THE construction of Mbuya Nehanda’s statue is a bold statement of who we are as Zimbabweans.
This country has suffered the misfortune of having to continuously contend with neo-colonialism that has seen our people not only resenting their history but their motherland as well.
All this boils down to two unpalatable facts, namely, our education system that forces us to honour colonial ‘heroes’ like Allan Wilson and his gang of ‘murderers’ and secondly, the continued, nauseating interference in our internal affairs by outsiders.
What Mbuya Nehanda stood for is exactly what we are fighting for today.
The iconic First Chimurenga heroine fought for the empowerment of the majority.
She fought for total control of the country’s land and means of production and, significantly, she fought for the people’s freedom.
But even when the country has had 40 years of independence, the enemy is still at work, desperately trying to destabilise the country.
The continued funding of anarchist operations by some Western embassies, particularly the US, is ample testimony that, as a country and as a people, we still have to be imbued with the spirit of Mbuya Nehanda in order to defeat the enemy.
It comes as no surprise that as recent as a fortnight ago, some NGOs were implicated in a plot to unseat the Government through their funding of an MDC Alliance youth workshop in Masvingo.
The source of that funding is known, so too is the OSISA’s US$ 100 000 funding of that new publication that has had a false start to what will be its short lifespan.
Its objective is to do exactly what whites did to Mbuya Nehanda – paralyse the spirit of unity in the country, fracture the masses’ willpower to develop their country and tarnish the country’s image.
That will all come to naught.
We will soon unravel this story with the attention it deserves.
While this is happening, there is nothing that will stop the country from honouring its heroes and heroines and giving the people accurate details of the country’s history.
This country will also no longer keep the graves of the likes of Wilson as protected monuments.
This is what President Emmerson Mnangagwa was emphasising on Monday during a tour of Nyati Gallery where the statue of Mbuya Nehanda is being crafted.
“The issue is that if us, former freedom fighters, don’t document our history and where we came from, the young generation will not know where we came from. So we should depart after making sure that we have recorded our history,” said President Mnangagwa.
“Mbuya Nehanda led the war during the First Chimurenga and she led us when we fought during the Second Chimurenga. That is why we are recognising her so that the young generation will know who led the war against the colonial regime.”
He had words for those who have been criticising the erection of the statue and they were profound those words.
“Those who say that also carry crosses around their necks and pictures symbolising Jesus Christ. Why wear that cross? If they were not part of us, we would have told them to go back to their countries of origin.
What is wrong with us recognising those who led us during the liberation war? We recognise Jesus Christ because he died for us and we are also recognising Mbuya Nehanda because she led us during the war.”
On Allan Wilson, he said Government will remove his remains and his 34 soldiers from Matopos and rebury them at the site of their defeat by King Lobengula
“As the Second Republic, we will remove the remains of those colonialists and rebury them where they lost the battle. How can the vanquished be honoured where the victors are not honoured?” President Mnangagwa asked.
Therein lies the tragedy of some in our midst.
Even when there is visible developmental progress, they will not be satisfied; instead, they will find ways of lampooning the Government.
They will borrow from the Western script that this country is a pariah State and that this country is on the brink of collapse.
We now know better, we now know that in Pfumvudza Programme there is life; that in the construction of dams, roads and other infrastructure, the country is in the right direction.
And there are those who see better and acknowledge that there is indeed glowing light at the end of the tunnel.
According to the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, Zimbabwe is among the top five African countries in terms of economic policies.
On Tuesday, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa spoke on the endorsement by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation.
“Zimbabwe recorded significant improvements on the categories of human development, foundation of economic development, security and rule of law,” she said.
“Zimbabwe is ranked as the most improved country over the decade in the category of Foundation for Economic Development.
This category considers public administration, business environment, infrastructure and rural sector in Zimbabwe.”
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Dr Sibusiso Moyo weighed in, saying:
“It is a good sign that reforms being implemented in this country are getting a third party endorsement from foreign organisation.
When we get such recognition, it dispels talk from other sectors that we are a country in crisis.
Several projects have been done to improve the livelihoods of Zimbabweans, especially the poor. Things like borehole drilling, construction of dams, making sure access to water is a key priority.
The policies have been pro-people. Even the country’s anti-corruption drive has netted senior Government officials.
We are, however, not ending there. The vision for the Second Republic is to create an upper middle income economy by 2030, which President Mnangagwa has always been advocating. We will continue implementing policies that will make the country an economic giant.”
Let us all be bound by the spirit of Mbuya Nehanda and honour our heroes as we develop our country.