liberation struggle were exhu-med here yesterday.
Over the weekend, 280 remains were exhumed after they were buried at Chibondo Mineshaft, about 32km out of Mount Darwin.
The remains were exhumed by former freedom fighters and members of the Fallen Heroes Association of Zimbabwe and will be taken to their various provi-nces for reburial by relatives.
Zanu-PF secretary for information and publicity Cde Rugare Gumbo, Minister of Media, Information and Publicity Webster Shamu, Minister of Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Saviour Kasukuwere, Mashonaland Central Governor Advocate Martin Dinha, War Veterans’ chairman Cde Jabulani Sibanda, Zanu-PF Mashonaland Central Province chairman Cde Dickson Mafios and other senior Government officials visited the area to witness the exhumation.
Cde Gumbo, who was shocked to discover that most freedom fighters, children and women had been buried in mineshafts urged people to always remember that this country’s independence came through the liberation struggle.
“I can’t believe what I have seen here. All along I was thinking that they had special places where they were burying people but I have discovered that they were mineshafts,” he said.
He said what was more painful was that most of them had their bodies sprinkled with acid while others were hanged using wires before being thrown into the mineshafts.
“This was cruel. Imagine that some had grenades stashed on them to make sure that they were destroyed. This is a lesson to the people of what the whites did during the liberation struggle.
“This is a testimony that the liberation struggle is still continuing and as Zimbabweans we should remain united and stro-ng,” Cde Gumbo said.
Cde Shamu said, “The Rhodesians were not here (in Zimbabwe) as friends but as enemies who were here to exploit.
“That was their main objective. And for anybody to deceive themselves and think that colonialism had anything good about it then they are mistaken.”
He said they had learnt from President Mugabe that, “we should forgive but never forget.”
“This is true testimony that shows that we were colonised. All they (colonisers) want and think is that they are more special than others,” Cde Shamu said
Cde Sibanda said what he had witne-ssed was a very difficult situation.
“And for any person to support sanctions especially (Prime Minister Morgan) Tsvangirai must know that we are against that.
“He is standing in front of a train that will not stop. Also any other person who dares to play with the lives of our people is an enemy of this country,” he said.
Cde Kasukuwere said the remains were a sign of the brutality of the Smith Regime.
“After taking our resources they had the audacity to throw our people in the mineshafts. It’s an insult. We need to understand that the white people are not here for charity,” he said.
Cde Kasukuwere challenged every politician especially the MDC-T to come and witness what had happened during the liberation struggle in Mount Darwin so that they would understand.
Adv Dinha said, “The exhumation that has been done has exposed the true nature and character of the white settler colonialism. How murderous the Smith regime and their white kith and kin were,” he said.
He said the genocide against the people of Zimbabwe had not been fully exposed.
“These atrocities demonstrate the pain that the people of Zimbabwe went through to liberate this country.
He invited PM Tsvangirai, Mr Welshman Ncube and Minister Nelson Chamisa to come and witness the exhumation and see what, “their white friends did to the people so that they will repent.”
Chief exhumer Cde Jimmy Motsi said they would not rest until all the freedom fighters get decent burial.
“I would like to say there are over 700 people who were buried at this mineshaft and so far we discovered four grenades, which we have since detonated,” he said.
The association has discovered over 2000 individual graves and 280 mass graves countrywide.