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Exhumed war heroes’ remains spend 11 years at Mt Darwin mortuary

HARARE – The Zimbabwe Fallen Heroes’ Trust, an organisation involved in the exhumation and reburial of war veterans and victims, has asked the Government for at least US$2 000 for the reburial of 10 exhumed bodies of war casualties that have been kept at Mt Darwin District Hospital since 2014.

Anyway Chinyani, the Trust’s national co-ordinator, said the war victims needed a decent burial rather than keeping them in the cold mortuary.

“It has been nearly 11 years now since we took the remains of those comrades to that mortuary.

“The government has been ignoring our plea for financial assistance over all those years,” said Chinyani.×250&–6hbeCS-_VlU93dSJmBOH7Q&eo_id_str=ID%3D09d40d7db5c2460c%3AT%3D1712749844%3ART%3D1714469094%3AS%3DAA-AfjZ9LhWVQP4dngmnmNv1tBh9&prev_fmts=0x0%2C728x90&nras=1&correlator=8329722977149&frm=20&pv=1&ga_vid=721238660.1712749850&ga_sid=1714469268&ga_hid=2032597769&ga_fc=1&u_tz=120&u_his=3&u_h=768&u_w=1366&u_ah=720&u_aw=1366&u_cd=24&u_sd=1&dmc=8&adx=162&ady=1961&biw=1349&bih=633&scr_x=0&scr_y=0&eid=44759875%2C44759926%2C44759837%2C42532524%2C31083215%2C95331043%2C95331364%2C95331556%2C31078663%2C31078665%2C31078668%2C31078670&oid=2&pvsid=3311336124077537&tmod=269657789&uas=0&nvt=1&!3&btvi=2&fsb=1&dtd=329

He said there were many more fallen war heroes still in the shallow and mass graves across the country whose spirits were visiting him and other war veterans asking for decent burials.

“We cannot exhume them if the situation is like this. “We will not be able to bury them,” he added.

Sam Parirenyatwa, Zimbabwe National War Veterans Association provincial chair said the problem was with parliamentarians.

He said while soliciting for votes, the parliamentarians sweet talked them, using them to mobilise support and promising them an improved welfare once they assumed office.

“One would wonder what really happens when one ascends to parliament. All promises will be breached,” he said.

He also pleaded with treasury to avail funds to the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage for the upkeep of districts and provincial heroes’ acres.

Parirenyatwa said many war veterans no longer wanted to be buried at these shrines because of the neglect they suffered.

Access roads to most of these heroes’ acres were also inaccessible, while there was also very little or no overnight security.

Most graves at these provincial and district heroes’ acres were just heaps of compacted soil without cement or bricks.

Over the years, some of the graves have collapsed, leaving bereaved families with no other option but to build the graves of their loved ones on their own. Mazowe district war veterans’ chair, Ephanos Mudzimunye, however, believes that the Constitution must clearly point out that war veterans should also be in Parliament, so that they could represent themselves.

He said while women and youths were given a quota in Parliament, the same should have applied to war veterans.

The reason behind the seemingly neglect of war veterans and their interests had also been due to the composition of Parliament, which comprises pro-American parliamentarians from opposition parties, who “actually see us as an insane cabal”.

Aaron Chinogurei, also known as Teddy Hondo, during the liberation struggle, said the young people in parliament knew nothing about how war veterans brought out this country out of colonial bondage.

“And what would you expect from them?”

He said there must also be a Statutory Instrument to protect surviving and fallen heroes across the country.

He appealed to President Emmerson Mnangagwa to facilitate the provision of financial assistance to the National Monuments and Museums for the purposes of maintaining district and provincial heroes’ acres.

Chinyani also asked the President to remember his fellow comrades from the liberation struggle.

There were a lot of mass graves of Zimbabwean war victims across the SADC region, including at Chimoio, Tembwe and Nyadzonia.

These comrades, he said, were causing chaos within the vicinity of their graves. “Flags are being torn everyday and security is being bashed daily by these angry and apoplectic comrades, who also want to come back home and get decent burial in the land they fought for,” he said. – New Ziana


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