Thousands of people yesterday thronged the Manicaland Provincial Heroes’ Acre in Mutare to commemorate the sacrifices made by fallen heroes to liberate the country.
Minister of State for Manicaland Provincial Affairs Cde Monica Mutsvangwa read President Mnangagwa’s speech, which was well received by those in attendance.
Speaking during the tour of the liberation war displays, Minister Mutsvangwa said it was important for people to know their history to be able to develop and move the nation forward.
“The province of Manicaland has long been sidelined and deprived of the spotlight, yet it harbours vast opportunities,” she said. “It is now upon the liberated generation of today to take this opportunity presented to them by the fallen heroes to move the province and the nation as a whole forward.”
Minister Mutsvangwa, together with provincial service chiefs and Zanu-PF Manicaland provincial chairman Cde Mike Madiro and war veterans, visited each grave at the shrine and laid wreaths on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Some families conducted rituals at the graves of their beloved ones, with drum beats and traditional dances highlighting proceedings.
There are 248 heroes and 46 heroines buried at the Manicaland Provincial Heroes’ Acre.
Those interviewed during the celebrations said it was important for Zimbabweans to honour war heroes who liberated the country from the shackles of colonialism.
They said it was important for parents and guardians to bring children to such celebrations as this would keep the tradition of honouring heroes alive.
Zanu-PF Manicaland secretary for administration Cde Kenneth Saruchera said it was important to remember the sacrifices made by the fallen heroes and draw lessons from them.
“This year’s commemorations are of great importance and difference as the nation enters a new phase,” he said. “We are here to cherish the selfless sacrifice of those lying here, at the same time taking note of how far the nation has moved forward since independence.
“We are now under a new administration and new leadership, a leadership that encourages hard work. This is a lifelong lesson we are to draw from these fallen heroes of the nation.”
Zimbabwe Liberation War Collaborators Association (ZILWACO) Manicaland chairperson Cde Angeline Muponda said it was upon the current generation to work hard and carry forward from where the liberation war heroes left.
“We are here in celebration of the freedom we attained through the hard work and sacrifice of the fallen gallant sons and daughters lying here today,” she said.
Zimbabwe Republic Police provincial officer commanding Manicaland, Senior Assistant Commissioner Dorothy Kupara said she was impressed by the display of knowledge and appreciation of the nation’s history shown by the young children present, adding that it was essential to teach them our heritage from a tender age.
“Our national history and heritage helps mould us to be who we are today and to that effect it is crucial to teach young children the importance and essence of commemorating such days as Heroes and Defence Forces holidays,” she said.
“Teaching children as young as six years helps them grasp important lessons from our history and they will never depart from such teachings.”