Tuesday, July 29, 2014

(HERALD ZW) Keep our history: Acting President
January 10, 2014
Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter

Acting President Joice Mujuru yesterday bemoaned the failure by liberation war luminaries to record the country’s history, especially the fight against colonial rule, and warned that future generations may never know the heroic sacrifices made to liberate Zimbabwe.
She said this while addressing thousands of mourners at the National Heroes Acre at the burial of one of the founder members of the liberation struggle, Lieutenant-Colonel (Retired) Harold Mtandwa Chirenda (69).

Rtd Lt-Col Chirenda died after a long illness at United Bulawayo Hospitals on New Year’s Day.

“I cry that this vital sentence which is and should be part of a national narrative is going to be buried away today: unread by those who live, unreadable to all those who follow. I am talking about Cde Chirenda’s great grandchildren who may never know or grasp the work he did in his lifetime.

“I am talking about my own great grandchildren who may never know or remember him. I am talking about your great grandchildren, dear comrade, who may never know your history, our history and thus their history as well,” Acting President Mujuru said.

She said much of Zimbabwe’s history had been buried with the death of people such as Rtd Lt-Col Chirenda.
“We have not written our story, we have great but mute heroes. We have not narrated our experiences even to this generation that lives. Much worse, our experiences are buried away with us, rendered eternally mute, when we die, one at a time we are all gone one day.

“Unless they spoke when they live, dead comrades don’t tell stories and our individual stories are a vital part of the story of our generation, of our people, our nation, our country. Who shall tell it? When? The veterans like Chirenda are going, are gone, who shall testify to his greatness?

“While they tell us that history belongs to the victors, our own situation cedes victory to those who lost the war.
“Our history has no tellers. We need to change history by writing it. Let’s begin now so we shape a heritage for our children, for generations to come who deserve to inherit and get inspired by the great deeds of their forbearers,” she said.

Acting President Mujuru said the late Rtd Lt-Col Chirenda never betrayed the values of the liberation struggle until his death.
“Beyond the human flesh, Cde Chirenda epitomised the values of the struggle which he never betrayed. Zimbabwe had to be free from colonial bondage. That is why he went to start a war. Zimbabwe had to be sovereign and secure. That is why he remained within the security structures of the nation until his retirement in 1995.

“Zimbabwe had to be defended at all times. That is why he remained active in national politics even after he retired from active duty. Zimbabwe’s resources had to come to her people again. Again, that is why he played his part in the land reform programme, indeed why he supported the policy of empowerment,” she said.

She added that the late national hero had left behind a legacy of upholding values irrespective of circumstances and said this should be an inspiration to future generations.

The Acting President said the Zanu-PF Government had adopted the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (Zim-Asset) as a way of fulfilling promises made to the people to fully indigenise the economy.

She also said Zimbabweans had to rely on themselves to ensure the success of the programme.
“I call it ‘the none-but-ourselves’ assumption, the ‘iweneni tine basa’, ‘mina lawesilomsebenzi’ mantra we used in the struggle. Zim-Asset is a call to you and me – to all of us as Zimbabweans – to put shoulder to wheel, sweat a bit, so we recover our economy and grow it for the prosperity of all our people,” the Acting President said.

She said she had recently engaged some youths who showed their enthusiasm for Zim-Asset but had pointed out areas they thought had not been adequately addressed by the blueprint, especially information technology, and banking and finance.

“We certainly must give thought to such feedback and see how Zim-Asset can be made elastic enough to accommodate these two key enablers, or any other areas viewed as crucial,” she said.

Rtd Lt-Col Chirenda, whose Chimurenga name was Elliot Masengo, is survived by his wife, nine children and 18 grand children.

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