wekudzoka neback door angaasina kumbopanduka here ? ndipeiwo mhinduro kana pane anoziva.

mutigori - 4 June 2014

The problem with some Zimbabweans is that they think freedom fighters put their lives on the line for ZANU PF. These people fought for Zimbabwe not Mugabe and ZANU. Dongo is free to associate with any party without being labelled a sell-out. Why then does anybody think she sold out? Those who bury thugs and murderers at the national shrine ahead of real freedom fighters are the real sell-outs. At the right time, there will be two choices; to exhume the fake heroes or label their graves "heroes of shame"!!!

Ndangariro - 5 June 2014

is it Natioanl Heroes of ZANU PF heroes Acre, one wonders the discretion used

Tichadya Mangwiro - 5 June 2014

I agree with most of the facts stated in this article. However, it should be remembered that after contributing so much to the liberation of this country, Ndabaningi Sithole turned against the struggle and, together with Abel Muzorewa, Ian Smith, James Chikerema and Chief Jeremiah Sigireta Chirau, participated in the intenal settlement, which cilminated in the formation of an illegal government, unrecognised by the OAU and UN. Sithole had 12 MPs in parliament. That government, although shortlived, unleashed vicious raids on guerilla bases outside our borders, killing thousands of guerillas and refugees. For such a man to be declared a national hero would certainly be off the mark. I do not know about Mhanda, but Sithole betrayed Zimbabweans, after he had done so much for them.

machakachaka - 5 June 2014

That clearly tells us if Sithole betrayed zimbabweans that way then Mugabe is not a hero because he did more to what Sithole did. he killed and maimed the people of Zimbabwe. he destroyed the only livelyhood of Zimbabweans. No food no Jobs and the sons of the soil are now scattered all over the world slaving with no were to call home. he is a hero of Shame.

Danga Remombe - 5 June 2014

Ndabaningi never sold out.There simply was a power struggle which was of course won by RGM. We know the late Dr. Nkomo headed ANC Zimbabwe & engaged Smith in failed internal talks while Muzorewa was in Mozambique where he operated from for 16 months.It was during Smith/Nkomo's internal talks that Eddison Sithole & his secretary Miriam Mhlanga disappeared but RGM never pursued the case after independence.Please let's not waste time arguing who did what during the liberation war. RGM does not take criticism lightly:hence Sithole,Manda etc stand ignored as national liberation heroes. After all he inherited&prolonged Smith's senate&state of emergency agaist blacks.

POWERCORRUPTS - 5 June 2014

Zanu PF is a mess. Such a measure of intolerance can only be associated with backward pre- civilisation savage societies. And you claim to be more educated than Morgan Tsvangirai while your actions are barbaric and cruel. Not even a Liberation Hero status for Dzino!!!

New Tekere - 5 June 2014

Mutigori: There were a number of power struggles from the formation of ZAPU. The first resulted in the formation of ZANU. After that leaders were eventually detained from both ZAPU and ZANU. Youths continued to be politicised and therefore became agitated with the Rhodesian system of colour and class separation. They went to war particulary beginning early 1970s. These youths got interested in the communist and socialist ideology and sought to depose the system in Rhodesia to bring about social, political, and economic freedom for all. They therefore sought to fight Rhodesia as Zimbabweans with no distinction of ZIPRA/ZANLA. They saw themselves as fronting the cause of workers, peasants and students. Thus they adopted the name "Vashandi". They formed a combined military force called ZIPA which was its own master. Thus they crossed swords with the leadership in both ZANU and ZAPU. When the Nhari rebellion in ZANU was over Chitepo was assassinated and Ndabaningi Sithole deposed. These Vashandi had opted to work with Mugabe rather than the other leadership of older ZANU and ZAPU people. They were anti-negotiations, hoping to take over power completely. This is one of their major differences with the political leaders and it resulted in a power struggle to control the military. The Vashandi were detained and some (more than 300) are said to have been killed in Mozambique. The detainees were saved from death/further detention by Samora's intervention. Wilfred Mhanda alias Dzinashe Machingura was ZIPA deputy commander under Solomon Mujuru alias Rex Nhongo. Mhanda refused to be coopte into the new way of things after Mugabe was made president of the party about 1977. Search the net on ZANU Vashandi rebellion for more.

simon - 5 June 2014

where are we all missing it? Heroes Acre at Warren Hills belong to Zanu-PF period. Mugabe himself has told the nation that in no uncertain terms. What more do we all want to know. If one is a national but not Zanu-PF, that is it, no heroes status. So what is the answer to this hero status for everybody who is not a Zanu-PF? Again RGM has said get lost. He says, "there are lots of ante hills to bury your own" Again he is right. If we think of a true national Heroes Acre, why are we Zimbabweans not building one for those we consider true heroes? Zanu-PF is a cult and the God-father is RGM. That is why the country is in mess. Zanu-PF does not have any national constructive goals. They have goals to look after and enrich themselves, period!

Mbareboy - 5 June 2014

Thanks Simon, I am a bit wiser.

Mr Dete - 5 June 2014

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