Ordinary people are Zim’s true heroes

via Ordinary people are Zim’s true heroes – DailyNews Live 13 August 2014 by Cathy Buckle

HARARE – There was nothing at all coincidental about the sudden flurry of activity by local municipal workers undertaking road repairs five days before Heroes’ Day.

Most roads approaching the town centre haven’t had any repairs since the last election.

In some residential areas, it’s been over eight years since people have seen a grader, JVC or even just a municipal worker with a hard broom working on the roads: storm drains are
completely full, verges have steep drop offs and potholes have spread into a maze of gullies.

Why then the predictable display of window dressing, attempting to deceive people into believing everything is in good order in small town Zimbabwe a couple of days before Heroes Day 2014?

Local authorities might pull the wool over the eyes of visiting VIPs, but not so for the ordinary people.

We’ve seen it all before: solitary roads are fixed, only  those that VIPs and dignitaries will use to reach the venue of the day while all around us things fall apart and the
evidence is everywhere, in plain sight.

The irony of fixing up a few potholes to look good for VIPs happening at the same time as the economy is in a state of continued decline is impossible to ignore.

Last week the Daily News’ front page headlines: “Doom and Gloom” said it all for the dire state we are in:  escalating unemployment, company closures, private and public company redundancies and the declining growth of our GDP.

Where are the new generation of heroes are as we slip back to the edge of the precipice?

We must look among ourselves because our true heroes — 34 years into Independence are the ordinary people who have seen more pain and suffering in the last 15 years than most people see in a lifetime.  Our heroes are people who turn the other cheek again and again as their standard of living drops lower and lower every year.

Zimbabwe’s everyday heroes are people who have lived through years of hunger, sickness and poverty; people who have gone without all the ingredients that make for a decent life — clean running water, electricity, employment, safe public transport and guarantees for old age.

Our everyday heroes watched helplessly as their money became worthless paper and their life savings were wiped out overnight with no sign of compensation for their loss a decade later.

Our heroes are the men and women who haven’t resorted to violence, thievery and brutality to survive.

Despite everything what happens to them, they continually look for new ways to legally make a living: selling air time; setting up stalls in flea markets and selling second hand clothes and shoes; sitting on dusty pavements and roadsides selling fruits, vegetables and consumables.

Then, there are our civil servants who keep going to work despite their wages being lower than the government’s own stated poverty datum line.

Our heroes are the 800 000 men, women and children who lost their homes and  livelihoods in the government’s Operation Murambatsvina and the half a million people who lost their
homes and jobs on commercial farms when these were seized and taken with no sign of compensation over a decade later.

Lastly, there are our unsung heroes who sacrificed everything and went to the Diaspora to find work so that they could send money home to support their families.

Three to four million people have been gone for over a decade during which time they have endured loneliness, separation and isolation from their lives, homes and families.

These are Zimbabwe’s new heroes, they stand among us.


  • comment-avatar
    avenger/revenger 9 years ago

    And yes. The new heroes will be those martyrs who rise up and take to the streets. Pamberi mob justice

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    Ngwalongwalo 9 years ago

    Very true indeed, ordinary Zimbabweans are the only heroes in this country, their struggle for daily survival during the harshest of the times, their survival during their physical, economical and emotional abuse from their own government tells it all and one can therefore say there are no other heroes in the country more that ordinary people of Zimbabwe, these are the heroes we need to salute ,these are the heroes we need to honour, these are the heroes we need to respect and these are the heroes we need to pray for.

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    Angela Wigmore 9 years ago

    Having read this article without checking the byline, I felt compelled to comment on its excellence. But first I scrolled back to the top to see who wrote it. Cathy Buckle – I should have known!

  • comment-avatar
    John Thomas 9 years ago

    Cathy you are very determined to look on the bright side. The fact that we are author of our own discontent should not be overlooked.

  • comment-avatar
    Mlimo 9 years ago

    Let the true heros stand up and take the fight to zanupf French Revolution style

  • comment-avatar
    gonohori 9 years ago

    Its a JCB not a JVC
    JCB Backhoe Loader

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    Mutumbo Wambosim 9 years ago

    You are 100% correct
    Just to add some more:
    Women,men and children who crossed the crocodile infected rivers just to have a better life for them and their families.
    People who left the country to start afresh where they don`t have any means in far away foreign lands`
    People in the diaspora for sending money and food to their families & relatives for them to survive.
    I salute you all ….

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    Mixed Race 9 years ago

    Well written article with true facts.We are true heroes without blood in our hands and we still suffer daily seeing our hard stressed children being forced to work without pay whilst these looters take it all.
    We are to be blamed for voting for these useless mps and councilors who have no clue in running public institutions.I have on many occasions asked our councilor to bring us a truck load of sand to use with our own labour to patch the potholes with no success.This lady councilor is hopeless and clueless because when I called her to meet me she promised many things like road repairs,street lights etc but its now over 4 months with nothing happening.
    The fact that certain funds suddenly happen to exist to repair roads being used by government leaders on particular activities demonstrates the type of misguided leadership within the cities.They do not serve the people who put them in those positions but political leaders.Some of these mps and councilors are so naive and ignorant that you cannot have a fruitful discussion with them.
    Unfortunately,we have very weak residential associations which can put pressure on these councilors.I have noticed that sometimes you get better results when you by-pass these councilors and deal with individual council departments eg health department acted swiftly when I reported a supermarket with beer outlet near my house which was allowing people to drink and then urinating around their shop causing a bad smell whenever the wind was blowing in my house direction.The Byo city health department moved in and ordered them to clean the surroundings and they asked me to monitor the situation and report back if they tried again.The supermarket owner was warned of a heavy fine if they allow their place to smell again-so far so good.We should all of us demand our rights from these elected people not to beg for what is rightfully ours.Never allow yourself to be intimidated by these wrong doers to cow you down.

    • comment-avatar
      Angela Wigmore 9 years ago

      Excellent comment and well done for bothering to get something done. Thumbs up also to B’yo CHD for reacting positively. It’s a pity there are not people like you on these councils in the first place. If there were, perhaps the wheels of Zimbabwe would begin to turn in the right direction. I salute you Mixed Race.

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    Who is different than ordinary people….it shows there is a gap between those Heroes and ordinary Zimbabwwean Heroes…..