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Zapu honours its ‘national heroes’

Zapu has resolved to honour some of its departed cadres who were denied national hero status by the ruling Zanu PF government.

The revolutionary party has used the month of August, which is designated as Heroes month, to honour party veterans who contributed well to society.

“As Zapu, we largely define our ideals by the heroes we choose, ideals such as commitment, bravery, courage, honour and justice. The sooner we understand these ideals, the sooner we, as a country, will truly begin to honour either our combat veterans and other individuals who have contributed to the country’s development,” said ZAPU national spokesperson, Iphithule Maphosa in an interview with CITE.

“We appreciate that Abraham Dumezweni Nkiwane, a former ZPRA commander national hero status for his bravery, was accorded national hero status as one of the first fighters to smuggle the first weapons of war into the country. The government should have gone further to recognise other deserving individuals who should be accorded hero status as well.”

Maphosa said in particular, Zapu honoured the late Teresia Thaka, who was known in the party as the Mother Theresa of Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle.

“Thaka is our national heroine. She was a pioneering member of ZAPU as well as a pioneer of the party’s war for independence. She worked in Zambia together with her late husband and became pivotal in preparations, execution and sustenance of the liberation struggle,” he said.

“The Thakas’ home was literally turned into a transit place where almost if not all party and struggle leaders passed through en route to executing war. With the same tenacity Thaka, who we called Mother Theresa, continued fighting for equality, fairness, freedom and justice, all ingredients for sustainable development of the country.”

Maphosa added that Zapu identified Saul Gwakuba Ndlovu, as another national hero for his role in the development of the country’s media industry.

“Gwakuba joined the struggle full time from his teaching and journalism profession in 1961. In Zambia where Zapu was headquartered, he was instrumental in creating the mother party’s department of information and publicity. Ndlovu was later sent to the then Soviet Union for both specialised military and leadership training after which he continued his service to the liberation struggle,” said the national spokesperson.

“In independent Zimbabwe, Gwakuba worked in many publications while at the same time contributing to the development of the media industry and profession.”

Maphosa noted ZAPU also honoured football legend, Ernest Maphepha Sibanda, who was a former executive chairman at Highlanders Football Club.

After his death, the Zanu-PF Bulawayo province requested that Maphepha be declared a national hero for his contribution to the football game, but the request was not granted.

“Maphepha as Sibanda was affectionately known, was an example of commitment and passion to the game of football as well as sports generally. He contributed immensely to the development of football both as a player and administrator in the process of developing many youngsters into professional players,” said ZAPU’s national spokesperson.

“A genius in administration, Maphepha turned around the fortunes of Highlanders Football Club and indeed the wide and broad generality of the game. This he did with immeasurable passion and commitment.”

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