NOVEMBER 23 1977 is a day that Zimbabweans must never forget.
It is a day we must remember the gallant sons and daughters of the soil who were massacred by the racist Smith regime at Chimoio in a ruthless operation codenamed ‘Operation Dingo’.
When the Rhodesians write about it, they celebrate the massacre that left over 3 000 freedom fighters, children and women dead and about 5 000 wounded.
To date, Rhodesians gloat over this so-called ‘victory’.
They have penned numerous books about Operation Dingo, in the process distorting our history.
When the foreign press arrived at Chimoio After the massacre, they saw ‘rows of bodies lying on the parade ground, reminding one of a field of mown corn’.
This week marks the 43th anniversary of the Chimoio attack.
To many Zimbabweans, the attack is personal and 43 years on, the memories are still fresh.
We, the generation that is fast being reminded of our mortality, we who carry the burden of history, especially the significance of the Chimoio, want to know if that legacy is dying with us or the next generation will carry on, on our behalf.
Do we appreciate the significance of that loss?
Do our young know the story of Chimoio?
We have survivors of the Chimoio attack who have lived to tell horrible stories about that fateful day, exposing how heartless the Rhodesians were.
But, are we capturing their narratives:of how the Rhodesians mercilessly bombed the camp determined to destroy every living person and fighter in a bid to demoralise the freedom fighters.
Nothing was spared by the Rhodesians — banned weapons and poison were employed to ensure maximum effect.
And the shameful Rhodesians do not deny all this evil.
So, this Monday, as we remember this genocide, we must take time, as a nation, to pay tribute to our fallen heroes and not forget that there are tormented souls at Chimoio.
We must remember that there are sons and daughters of the soil who never made it to an independent Zimbabwe.
There are people who survived the genocide and, to their credit, have written books ensuring that they tell our side of the story for the benefit of future generations.
Let us remember that the Chimoio Shrine is sacred and it’s ours.
We must take good care of it, as much as Cecil John Rhodes’ grave at the Matopos is taken care of.