Memories of a bitter struggle still fresh as Zimbabwe marks Heroes day

THE passage of time has not erased some of the bitter memories of the liberation struggle as some laid down their lives while others were injured to set the country free from colonial bondage.
One such day was a deadly ambush by Rhodesian forces in February 1977, as narrated by Cde Boniface Mutize who spoke to our reporter Owen Mandovha.
The memories of a lucky escape during one night of a deadly ambush by the Rhodesian forces linger vividly in Cde Boniface Mutize’ s mind every time he visits the bullet ridden house in Nyakudya Village under Chief Chinamora in Goromonzi West.
As he narrates events as they unfolded on the fateful day, his key message especially to the youth is that the tragedy that befell sons and daughters of the soil in their quest to liberate the country should strengthen one’s resolve to guard jealously the freedom we are all enjoying as the country commemorates heroes and defence forces day.
Cde Mutize who is now a successful farmer and beneficiary of the land reform programme is probably one of the best qualified people to speak on the benefits of independence with the bullet ridden house being a timely reminder of the sacrifices made during the liberation struggle.
”All these bullets you are seeing here were the shots fired towards us during that night and it was by luck that I survived but several people perished here. This country was liberated by the heavy losses of human lives inflicted on this country through those departed heroes and heroines . as we commemorate heroes and defense forces day, this really strengthens my resolve to guard jealously this hard won freedom,” he narrates.
Also present during that night was Cde John Mapurisa, a war collaborator who spoke on the key role they played in assisting liberation forces as they fought Rhodesian soldiers.
“I was there when we were attacked together with Cde Mutize but that did not deter us from continuing to support the comrades so that they continue to fight the brutal regime,” he reminisces.
Headman Nyakudya, who mobilised resources on behalf of the guerrillas urged the young generation to revisit the country’s history and avoid being led astray by the country’s enemies.
”What we are seeing today witnesses a generation that lacks the proper appreciation of the country ‘s history and what our heroes of the struggle went through,” he says.
Zimbabwe is commemorating heroes and defence forces day at a time when the country is under siege from its detractors, but for Cde Mutize and others who had a first hand experience during the fight against the brutal colonial regime, they will not be swayed by such failed and flimsy efforts to undermine fallen heroes and heroines.