Mashudu Netsianda, Senior Reporter
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa is today expected to address the nation as Zimbabweans commemorate Heroes’ Day at home due to the threat of Covid-19.
Over the years, commemorations were punctuated by spectacular military parades, parachute jumps, gun drills and combat fitness marches among other activities which will not be done this year.
President Mnangagwa will deliver a speech which will be televised live on national television.
Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe said although there won’t be any gatherings due to Covid-19, Zimbabweans must observe the day as it is a special day dedicated to the country’s heroes and heroines, both living and departed.
“There will be no gatherings at the national, provincial and district heroes’ acres to mark Heroes Day due to the Covid-19 lockdown regulations. However, it is important to note that this is an important day as we remember our heroes and heroines and the President will deliver a speech on national television and radio,” he said.
“I urge all Zimbabweans wherever we are to listen and watch the President as he addresses the nation on this special day. There will be documentaries and other programmes on national television depicting the lives of our heroes.”
Minister Kazembe said the new development is in line with Ministry of Health and Child Care guidelines.
“We are all aware of the Covid-19 pandemic hence we can’t gather as we usually do. It is important to save lives, but that should not dampen our spirits of celebrating our heroes and heroines at our homes,” he said.
Bulawayo Provincial Affairs Minister Cde Judith Ncube said relatives of heroes and heroines lying at the Bulawayo Provincial Heroes’ Acre were free to lay wreaths on gravesides.
She said people will be monitored to comply with lockdown regulations to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
“Heroes Day is an important day. It evokes memories of what our departed brothers and sisters, sons and daughters went through to liberate this country,” she said.
“Although we won’t be able to converge like what we do every year, spiritually we are together as we remember our heroes. Whatever we do or say on this day let us do it with dignity and respect for our fallen heroes.”
Bulawayo provincial war veterans’ chairperson Cde Cephas Ncube urged Zimbabweans from all walks of life to respect the sacrifices made by the country’s heroes and heroines. “The liberation struggle was not started by our generation, but our forefathers after realising their country had been colonised. We then followed in their footsteps,” he said.
Cde Ncube said Zimbabweans should cherish the sacrifices made by the sons and daughters of the soil and the majority people must enjoy unconditional access to the country’s resources due to the deaths and suffering that brought about independence.
Chronicle yesterday visited Nkulumane Provincial Heroes’ Acre and observed some families of heroes and heroines lying at the shrine clearing gravesides.
“Every year we come here to tidy up the graveside where our brother is lying. It is however, sad as we won’t be able to commemorate Heroes Day this year due to Covid-19,” said Ms Khethiwe Dube of Pumula South. — @mashnets.