How so ironic the national shrine is. The man, Robert Mugabe, who created the national shrine and presided over it, used it as weapon for rewarding, and punishing and demeaning fellow liberation comrades. Only a very very small number of decent individuals were rightly accorded the status with any arguments and drama. These were those who died early after independence when there was still a resemblance of normalcy within the liberation struggle parties. However, as time went by, most of those who deserved to be buried there but were opposed to his politics were left in the cold, their families deprived of the rewards that came with the National Hero status; state freebies, free health and education and renumerations. Those who were his faithful lap dogs and attack dogs were promptly and richly rewarded without any debate. Thus, we ended up with well known thieves and thugs buried at the so called national shrine simply because they were His most trusted and loyal lapdogs!
Sadly, some of those rewarded with the National Hero status were only accorded this in name only, mainly because not declaring them heroes would have raised a storm from influential fellow cadres. Memorably, Ruth Chinamano and Tongogara’s widow publicly lamented the poverty they endured as their late husbands’ comrades lived lavishly, yet they had no one caring about them.
Those who opposed were deemed to oppose Mugabe, especially from Zapu/Zipra were simply ignored, emissaries sent to shed crocodile tears on behalf of the ‘People’s Government’ with the bereaved families . Most of those who saw this stunt and Zanufication of the shrine simply opted out of embarrassing their families, and left instructions not to be buried at the shrine. However, Mugabe would at times force his way to have some of these principled cadres buried there against their will. For what reason? Only he himself and a few of his henchmen knew.
Ironically, the very man himself; Robert Gabriel Mugabe, First Secretary of Zanu, who had his first wife Sally declared the first heroine to be buried at the National Heroes’ Acre, would opt not to be interred at his own created national shrine! Even beyond death, he would refuse to be exhumed for reburial at own shrine!! What a cunning fox, betraying everyone even in death!! How so amazing and unexpected.
Today, Mugabe lies lonely, far away from the maddenig crowd of his comrades’ shrine, the very shrine he seemed to have created for others whilst he himself is buried at some unknown private shrine. This life is so full of mysteries one would think we are only at peace once dead and buried.
Enter lap dog number one turned Chief Betrayer, Emmerson Nhlupheko Dambudzo Mnangagwa, he copies exactly what his lifelong mentor Mugabe used the shrine for, rewarding and punishing fellow liberation comrades. This is a currsed “national’ shrine that only belongs to whoever is in power; noone knows who will or will not be interred there. The mad gods of Zanu are temperamental when it comes to burial at the shrine.