Befitting honour to President Mugabe


THERE is a song that we have been singing for a while now and it is about reclaiming our identity.
We have spoken about collapsing the colonial apparatus and its whole infrastructure.
We have identified renaming our institutions as a focal point towards that thrust.
We will maintain that.
Embarking on that route is simply restoring the dignity of pasichigare.
We will insist even that our past matters to us much more than anything.
That is why I said in the beginning that by telling our story we are not singing a new song.
This is a song of our story.
A song of our past.
That great song of our future.
Let us rewind to a not so distant past but one which is now relevant to current events in our country.
In 2002, the then Minister of Education, Sports and Culture Aeneas Chigwedere tried to rename schools but the resistance was fierce.
The colonial legacy came to the fore through the palpable anger that parents, especially Zimbabweans, displayed on the Chigwedere proposal.
That is what colonialism has left within us, a lot that resents its names and with it, its past.
All that Chigwedere was trying to do was to replace English names, especially of former white schools and bestow on them indigenous ones that glorify the country’s history.
We are not surprised by the reaction to the announcement by the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) that with effect from November 9 2017, Harare International Airport will be renamed R. G. Mugabe International Airport.
This is in honour of the country’s leader, President Robert Mugabe, that great man who has delivered with devastating effect a serious blow to the colonial apparatus.
This is the man who has given Zimbabweans land.
This is the man who has answered the lingering colonial question.
This is the man who has economically emancipated his people through ongoing economic empowerment initiates.
So what is wrong with honouring him by renaming the country’s biggest airport after him?
When the Bulawayo Airport was renamed Joshua M. Nkomo Airport, not much noise was made.
Here at The Patriot we have been expressing the general sentiment that we need to honour our heroes.
We are simply part of a broader majority who believe in honouring deserving people.
We are part of the larger grouping who believe in reclaiming our past.
We believe the process of decolonising the mind must be reflective of our independence.
Our independence can only have meaning if and when it is replete with indigenous names and those of our heroes both local and abroad.
The renaming of the Harare International Airport is only a part of that process.
It is just one of many, many things to come.
But more significantly, it is an honour to a hero.
We hope it continues unabated — that process of changing names to indigenous ones.
That is why we are happy that roads have been renamed after liberation war heroes, nationalists and historical figures such as Sekuru Kaguvi, Mbuya Nehanda, King Lobengula, Herbert Chitepo, Leopold Takawira, Joshua Nkomo, Robert Mugabe, Rekai Tangwena, Jason Moyo, Simon Mazorodze, Samuel Parirenyatwa, Josiah Chinamano and Josiah Tongogara, among others.
The re-naming of Harare International Airport is part of a process of honouring our heroes — living or departed.


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