Heroes’ Day celebrations . . . Retracing the footprints of a heroic legacy

The Chronicle

Obert Mpofu, Correspondent 

In the month of August we celebrate the gallant fighters of our liberation struggle — both the living and those no longer in our midst. 

Through their lived commitment to disfigure colonialism, we harness the inspiration and strength to fighting neo-colonialism. 

The Heroes and Defence Forces celebrations summon all of us to the solemn reminiscence of the vigilance exerted by our sons and daughters of the liberation. 

Their role was to ultimately define the redemptive path to civilising and dignifying the oppressed and rescuing them from the dragnet of imperialism. 

These are “men of the people” who metamorphosed the repression of the black majority and remoulded all of into a new humanity. 

Their dedication to the total freedom of this country strengthens our convictions to redefining the gains of our independence. This is why the status-quo is hinged on the perpetual task of restoring our profound liberation legacy and consolidating all its values. 

There is no way we can detach the freedom we enjoy today from the values which were established through the barrel of the gun and the sacrifice of human life on the battlefield.  

This is why pan-African nationalism will remain at the very core of our present realities in living the dreams of our freedom fighters. 

How can we forget Joshua Nkomo, Jason Ziyaphapha Moyo, Nikita Mangena, Benjamin Burombo, Leopold Takawira, Josiah Magamba Tongogara, Herbert Chitepo, Gogo maFuyana, Mbuya Muzenda, among other gallant fighters of our liberation struggle? 

Today we celebrate the collective will-power of our people to deconstruct past imperial inequalities which disenfranchised us from the right to be human and determine our destiny.  

This is the perfect time to remember the true value of decolonisation process and its relationship to the broader African struggle and the conscience of our time in fighting racial, ethnic, gender and class inequalities.

This turn to the past is a pathway to introspect our proximity and inclination to the founding values.

Celebrating our heroes should stimulate us to profusely interrogate our existence as participants of an endless revolution to reposition Africa to the centre of global influence. 

This year’s Heroes and Defence Forces’ Day celebrations come at a time Zimbabwe is experiencing the transition from the First to the Second-Republic. This follows the conferment of power to Zanu-PF through the 30 July Harmonised Elections. 

Those inclined to the historic trace of the Zimbabwean revolutionary movement would also recall that the 8th of August marked Zanu-PF’s 56th  anniversary. This also serves as a reminder of the mandate that the nationalist movement carries from the burden of history in contributing to the present-day value chain of power. 

As a result, August represents the systematic reorganisation of national values which are aligned to the triumphant impetus of the nationalist movement.

It must be also noted that this August affords us a double celebration – that of commemorating our Heroes and the legacy of the supremacy of the vote in ascertaining the legitimacy of Zanu-PF. 

This legitimacy transcends the given contestations of power in the face of defeated regime change anecdotes. 

Actually, the legitimacy that Zanu-PF has today emanates from a solid history dating back to the pre-colonial era right up to our Unity Accord which amalgamates our belonging as equal citizens of this land we call home.  

Therefore, as we celebrate this year’s Heroes and Defence Forces’ month, we must remain cognisant of the need to safeguard what the gallant sons of daughters of the revolution fought for. They fought against inequality for the prize of total political and economic independence. 

Therefore, today our architecture of governance must bear true allegiance to the enduring spirit of the African revolution epitomised by the sacrifice of our heroes. 

We need to press towards dovetailing our policies to the aspirations of the struggle in remembrance of our heroes. 

At the same time, we must toil day and night to reproduce the iconic image of our struggle through good governance and the perpetual fight for total independence.