By Buhle Tshavango
ZIMBABWEANS from across all political divide were taken aback by the decision to deny the late Dickson “Cde Chinx” Chingaira national hero status, raising debate on who or what determines eligibility to rest at the Heroes Acre.
The late former freedom fighter, stole the hearts of many with his revolutionary songs during and after the second Chimurenga and also played a huge role in the infamous third Chimurenga, and it seemed obvious for a moment that his remains will be buried at the national shrine, but allegations of factionalism and sympathising with the ruling party’s deserters blackened all his contributions and costed him the national hero status.
Questions are now being posed on the criteria used to determine national hero status with some arguing that the national Hero’s Acre has been reduced into a Zanu PF shrine dedicated for loyalists and a perfect podium to attack deviants.
Former Liberation war commander, retired Colonel Bastian Beta is on record saying bestowment of national hero status should be decided by the war veterans association as they were updated on the war credentials of all former freedom fighters.
“It should be a committee in which war veterans are part of (which should confer the status) because they know who did what , but with the likes of Ignatius Chombo and Saviour Kasukuwere at the forefront deciding who did what during a war they were not part of, war veterans should just forget about fairness,” he said.
After six days lying at the funeral parlour the late Cde Chinx’ body was finally buried at Glen Forest after his family failed to reach a consensus with government and even officials from the opposition party felt the decision was unjust, however all pleas fell on deaf ears.
While the Zanu PF politburo is said to have come up with the decision to ‘snub’ Cde Chinx of the hero status, however general consensus is that even the politburo no longer acts independently and hero status is now the decision of a few individuals.