The Heroes Act is silent on dress code at burials, National Assembly Speaker, Jacob Mudenda, said Tuesday while urging legislators to look into that going forward.
Mudenda was responding to Makoni Central legislator, David Tekeshe’s concerns that ZANU-PF supporters were attending heroes’ burials in their party regalia.
“My point of national interest emanates from a provincial hero’s funeral which was held in my constituency on Saturday,” said Tekeshe.
“A business colleague by the name of Michael Nyamusamba was declared a provincial hero, I attended the funeral. I was surprised to see at the hero’s funeral that there were slogans and regalia. I thought heroes are above parties.”
He added: “What really surprised me is that the funeral took place in my Constituency in Rusape and I was never acknowledged. Some MPs from other constituencies were acknowledged, given chairs to sit and they were sitting in the shade. I stood in the sun yet I am the MP of the place. My question is, should a hero’s funeral be taken on party grounds?”
In response, Mudenda said there were no guidelines governing the behaviour of people at heroes’ acre.
“There are no specific guidelines in terms of how the public should conduct themselves in terms of carrying out proceedings for the burial of a lost member who might be a liberation hero or a liberation war hero,” said Mudenda.
“As to the dress code that has not been defined in any Act including the Heroes Act and also in terms of the Honourable Member not being recognised, it could be a question of whosoever was director of ceremonies there. It is a matter that was very local in a sense.”
Mudenda said there would not be any harm in recognising him as the MP for the place.
“So let us have a code of conduct in the law, which you must make yourselves as the august House,” said Mudenda.
“Then that law will have to be followed accordingly. At the moment we do not have anything in the Heroes Act in terms of the dress code