Govt to upgrade Heroes Acre

Govt to upgrade Heroes Acre
Published: 18 October 2017 (202 Views)
Chinhoyi Provincial Heroes Acre is set to get a facelift ahead of a ceremony to recognise seven heroes of the Second Chimurenga who died in the first battle which announced the war to the world, and have since been declared national heroes. Addressing the Zanu-PF Mashonaland West provincial coordinating committee meeting (PCC) last weekend, party national secretary for Administration Dr Ignatius Chombo said families of the seven national heroes had been notified.

The seven perished in a battle on April 28, 1966 after holding their own for the whole day against the Rhodesian forces. They were Cdes Christopher Chatambudza, Simon Chimbodza, David Guzuzu, Godwin Manyerenyere, Arthur Maramba, Nathan Charumuka and Ephraim Shenjere. The battle signalled the start of the armed phase of the Second Chimurenga where the Rhodesian forces responded with their military might to eventually subdue the gallant seven after almost a day of gunfire exchange.

"We have written to their families that they are now national heroes, but they are not going to be buried at the National Heroes Acre. They will remain here (Chinhoyi Provincial Heroes Acre). This means that we need to spruce up the Chinhoyi Heroes Acre so that it almost has a similar stature as the national one," said Minister Chombo.

Minister Chombo said the families would be called in for a special event to confirm their national hero status of the seven gallant fighters. The seven, he said, were very special in the country's history and quest for nationhood. He said Minister of State for Mashonaland West Provincial Affairs Webster Shamu and other Government departments should work out modalities for the upgrading of the Chinhoyi Provincial Heroes Acre. Minister Shamu had earlier raised concern at the state of the provincial heroes acre where out of the 60 graves, only 20 were marked with tombstones.

"The situation at the Heroes Acre here (Chinhoyi) is not pleasing and we would want the situation addressed urgently. We should not forget that for us to be here it is because of the gallant sons and daughters who paid the price," he said. The declaration of the seven as national heroes is in fulfilment of President Mugabe's recommendation at the Mashonaland West Youth Interface Rally recently that the honour be bestowed on them.

"I would want the seven of them, all of them, because they are the ones who started on this side, the ZANU side, the armed struggle as we recognise it today, the guerilla struggle," said President Mugabe.

"I would want to recommend to the rest of our comrades in Government that we declare all the seven, as they lie there, national heroes and erect a monument there, inscribing their names." Until recently, a few streets and the Seven Heroes Makonde Government complex in Chinhoyi had been symbolic acknowledgement of their gallantry and significance to the country. The battle fought by the seven gallant fighters unsettled the Ian Smith regime as it became clear that Zimbabweans were now prepared to win their independence through the barrel of the gun. The battle also provided vital lessons for ZANU, which quickly went to the drawing board and organised an all-out war that was supported by the masses throughout the country.

- the herald

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