FOUNDING ZANU leader Reverend Ndabaningi Sithole and revered nationalist, Cde James Chikerema have been officially listed in the National Heroes Acre’s Hall of Fame while Government has opened communication channels with families of the heroes to ensure they are allocated full benefits entitled to such honour.
At this year’s Heroes Day commemorations, President Mnangagwa posthumously conferred honours to the pair, saying Zimbabwe should be able to objectively confront its past,
Reverend Sithole died in 2000, while Cde Chikerema passed away in 2006 and both nationalists had fallen-out with former President Robert Mugabe.
Deputy Chief Secretary in charge of Presidential Communications in the Office of the President and Cabinet, Mr George Charamba said:
“Government is now working on extending benefits which come with the honour accorded to the nationalists. Before long, it will be done. These are standard benefits which accrue to families of all national heroes. Consultations with the families are ongoing.”
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage, Mr Aaron Nhepera confirmed official listing of the late freedom fighters as national heroes.
“We have since listed names of Reverend Ndabaningi Sithole and Cde James Chikerema as our gallant national heroes. From now on, when we commemorate Heroes Day, their families will be welcome to be part of the list of families of heroes’ that participate at the event.”
In his address on Heroes’ Day, President Mnangagwa said the Second Republic was committed to giving a holistic account of the war of liberation.
“We are, therefore, rising to the occasion and recognising other heroes and heroines such as the late Reverend Ndabaningi Sithole and the late comrade James Chikerema for their historical contributions, despite their areas of weaknesses, with regards to the observance of the correct line of the revolution.
“For that reason, we now honour them among the list of our national heroes and heroines. We forever remain indebted to all the heroes and heroines of our great country for the freedom, democracy and Independence,” His Excellency said.
Families and associates of the liberation struggle pioneers have already welcomed the posthumous conferment of the national hero status, saying the recognition is deserved.