As the country celebrates Heroes Day and looks forward to Defense Forces Day, it is essential for the citizens of Zimbabwe to reflect and take a moment to appreciate the value that the commemorations bring to society.
The special day, dedicated to heroes and heroines who showed their commitment to the liberation of Zimbabwe, and those who continue to dedicate their work towards building a better Zimbabwe even after Independence, is symbolic of the struggle and what it takes to build better nations.
The struggle is an ever-going revolution that did not end with the attainment of Independence in 1980
As a nation, we need to look back and remember the virtues and values of what became the liberation struggle.
They fought for free and fair elections, equal access to opportunities, freedom of expression, and rule of law.
The heroes enforced a sense of patriotism within themselves.
The celebration of Heroes Day is about citizens who could not sit back, relax and submit themselves to the chains of oppression.
Those citizens are the pillars of strength we remember today, and we are the heroes that we desperately need in today’s struggle.
It should come as a constant reminder to those who enjoy the fruits of their sacrifice that when duty calls, they should also rise to the situation and take a stand for a better Zimbabwe.
Unfortunately, in contemporary Zimbabwe, there are reports of political instability, suppression of freedoms, prevailing corruption and separation of the haves from the have-nots.
This is a sign of the ongoing struggle that needs heroes who can continue to advocate and fight for a better nation.
It is unbecoming for us to criminalize those who stand up against human rights abuses, those who demand constitutionalism and raise their voices against authoritarianism.
These are the same grievances that heroes and heroines fought.
The national shrine is a pictogram of the pride we have in our heroes at the shrine and those dotted across the region.
However, the accordance of the hero status must not be politically influenced as we will run the risk of losing its value, but sorely based on one’s contribution to an even better Zimbabwe.
Our heroes are not only those who have been accorded the status in Harare by a round of politicians.
We live and have lived amongst other heroes that elite narratives have forgotten to mention.
As we move towards the election period, ZEC must remember its mandate and recall the value of a free and fair election that the Heroes we celebrate today fought for.
Citizens must not also waste the gains of one man, one vote, through registering to vote and turning up on Election Day.
Selfishness, corruption and personal gains at the expense of the masses are a bane to the ideals that our heroes believed.
Political decisions will always differ in a democracy, but we must respect each other and build a better Zimbabwe.
“A luta continua; vitória é certa!”