Wananchi: Chirenda, Sharon – Revenge of history – Tendai Biti

via Wananchi: Chirenda, Sharon – Revenge of history January 21, 2014 by Tendai Biti NewsDay

TWO notable military men died this January, one a gallant son of the soil known as Colonel Harold Chirenda and the other a swash buckling gunslinger known as Ariel Sharon, the former Israeli Prime Minister.

There are few lying at the national shrine who genuinely deserve the label of “hero”, never mind “national hero” .

The little acre near Warren Park in Harare has been reduced to a privatised burial ground for Zanu PF opportunists and other villainous characters who, by hook and crook, have worked themselves up on the ladder of patronage and bootlicking.

The motley of criminals buried there do great disservice to the genuine heroes whose remains are interred thereto.

Burying Chenjerai “Hitler” Hunzvi, Border Gezi and others at the same space that Joshua Nkomo and Solomon Mujuru lie is an insult to the gods.
Equally, how can it be called a heroes’ acre when the likes of Ndabaningi Sithole, Canaan Banana, Sarah Kachingwe, Walter Kamba, and others, are conspicuous by their absence?

Elliot Masango as Colonel Chirenda was known was a founding Zipra cadre who was among the first group of 90 comrades trained in Algeria before later being deployed to Morogoro where he cut his teeth as a trainer in the distinguished company of Nikita Mangena, the under-stated Ambrose Mutinhiri and the god father Tapson Sibanda.

This Wanachi had the privilege of being in regular touch with him during the golden era of Black Rhinos Football Club.

He was a humble, affable character, who was extremely perceptive and intelligent.

This was a time when football was still football and Black Rhinos was the Chelsea of Zifa Division One, delighting thousands of us with the majestic skills of the late and great Stanley “Sinyo” Ndunduma, Jerry “Dzungu” Chidawa, Maronga “The Bomber” Nyangela, Fanny Nyamkapa, Langton “Govender” Matimba, Simon “AK” Mugabe, Jimmy Mbewe, Hamid “Muzukuru” Dhanah, Mike “Maburugwa” Abrahams and his imperial highness Stanford “Stix” Mtizwa.

His tales of the war and the training camps were legendary and the one failure of these heroes is that they are dying without telling their tales.
In these days of ghost writers this is regrettable. In fact it was he who named the army team Black Rhinos from a wrist watch he had which had a rhino engraved in the same.

Like his friend and student General Mujuru (may his soul rest in peace), his love for the bottle was the stuff of legends, but like Winston Churchill before them, both men knew their limits.

He was simply too honest and too disciplined to last in an army that was increasingly becoming partisan and no wonder they retired him on the rank of a mere colonel. He truly was a gentleman and an officer. Those of us who knew him will surely miss him.

The same cannot be said of Ariel Sharon, who died on January 11, after eight years in a coma.

To put it, Sharon was a war monger, but brilliant military commander involved in historic battles such as the assault of the Sinai in the Six-Day War in 1967, the Yom Kippur War of 1973, the War of Attrition and the 1982 Lebanon War.

In the 1982 Lebanese War, Sharon hit his highest level of notoriety when he ordered the slaughter of 3 500 civilians, mostly Palestine and Lebanese Shiites in the Sabra compounds and the nearby Shatila refugee camp in Beirut on September 16, 1982.

International law defines the innocent massacre of unarmed civilians in a war as a war criminal and to many of us Sharon will always remain one.
The man was a master charmer, but behind the smile lay a cobra.

He was the master connoisseur of back-stabbing who took Machiavellian principles to another level.

You keep your friends closer and your enemies even closer.

But history is full of ironies and Sharon himself was one.

Despite the fact that he spent his life encouraging and pushing illegal settlements in Gaza and the West Bank as Prime Minister, in 2005 he bravely pulled Israel from the Gaza.

Cynics would argue that he took Israel out of Gaza, but not Gaza out of Israel.

Palestinians would angrily say he took Israel out of Gaza, but planted it in the West Bank.

Any visitor to the Palestinian capital of Ramallah would be shocked by the long man-made wall that was built in the West Bank to keep Palestinians out of Israel.

The visitor too would be shocked by the number of Jewish settlements that are being built every day in the West Bank, many of them unoccupied.

Ramallah itself, compared to Tel Aviv, is a shanty town comparable to the inner city of any African capital. The Palestine/Israel situation needs an urgent lasting solution.

One that recognises the equal rights of both the Philistines and the chosen tribes. One that recognises the rights of both Jew and Muslim to live side by side.

The two-State solution thus has no viable sustainable alternative.

Israel must pull out of the West Bank and formally recognise a Palestinian State. Equally radical fundamentalists, particularly from Gaza, must recognise that terrorism does not work and dialogue and peace are the way forward.

The citizens of Israel have a right to live peacefully without the threats of suicide bombers or rockets coming from Gaza.

They too are also entitled to a State of their own.

Equally the Palestinians are also entitled to peace and not the threat of bombs from the Tel Aviv administration. Much falls on the shoulders of the current Israel leadership. Courage is required on the part of Benjamin Netanyahu of doing the right thing and move towards the two-State solution.

John Kerry’s efforts deserve reward. It is in this regard that sadly and ironically the world will miss the departed Sharon. For he would have had the courage of doing it.

This, Wananchi, can only be called the revenge of history. Zikomo!

Tendai Biti is the secretary-general of the MDC led by Morgan Tsvangirai, who served as Finance minister in the Government of National Unity. He writes in his personal capacity

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 22
  • comment-avatar
    Chola 8 years ago

    It’s easy for mbiti to praise those in far lands leaving homies who brought u freedom. Talk of a full who cuts his nose to spite his face! You are the proverbial village idiot who laughs At his own parents.

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      Shame 8 years ago

      Like I said before,a lawyer who discriminates between a drug lord and a drug addict is shortsighted, even the wearing of glasses does not improve their wisdom. Aerial Sharon, sabra and shatila,hunzvi, Sithole,Chirenda are one and the same thing: war servants and trying to denigrate one and praising the other is like decommissioning the war machinery. They all acquired the war mongering tools of trade, each in his field of specilaty, and they do what man gotta do in the name of fuhurer, volk and reich, and are all acclaimed heroes in the sight of their countries, people, and trade.Hunzvi, Nkomo, Sharon, are all soldiers schooled by war rabis Chirenda’s camp. How could General Wananchi (whatever the joke implies)miss the connection? Without men of Chirenda’s class-teachers of war- there are no war-sapping machines like Rex Nhongo, Chenjerai Hunzvi,Aerial Sharon, Border Gezi…and war genocides . As they say, the mistakes of a teacher are seen roaming the streets in the cast of failed students,Sabra and Shatila are such mistakes of rabis of war, In short, Chirenda and company are to blame for sabra and Shatila and any other genocides like Chimoio,e.t.c because their kind taught the perpertrators war philosophy and strategy. I hope Biti sees this . Thank.

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        Shame 8 years ago

        Sorry I wanted to say General Leutenant Major Corporal Wananchi. Knowing this is a lawyer lurking behind some pseudo-name or is it nickname, trying to make injunctions into the Military profession, it is befitting that he be accorded a unique title beffiting his mental levels.This is the best tittle there was on mother earth and it would have been unjust to deny the author the curtessy.

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      nesbert majoni 8 years ago

      Its u who is an idiot because u think there is freedom in Zimbabwe

  • comment-avatar
    Mczomb 8 years ago

    Great piece by Tendai, whilst one leader in the MDC is in the papers for his women problems another is educating the masses in history, maybe our party has the wrong leader.

    • comment-avatar
      hamatakatambura 8 years ago

      Your party always had the wrong leaders: that’s why your party is a losing party and why your party is not in power.

      • comment-avatar
        nesbert majoni 8 years ago

        Only a fool like u thinks that way. If u ar happy with the loss of MDC then u ar a Moron. The elections were rigged like it or not but that is the truth.

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    Blackhammer! 8 years ago

    I am afraid John Kerry and the USA will never solve the Israel/Arab conflict until one condition is met. On a piece of paper or in your mind draw a triangle. Each side of the triangle represents the USA, Israel and the Arabs respectively. The USA has the cheapest oil in the developed world, maybe 50 cents a gallon, thanks to the Arabs. Each year Israel receives 4 billion dollars of aid from the USA most of it military. The Israelis then gun down the Arabs who indirectly financed the guns and bombs. Successive USA administrations have hoodwinked the Arabs that they are neutral when they ‘negotiate’ with the protagonists in the Middle East. Yeah right! This is similar to our case when we thought Harold Wilson was negotiating on our behalf when twice he met Ian Smith in the Mediterranean. Kith and kin comes to mind. Here is the irony. Fast forward to today and our dear leader is supported by Israel to stay in power although the friendship is kept low key because he is supposed to be fighting the ‘evil west’. We don’t want to embarrass ourselves to fellow Africans and the Arab world, do we? Certainly the Arabs who are fighting for their land and rights have been left high and dry by the evil genius from Zvimba. Now for that simple condition. If the Arabs remove themselves from that side of the triangle and cut oil to the USA, Israel stops existing within 2 weeks. Q.E.D.
    Simon M Tozvireva.

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    hamatakatambura 8 years ago

    As usual, in his self-important manner, Biti thinks heroes must be defined according to his terms. He endorses the hero status of Chirenda because he, General Biti, had occasion to rub shoulders with him during the days of Rhinos football club, and dismisses the hero status of many others because he, General Mbiti, did not know them. Go start you own heroes acre and bury your heroes there you insufferable imbecile.

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      mwana wevhu 8 years ago

      HERO STATUS is not subjective.The Natiional HEROES’ ACRE is a misnomer. Even fanatic zanu cadres like you know that.

  • comment-avatar
    Jogo Bonita 8 years ago

    Surely, Ndabaningi Sithole vs Chenjerai Hunzvi / Boarder Gezi.amongst these who truly deserves to be our hero?

  • comment-avatar
    Mdidi 8 years ago

    Ya neh, into zamaTshona.

  • comment-avatar
    Mike Nyathi 8 years ago

    Biti, why are you speaking with two voices? In the one you talk fire against zanu pf. In the other you defend Gono. Wake up man.

    • comment-avatar
      mwana wevhu 8 years ago

      Civilised debate & relations cut across the political devide.As Zimbabweans we will progress if & when we pay heed to the facts put across without letting political affiliation cloud our judgement.

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      Gwanyamwanya We Mahobo 8 years ago

      Mike wake up mhani. Gono is not Zanu PF. ZanuPF is not Gono. Don’t mix the two.

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    I enjoy reading Biti works. You’re a genius. Why not educate Tsvangirai on manly stuff. He’s too much into dress-making.

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    No cheap geo-politics will make Israel to sign any treaty with the Arabs until they accept the biblical boundaries of the state of Israel.Mr Biti has lost his political direction at a time when the masses want leaders who can regroup them before next election.He now writes long stories which are not relevant to our current problems.The USA has vast reserves of oil and in the near future they might even start exporting oil ,once the Arabs finish their stocks.They have not started pumping oil from their Alaska oil fields.Why should they use their oil if they can get cheap oil from these poor countries which depend on this resource only? These Americans can plan ahead and protect their national security and interests.This what Biti should be doing instead of wasting valuable time writing articles with zero relevance to our current problems.

  • comment-avatar
    Shumba Liverpool 8 years ago

    Honourable Biti kana musina nyaya yekunyora zvirinani kungonyarara.

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    Gwanyamwanya We Mahobo 8 years ago

    Heroes Acre has lost its intended symbolism. Anarchists like Border Gezi, Elliot Manyika and Chenjerai Hunzvi are buried at the wrong place. Ndeve kuMukuvisi River mujecha!

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    Morris 8 years ago

    The Israeli/Palestinian conflict is a minefield and very few can correctly articulate it. A terrorist in one’s eyes maybe a hero in another’s eyes. Israelis themselves terrorised the then government of Palestine during their quest for a state. This fact was acknowledged by Shimon Peres in an interview with the late Sir David Frost. In this part of history names like David Ben-Gurion and the King David Hotel bombing of July 22 1946 comes to mind. “The hotel was the site of the central offices of the British Mandatory authorities of Palestine, principally the Secretariat of the Government of Palestine and the Headquarters of the British Forces in Palestine and Transjordan” By resorting to biblical stories Israelis are refusing to negotiate honestly in this time and age.

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    Stick to law Biti. Are you now also yearning to be hurried at criminals acre. Chirenda shivered at sight of selous scouts who decimated zanla zipr