Let's honour our heroes

EDITOR — We must not only pay lip service when it comes to honouring our national heroes but rather we must respectfully salute them for the role they played during the liberation struggle and in society.

It is disturbing that there is so much talk but very little action when it comes to the welfare of ex-combatants.

It is ironic that we shout words of praise for the departed freedom fighters yet we fail to honour our living heroes.

The Heroes’ Day and Defence Forces Day should be a time for introspection and deep soul-searching, yearning to do, for our living heroes that which our departed cadres deserved.

War veterans have been abused by politicians and their welfare neglected. The government should hatch a quick but well thought out solution to address their plight.

Policy makers should conduct a war veterans’ needs analysis with an aim of establishing a roadmap of handling their concerns.

I find it quite ironic that we are overzealous in singing praises for departed Zanu PF cadres while neglecting true heroes who are languishing in abject poverty and squalor.

Does one become a hero only after he/she is dead?

There is need to distinguish between party cadres and national heroes. 

So many genuine heroes lie dead in the forests of Zimbabwe and some other places in the countryside while the so-called national shrine is full of men and women of questionable credentials.

As Zimbabweans, we should also honour our fellow villagers, some of whom suffered more than the ex-guerrillas during the liberation struggle and continue to face serious hardships in the post independence era.

The truth must be told, without fear or favour, that the war of liberation was a multi-stakeholder campaign where civilians provided material, financial and moral support needed to successfully wage the war.

People of Zimbabwe must respect each other as well as recognise the crucial role we all played in the liberation struggle.

We have many heroes in the communities, particularly in the remote rural areas who deserve to be honoured.

In addition, the greedy acts of the war veterans should be exposed and stopped.

They should be encouraged to cultivate the spirit of hard work which was inculcated into them during the liberation war.

This enables ordinary people to respect them. Government must empower war veterans so that they uphold the sacrosanct values and principles of the liberation war, such as societal justice, reverence for human dignity, integrity and peace.

They should defend and not violate the rights of their erstwhile allies during the armed struggle.

They should in-fact proliferate traits of defending the rule of law as the precursor of sustainable peace and development in Zimbabwe.

Many ex-combatants suffered and continue to suffer from a range of health problems — both physical and psychological. The majority of them are paupers.

The unfolding of events since 1980 shows that the government has largely neglected of the welfare of the war veterans. We should do more collectively as a society to recognise and honour our own heroes, especially while they are still alive. 

Onai Mazire.

    Comments (4)

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    GALLERYCARTRIDGES - 14 August 2014

    Onai Mazire open your eyes and allow your medula to do the norm expected of it.

    Mukanya - 14 August 2014

    Onai Mazire,spot on.People are always reminded that ex-combatants worked for no salaries in the liberation struggle but our president&his ministers have always drawn their full salaries ever since. They own multiple farms each. HYPOCRITES.

    HYPOCRITES - 15 August 2014

    Yes to honour heroes is very good but the nice work they did is doomed by the current leaders who stands using their names making people suffer willingly

    fury - 21 August 2014

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