ZIMBABWEANS yesterday paid tribute to the country’s gallant sons and daughters who sacrificed their lives to liberate the country as they commemorated the Heroes Day. Today Zimbabweans are again paying tribute to the men and women that continue to guard jealously the country’s territorial integrity as they commemorate the Zimbabwe Defence Forces Day.
There were no gatherings to commemorate the Heroes Day yesterday due to Covid-19 regulations which restrict such gatherings and there will be no gatherings again for the ZDF commemorations today. This is the first time since Independence that the people failed to gather at the different Heroes Acres including the national shrine in Harare to pay homage to the country’s heroes and heroines who paid with their lives to liberate the country.
President Mnangagwa addressed the nation through national television and other media platforms to mark the day.
Today and yesterday should be a time for the nation to reflect on the nation’s achievements and failures during the past 40 years.
One of the biggest achievements that we look back with pride is the successful implementation of the land reform programme. More than 300 000 families are now owners of land in areas that include what used to be a preserve of the white commercial farmers.
Most Zimbabweans were, before Independence, confined to barren land while white commercial farmers occupied prime farming areas in different parts of the country. The skewed land ownership was one of the major grievances that drove Zimbabweans to take up arms to fight the settler regime.
The Government soon after Independence embarked on a programme to resettle thousands of landless Zimbabweans but the process was moving at a snail’s pace due to resistance from white farmers.
In 2000 the landless Zimbabweans invaded farms owned by white commercial farmers to protest against the slow pace at which they were being resettled thereby prompting Government to embark on a fast track land resettlement. This has seen about 300 000 families being resettled throughout the country and what is encouraging is that most of these new farmers have demonstrated that they have the capacity to fully utilise the land.
The gallant sons and daughters who sacrificed with their lives to get the land back to its rightful owners should be smiling in their graves. It is however, disturbing that this year the nation is observing these two important days when the country is under siege from both internal and external detractors that are peddling falsehoods aimed at destabilising the peace and tranquillity that citizens are enjoying.
Zimbabwe is being portrayed as a pariah state by its enemies that are pushing for a regime change. Our heroes and heroines should be turning in their graves as a result of these attempts to reverse the gains of Independence.