ON Monday, we join progressive Zimbabweans at home and abroad to commemorate Heroes Day. A day set aside to remember the selfless sacrifices of the men, women and children who laid down their lives so that we all live with dignity in the land of our forefathers.
Heroes Day should serve as a reminder to us all that the independence and democracy we enjoy today did not come on a silver platter, but at great cost to the patriotic sons and daughters of this land who had to defeat colonial settlers by force of arms.
This year’s commemorations are special in that they coincide with the celebrations of Zanu-PF and Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa’s resounding victory in the watershed harmonised elections held on July 30.
We have entered a new era with a new dispensation that is promising to take this country to the next level of development.
It is no secret that the generality of the people have over the past years been suffering and struggling to make ends meet.
Despite these hardships that reduced the life of the ordinary person to a daily trudge for mortal existence, we celebrate our resoluteness. Indeed, in spite of the overt and covert attempts to subvert our independence since the turn of the millennium, we have remained resolute and rebuffed all neo-colonial designs.
Although 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 and chart a new political and economic path under the news dispensation.
Indeed, Zimbabwe under the stewardship of Cde Mnangagwa, the future is bright. We also take this opportunity to salute the Zimbabwe Defence Forces for continuing to be a people’s force, a deterrent that safeguards the gains of independence that came at such great cost.
These men and women under the capable leadership of Commander-in-Chief Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa should remain vigilant for the enemy remains hopeful as he continues abusing the democracy we fought for.
We also take this opportunity to salute the ZDF community assistance programmes being undertaken throughout the country.
In the month of August every year, the ZDF run a Community Assistance Week.
During this period, ZDF embarks on selected projects where the force will be carrying out various activities to help the communities from where they belong.
Throughout the year the ZDF carries out various projects, helping communities in building and maintaining infrastructures like clinics, bridges and schools among others. We exhort all Zimbabweans to rededicate ourselves to the ideals that have guided our heroes, living and dead.
That is the greatest thank you we can ever give them for giving up their lives so we can have ours.
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.
Heroes Day should also be a time for introspection.
We should ask ourselves what we are doing for our nation in our spheres of activity? Whether 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.