'Sabina doesn't deserve heroine status'

HARARE - A prominent Harare lawyer has sensationally claimed that President Robert Mugabe’s late younger sister Sabina did not deserve national heroine status.

A single, former seamstress with little formal education, Sabina succumbed to an unknown ailment in July 2010, and critics say she is proof of how Mugabe looked after his own after he took control of the newly-independent Zimbabwe in 1980.

She served as the Member of Parliament for Makonde East from 1985 to 1990 and for Zvimba South from 1990 to 2008.

Sabina’s sons have also benefited from their uncle’s long reign.

Leo Mugabe served as a Zanu PF MP and chairman of the Zimbabwe Football Association while Patrick Zhuwao is the minister of Indigenisation and an MP.

Tinomudaishe Chinyoka, who has filed a Constitutional Court suit challenging the criteria for choosing national heroes,  is challenging the way Mugabe and Zanu PF have monopolised the discretion to choose those that should be declared national heroes.

Chinyoka is challenging the criteria together with MDC MP Alexei Musundire.

The National Heroes Acre is a 57-acre burial ground and national monument in Harare, whose stated purpose is to commemorate Patriotic Front guerrillas killed during the 70s Rhodesian bush war, and contemporary Zimbabweans whose dedication or commitment to their country justify their interment at the shrine.

Persons buried there are considered heroes by the incumbent Zanu PF regime, which has administered the country since independence in 1980.

In the application, the two cited Mugabe, Public Service minister Priscilla Mupfumira and Zanu PF as respondents.

“By way of example, to my knowledge there are only six women that have so far been designated as national heroines and buried at the national shrine,” the court application says.

“All of them, except one, appear to have only one factor known to me that they were married to liberation war leaders.

“The only exception, a certain Sabina Mugabe, was not married to any liberation war leader, and is not chronicled in any government of other publication that I am aware of with having done anything of note. She, however, is the sister of the first respondent, whose first wife (Sally) is also one of the other five (wives of war leaders.”

He said that all hero statuses conferred by Mugabe and his Zanu PF party should be declared null and void.

He said deserving heroes were not buried at the national shrine.

“There was a man known as Jairos Jiri, who dedicated his life to helping the blind and disabled, and whose charity dedicated to these efforts still stands. When he died, he was not declared a hero, yet first respondent (Mugabe)’s sister, who founded no charities and who had no stable family life and therefore made no example to anyone was a national hero,” Chinyoka said.

He said that in terms of the National Heroes Act, Mugabe had been given unfettered and unlimited discretion to decide on who should be buried at the National Heroes Acre.

Chinyoka told the court that Mugabe’s discretion was too wide and did not show that it would yield results that are lawful and efficient.

Mugabe has told critics only members of his Zanu PF party will be buried at the Heroes Acre and said those unhappy with the development were free to establish separate shrines for their own heroes.

The Zanu PF politburo has, since independence, exclusively selected the country’s national heroes most of whom are then buried at the North Korea-built shrine just outside the capital.

The party has consistently ignored calls for a non-partisan selection process from opposition groups.

But critics say Mugabe has used the honour to punish critics as well as reward loyalists, some of them undeserving of the accolade.

Comments (19)

The National Heroes Acre is a 57-acre burial ground and national monument in Harare, whose stated purpose is to commemorate Patriotic Front guerrillas killed during the 70s Rhodesian bush war, and contemporary Zimbabweans whose dedication or commitment to their country justify their interment at the shrine. SO, DOES THE MDC AND THEIR WHITE BAASES DESERVE TO EVEN ATTEND THE COMMITTEE TO THINK OF NAMES DZEMAGANDANGA AVAIURAYA - nyadzonya, mukushi, etc, etc?

edward gondo - 20 January 2016

Editor, Zhuwawo is a Minister but not MP. He lost in the 2013 ZPF Primaries. There are no longer Non-constituency MPs in Parliament under the new constitution

boutros - 20 January 2016

I salute these gallant Zimbabweans who challenge such injustices. I was especially disappointed by the last two ''heroes'' whose names I cannot even remember. Umwe wacho akazenge ave GM kuNRZ. ww were told that he joined the struggle only in 1978 and I wonder what he did in those two years to deserve hero status. There are people like Noel Mukono who was a member of the Dare Rechimurenga but fell out naMugabe after Independence and he is buried at Warren Hills. So I agree that if Zanu PF insists on exclusive selection authority, they must change the title from National Heroes to Liberation Heroes or Zanu Heroes etc.

Samaita - 20 January 2016

"He said that all hero statuses conferred by Mugabe and his Zanu PF party should be declared null and void." hear hear. If its a zanu monument then let zanu decide at shake shake building who gets buried there and they should pay for it to the last penny. if its a national monument then the selection should be done preferably by an independent body accountable to parliament.

Galore 123 - 20 January 2016

asi iye akati kwawari,'regai wakafa wawigane!'

SaManyika Chaiye - 20 January 2016

Its simple when Mugabe dies bury him in his own back yard in Zvimba. Justice done. Case closed. Period

Christ In Me - 20 January 2016

Do you have to die to be a hero? Kkkkkk ah mahwani. Do those souls that are buried there know they were declared heroes and does it matter anyway? Ko pa heroes' acre pacho pane basa rei iye munhu atofa? It's better to spend more energy thinking about the people who are still alive, but still honour those that fought for the liberation of our country whether buried at heroes' acre or not. There are other people that did a lot for Zim even though they did not go to war and they should be honoured as well.

misty - 20 January 2016

It is good that some people have their eyes opened now .How times it has been said Mugabe practices nepotism tribalism and racism and does not deserve to be a leader of this nation . How many govt to tenders have been awarded to his family without him questioning it since 1980 . How many people who have been employed by the govt on tribal lines i guess 99 % of them .How many people who have been denied govt posits or made deputies no matter how good they are bcoz they belong to the wrong tribe .So many zimbabeans lost their properties bcoz they are not black . To who ever is going to takeover the reigns these are issues need to be fixed and corrected and who ever gained from the rot must be investigated and arrested .

Diibulaanyika - 20 January 2016

Remember he told the world Zimbabwe belongs to him so he is calling the shots

blahblah - 20 January 2016

Dai kwaiwanikwa vaviri, vatatu vane brain,vasingatyi kutaura sezwazwiri semurume uyu anonzi Chinyoka tingadai tisina kugadzwa mundove nemagaro kuti zho-o nhasi uno nevarume vanozwiti tisu tinotonga nyika yeZimbabwe.

Masamba Akareyo -Tanganda - 20 January 2016

This heroes acre place lost its value, from day one. People who are supposed to be there are not there. I dont know why it was left standing during murambastvina.

X-MAN IV - 20 January 2016

Zvakatanga naSave zvokusatya izvi, matokanganwa kare. Ndiani aiti bufu MDC isati yavapo? Nokuti ZANU yava zuru rapinda nyoka Tsvangirai wacho hamuchamurangarira.

dollarman - 21 January 2016

misty,its seems to me that you do not know the benefits of being made a Hero and buried at the shrine.The families of the people buried there are taken care of by the Government,in simple terms u and me.I stand to be corrected.Why was Ndabaningi Sithole not made a Hero,the founder member of Zanu.

Mordillo - 21 January 2016

Chinyoka you deserve the accolade

kwinjo - 21 January 2016

these youngmen are already heroes for challenging the dragon

Harare - 21 January 2016

This is a direct attack to our association. We note with concern that our heros and heroins are looked down up. History of Zim need to be told. To me and all who share the values of nationwood honoring hard working pple is progressive. Arise up members nof the association of children of war veterans. Ndarangarira musi watisaya gamba.....

Chikomana - 22 January 2016

This is a direct attack to our association. We note with concern that our heros and heroins are looked down upon. History of Zim need to be told. To me and all who share the values of nationwood honoring hard working pple is progressive. Arise up members of the association of children of war veterans. Ndarangarira musi watisaya gamba.....

Chikomana - 22 January 2016

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