By Ransom Mandhlazi
THIS coming month of August, we celebrate Heroes Day, a day set aside to remember the ideals and deeds of Zimbabwe’s distinguished men and women, living and dead, who dedicated their lives for our independence and freedom.
This year’s commemorations coincide with the celebrations of the third anniversary of ZANU PF’s resounding victory on July 31 harmonized elections, as the revolutionary party was entrusted with people`s mandate, against a Western-sponsored opposition in an election that was a virtual referendum on the ideals of the liberation struggle versus the neo-liberal platitudes of the erstwhile colonizer that mask neo-colonial designs.
This year’s celebrations are historic to the Party, ZANU PF, following attempts by western sponsored proxies in civil organisations, opposition parties to derail the implementation of people oriented projects and programs by staging fake abductions, inciting people to demonstrate against the Government.
Since the coming in of the New Dispensation led by President and First Secretary Cde E. D Mnangagwa, re-engagement has been the pillar stone of the economic revival, with “ZIMBABWE IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS” mantra on the forefront.
Support from the Bretton Woods institutions, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank has been at its minimum due to economic sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the European Union countries.
This is because the Western nations opposed Government’s decision to empower the citizens with the means of production.
Indeed, despite the hardships that reduced the life of the ordinary man to a daily trudge for mortal existence, we celebrate the fact that in spite of the overt and covert attempts to subvert our independence since the turn of the millennium, we have remained resolute and starved off the neo-colonial designs.
Though our economy is not yet out of the woods, we have reason to celebrate for the challenges we face, confirm that we have not forgotten why our heroes and heroines laid down their lives.
In fact, the ongoing problems mirror, though they do not surpass, the travails the gallant freedom fighters went through to give us the political independence we enjoy today.
The challenges should be our call to action as we consolidate economic independence since the venerated men and women we honour today, did not flinch in the face of challenges but remained focused for 90 years till they realised their dream of a free Zimbabwe.
Some fell by the wayside, and some managed to live on and we are still with them today.
To their credit, they have borne the baton they were handed by the heroes lying at the National Shrine, Provincial Heroes Acres and Mass Graves scattered in various countries and unknown graves all over Zimbabwe and the Frontline States, with distinction.
We, the living, have a duty to ensure that these heroes and heroines did not die in vain and if, through continuing with the struggle, we invite the wrath of the enemy’s kith and kin, that is not a reason to drop the baton, it should instead be our motivation to carry on with the struggle, the same way the heroes who fell at the battlefront urged their partners on, even as they breathed their last.
This day should also be a time for introspection, we should ask ourselves what we are doing for our nation in our spheres of activity. We should ask ourselves whether or not our actions would be applauded by the fallen heroes, if they were to wake up at this instant.
That is the vision that drove our heroes and heroines from the First, through the Second, to the Third Chimurenga. Now is our chance to fight the economic warfare, fight to revive our economy. It’s not a one man thing, but all our efforts are required.