Sunday Mail Reporter
A local heritage preservation trust has embarked on a drive to woo support towards the rehabilitation and maintenance of liberation struggle shrines, in a bid to preserve the country’s history.
The Zimbabwe Heroes Shrines’ Services and Education Trust (ZiHSSET) says its bid is motivated by the realisation that the country cannot forge ahead if its historical fabric, on which Zimbabweans must take pride, is not preserved.
The organisation, founded by a group of liberation war veterans, is targeting war battle sites dotted across southern Africa.
The sites have been neglected for years.
ZiHSSET chairperson, Mr Washington Bangalila told The Sunday Mail, “As war veterans, we are duty bound to continuously bring awareness to the people and keep the legacy of the liberation struggle alive.
“Our organisation is non-political and seeks to impart oral history of Second Chimurenga battle sites to all willing Zimbabweans.”
Mr Bangalila said his organisation has been organising educational tours to historical war sites, but of late has been facing transport constraints.
Last month, local businessman Mr John Manjengwa pledged donations towards the sprucing up of Chimoio Shrine in Mozambique, where more than 3 000 liberation fighters and children were massacred by the Rhodesians in 1977.
Mr Manjengwa has since lived to his promise and funded the purchasing of material for the construction of ablution facilities at the shrine.
Brick moulding is currently underway at Chimoio shrine to pave way for construction.
In an interview on the sidelines of the official opening of the Mutarazi Falls Skywalk and Skyline in Nyanga recently, Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Prisca Mupfumira said Government is committed to preserve the war shrines.
“War shrines are a tourism destination and it is in our interest, as Government, to make sure that we spruce them up,” she said.
“We are talking about building of Chinhoyi 7 Heroes Acre, it is almost done and Pupu in Masvingo is underway. We want the young people to understand what happened during the liberation struggle,” she said.