After reading a lot about the late Comrade (Cde) Cephas Chamakomo Mangwana (80) in the Herald and other papers – I was made to think that he deserved to be buried at Zimbabwe’s National Heroes Acre where national heroes are interred.
Zimbabwe’s National Heroes Acre where national heroes are interred.
Surprising enough he was declared a provincial hero after a request was made in a letter sent to ZANU PF Secretary for Administration. In his letter, ZANU-PF Masvingo provincial chairman, Cde Ezra Chadzamira clearly outlined the role played by the late Cde Cephas Mangwana who died on January 31 2021.
I will pick just a few things which to me are qualifying aspects for one to be buried at the National Hero’s’ Acre. I don’t know if there are better qualifications which are being used to decide on the burial choice.
I am made to understand that the late Cde Cephas Mangwana established a rich history of success in mobilizing resources for the war effort during the African uprising assisting the armed struggle which fought to bring down Ian Douglas Smith’s Rhodesia Front (RF).
Cde Mangwana worked hand in hand with other nationalist leaders such as the late national heroes; Kumbirai Kangai, Enos Chikore, Herbert Chitepo, Kombo Moyana and even met His Excellency E.D. Mnangagwa in Tanzania.
During his activism, he mobilised resources for fellow comrades at the front providing clothing and medicines. Above all, he successfully smuggled weaponry to the warfront coordinating with his brother Dennis Mangwana who was later arrested by the RF and sentenced to death.
At Independence he decided to come back home and he held a number of positions such as Under Secretary in the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development; Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and also was responsible for the promotions of socio-economic relations between Zimbabwe and other countries. In the press Ezra Chadzamira is quoted as saying that the late Cde Cephas Mangwana is remembered for his unwavering dedication to nationalist politics, the liberation struggle and the nation.
I also understand that Cde Mangwana sat in various national government committees which to me shows his massive involvement in trying to reshape the development of Zimbabwe after the armed struggle. Just to name a few; Price Board; Industrial Projects Committee; National Committee on NAM; CHOGM and so forth.
This is just a tip of the iceberg I have highlighted – otherwise the late Cde C. Mangwana did a lot to deserve burial at the National Heroes Acre but ended up being accorded a Provincial status.
According to Denis Till, London, UK – a hero gives up himself putting his own life at great risk, for the greater good of others. This I believe is what the late Cde Cephas Chamakomo Mangwana did. He actually overcome his fear of danger in order to do good for the rest of the Zimbabweans during his life time of the armed struggle.
My question remains as How is national hero status accorded in Zimbabwe today?