Mnangagwa Praises Mugabe Foes
10 August 2022
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President Emmerson Mnangagwa has officially recognised late pioneering nationalists Ndabaningi Sithole and James Chikerema as part of the country’s standout heroes despite regurgitating his predecessor’s views the two sold out during the struggle for independence.

Sithole and Chikerema were both allies-turned-enemies of late former State leader Robert Mugabe who adamantly denied them the honour over grudges stemming from the liberation war period.

Mnangagwa made the pronouncement while leading the main celebrations of the country’s 42nd Heroes Day Commemorations at the National Shine, Harare.

Sithole, a founding Zanu President, was in 1975 ousted by former allies in place of Mugabe.

He died in 2000 aged 80 after enduring a frustrating political career that involved relentless persecution by the then State leader.

On his part, Chikerema, uncle and Mugabe contemporary, was a fierce fire-brand in his heyday.

The two had frequent run-ins dating back to their boyhood extending into pre and post-independence when both waged the liberation struggle from their different stations.

Chikerema succumbed to cancer in a US hospital March 2006 aged 81.

Mugabe took his grudges with the two right to their graves through hero status denial.

In attempts to undo his predecessor’s perceived transgressions, Mnangagwa has moved to confer the honour on Sithole and Chikerema.

“As the Second Republic, we are committed to giving a wholistic account of our country’s long war of liberation.

“We are therefore rising to the occasion and recognising other heroes and heroines such as the late Reverend Ndabaningi Sithole and the late Cde James Chikerema for their historical contributions, despite their areas of weaknesses, with regards to the observance of the correct line of the Revolution.

“For that reason, we now honour them among the list of our national heroes and heroines.

“We forever remain indebted to all the heroes and heroines of our great country for the freedom, democracy and independence we enjoy to this day. Their sacrifices will never die.”

Mnangagwa said his government also honours citizens who have excelled in other facets of life and not just in the liberation struggle.

Said the State leader, “The nation may recall that, in 2021, my Government established the following honours; the Robert Gabriel Mugabe Commendation Award; the Joshua Mqabuko Nyongolo Nkomo Commendation Award; and the Herbert Wiltshire Pfumaindini Chitepo Commendation Award in recognition of the sacrifices and outstanding feats achieved by the country’s founding fathers.

“We shall, thus, recognise and honour heroism beyond the war of liberation and defence sector. Milestones in science, technology and innovation; the accelerated development and growth of our economy as well as the growth of ‘Made in Zimbabwe’ goods and services are applauded and celebrated. So too are initiatives around cultural preservation and other heroic efforts by our people, both at home and abroad, that raise the Zimbabwe National Flag high.

“Befittingly, therefore, I shall confer the medals to four outstanding individuals.”- ZimLive