LIKE last year, we celebrate our Heroes’ and Defence Forces days on Monday and Tuesday next week without any pomp or fanfare because of the raging COVID-19 pandemic.
However, the absence of big gatherings should not make us forget the reason for the commemorations.
It is the determination of these departed heroes and heroines that saw us achieve our independence and sovereignty after defeating colonialists on the battlefield.
The ultimate sacrifice – death – by these heroes and heroines, some of who are buried in unknown graves, is reason enough for us to retrospect and see how far we are respecting their cause.
This can be shown by our adherence to the ethos of unity and their determination in fighting for a common cause.
A common cause that should also unite us today is the fight against COVID-19.
Like the liberation war, the pandemic is relentless, vicious and deadly.
It is just as reckless as the colonial settlers who pounced and massacred hundreds in their trail without any mercy.
But they met their match in the form of our departed heroes and heroines, who always found ways of countering them, pound for pound, as a united force.
This is the same spirit we are witnessing today as the Government leads the way in fighting the pandemic.
Wearing of masks, keeping social distance and hand hygiene are all ways to show our determination to rid of the pandemic.
And to effectively silence the enemy during the liberation war, our heroes and heroines had to bring out the 80 or 90 millimetre mortars (Duri raMbuya Nehanda) to match the enemy fire power.
And today to subdue the hostile COVID-19 variants, we have our own version of the 80 and 90 millimetre mortars in the form of vaccines.
True to the spirit of our heroes and heroines we shall be commemorating on Monday, the Government has already set aside millions to purchase enough vaccines to achieve herd immunity.
This is the kind of determination to win that should always remind us of the calibre of our heroes.
But there are always dubious characters who are not ashamed to go against the grain.
We have those who are busy today discouraging people from getting vaccinated without any scientific explanation.
During the liberation war we also had characters like Morrison Nyathi who were not ashamed to betray relatives .
Even today we have those who have chosen to dine with the enemy going as far as persuading them to impose sanctions on their country.
But if we remain true to the spirit and determination of our heroes, the voice of reason will always prevail.
Even those sellouts, who today are in the enemy’s corner calling for regime change, are doomed and will fail.
That is if we remain united and determined to defend a common cause like what our heroes and heroines did.
Determination to succeed and defeat the cause of the enemy has seen the Second Republic stay in touch with the masses.
This can be witnessed by the massive improvement in agricultural produce and positive attempts to stabilise the Zimbabwe dollar.
Various other devolution projects meant to uplift the livelihoods of the people, are in line with the objectives our heroes and heroines were determined to achieve .
Whatever they did was for the common good.
As we celebrate our Heroes’ Day, this should be uppermost in our minds if we want to be a true mirror image of the aspirations of our heroes and heroines.
No matter where their remains are, it is their ideals, which should be the driving force of the living.
As we celebrate our Heroes’ and Defence Forces days, we do so with the knowledge that our national sovereignty and territorial integrity are safeguarded by an efficient army.