War veterans welcome conferment of national hero status on Cdes Chikerema and Sithole

By Peter Chivhima

The ZANU PF War Veterans’ League has welcomed the posthumous conferment of national hero status on Cdes James Chikerema and Reverend Ndabaningi Sithole.

The Zimbabwe National War Veterans Association chairperson, Cde Christopher Mutsvangwa saluted President Emmerson for bestowing national hero status on the liberation struggle stalwarts as the Second Republic moves in to correct mistakes that were made in the past.

Cde Mutsvangwa was speaking on the sidelines of the burial of the late liberation war hero, Cde Forbes Patrick Chitava at Warren Hills Provincial Heroes Acre in Harare this Thursday.

“As war veterans, we are very excited about the bold step taken by our President, Dr Emmerson Mnangagwa, of according national hero status to Cdes Chikerema and Sithole. This is a way of correcting history. This development also brings unity among the people because the two Comrades deserve that for the contribution they made during the liberation struggle,” he said.

Cde Mutsvangwa also described those who are criticising the move as enemies of progress.

“There are some detractors who are saying the development is a way of vote buying, no. Those saying that are detractors. Even leaders of different political parties endorsed the conferment.”

The two nationalists and several other liberation stalwarts were posthumously conferred with national hero status by President Mnangagwa during the 42nd National Heroes Day commemorations in Harare last week.

The move is as part of the Second Republic’s efforts to give a holistic account of the country’s war of liberation.

Meanwhile, liberation war hero, Cde Forbes Patrick Chitava who died on the 10th of this month in Botswana was buried at Warren Hills Provincial cemetery with his death being described as a loss to the nation.

The late Cde Chitava’s friends and family echoed the same sentiments saying he has left a huge void which will be difficult to fill.

“Cde Chitava was born in 1959.  In our family he was the greatest. He worked so hard and he was blessed with the gift of helping everyone, not the Chitava family only, but the whole province. So, we want to thank President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the entire government for according our brother the liberation hero status. He was a family unifier. We have lost a great man, but as a family we will try by all means to carry on with his legacy,” said Mr Alfred Chitava, a family representative.

Cde Chitava joined the liberation struggle in 1977 after crossing the Gairezi River to Mozambique. He received military training in Tanzania.

He was deployed to Gaza Province where he operated until ceasefire and remained resolute in support of revolutionary ideas.

He is survived by his wife Emily and three children.