Editorial: Heroes' Day Commemoration - Did Our Heroes and Sheroes Perish in Vain?
We are glad to share with you this special edition of the ZimBriefing in commemoration of Zimbabwe's Heroes' Day (2022).
As Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition we pay tribute to the gallant sons and daughters who sacrificed their lives for the liberation of Zimbabwe. The 42nd anniversary of the Heroes' Day, besides being a time to pay tribute to our gallant sons and daughters, should also serve as a time for reflection and self-introspection. It is a time to introspect and ask ourselves this fundamental question; are we on track in as far as achieving the values of the liberation struggle is concerned? It is unfortunate that 42 years after independence, we continue to witness a betrayal of the values of our liberation struggle. Those that sacrificed their lives for the independence of Zimbabwe must surely be turning in their graves.
The betrayal of the values of the liberation struggle has resulted in authoritarianism, militarisation of key state institutions, high level corruption, plunder of national resources, persecution of those that seek to speak truth to power, criminalisation of civil society work among other forms of mis-governance are reminiscent of the Ian Smith regime. The level of inequality remains high and yet government continues to respond with brute force to genuine calls for reforms.
42 years after independence, we continue to witness arbitrary arrests, abductions, torture and murder of opposition and civil society activists yet the heroes of the liberation struggle fought for a Zimbabwe where freedom of expression and association is respected.
The continued mutilation of the constitution and disregard of citizens' fundamental rights is a clear sign that Zimbabwe is independent but not free. To make matters worse, we continue to witness a high sense of entitlement on the part of the ruling elite.
This is not the Zimbabwe that living and fallen heroes of the liberation struggle fought for. They fought for a Zimbabwe for all. Inclusive national development thus remains at the core of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition's programming and this is a call for all progressive Zimbabweans to reclaim the liberation war narrative for national development.
Zimbabweans from all walks of life have an important duty to play in reclaiming the liberation war narrative for national development. More importantly, youths have a fundamental role in pushing for inclusive national development in Zimbabwe. The youths played a major role in the liberation struggle and the current situation prevailing in Zimbabwe is a call for youths to act in resisting authoritarianism.
It is unfortunate that we continue to see continued closure of the democratic space and entrenchment of authoritarianism through draconian legislation 42 years after independence. Again, this is not the Zimbabwe that Heroes of the liberation struggle fought for. The same values that guided those who went to war against the oppressive Ian Smith regime should continue to guide us until we realise the dream of a united, prosperous and free nation.
We need a Zimbabwe for all not just a few ruling elites.
In this regard, we reiterate our call for an inclusive national dialogue as a way of unlocking the multi faceted crisis in Zimbabwe.