On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 2011, the world remembered the men and women of their armed forces who lost their lives in war; their fallen heroes.
Zimbabwe also remembers. We remember our men and women who died in wars, and also those who were killed in more recent times which have often felt like war. We remember:
– The men of all races who fought and died in World War One. Sources indicate that 731 were killed in service abroad between 1914 and 1918.
– The men and women of all races, who fought and died in World War Two. Sources indicate that 1173 people were killed in service abroad between 1939 and 1945.
– The men, women and children, of all races who died in the Rhodesian Bush War of the 1960’s and 70’s. An estimated 35 000 people on both sides lost their lives.
We remember the estimated 20 000 men, women and children who lost their lives in the early 1980’s at the hands of Zimbabwe’s Fifth Brigade in Matabeleland in what is known as the Gukurahundi massacre. Those who perished were unarmed and outnumbered. They could not get state protection, did not have the chance to fight back and fell at the hands of their own government.
We remember the men and women who lost their lives in the war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo from the late 1990’s into the new millennium. Their names and the number of people who died have never been made public.
We remember the people of all races who were brutalized, and also those who lost their lives during Zanu (PF)’s seizures of commercial farms around the country from 2000 to 2011, which are still continuing today. The victims were unarmed, outnumbered and unable to get protection.
We remember the men, women and children who were brutalized, and also those who died before, during and after the violent elections of 2000, 2002 and 2005. They were unarmed and outnumbered; they tried and failed to get protection.
We remember the losses and suffering of 800,000 men, women and children whose homes and livelihoods were obliterated when government bulldozers mowed their houses down. We do not know how many died as result in the bitter mid-winter of 2005, we do know that nearly a million people lost everything at the hands of their own government.
We remember the hundreds of men, women and children who died in the violence before, during and between the two elections of 2008. Hundreds died and thousands fled. They were unarmed and outnumbered and tried but failed to get protection.
To all of them we dedicate a thought on Remembrance Day.
Until next time, thanks for reading, Ndini shamwari yenyu.Post published in: Opinions & Analysis