The MDC’s statement to mark the Heroes and Defence Forces days

The MDC today remembers the tremendous role that has been played by the country’s heroes in liberating the country from colonial bondage. This indeed gave our country pride.

The liberation war heroes who fought for the liberation of this country from the yoke of colonialism deserve recognition and respect by the generality of Zimbabweans in their tribal, racial and political diversity. They also deserved the highest consideration from the Zimbabwe government.

We remember today all those who lost life and limb so future generations would walk. We remember the country’s sons and daughters who paid the ultimate price so that this country would be freed from the chains of colonialism and repression.

Over and above the war of liberation, the MDC pays tribute to the sons and daughters of this land, living and dead, who have made their mark in various sectors that include sport, business and the arts. They are also heroes and heroines who deserve our respect and recognition.

It is our view that even those who are alive today but who made their mark; who made an indelible national and international imprint in promoting our beloved country deserve our honor and respect. It is the MDC's view that one does not need to die first for their hero status to be recognized and celebrated in the country of their birth.

These national heroes also include post-liberation heroes and heroines; some of whom have died in the pursuit of the freedom and democracy. They also include sons and daughters of this land who have been raped, maimed and even murdered for fighting for democracy and freedom in this country. The democratic struggle is in itself in pursuit of the unfinished business of the liberation struggle.

As we delve deep in thought and remembrance for the heroes of this country, both living and dead, we must think of how to give true meaning to our Constitution that we made and endorsed ourselves as the people of Zimbabwe.

Our collective heroism as a people would be in vain if we do not take seriously the charter and covenant we made ourselves; a charter that determines how we want to be government and how we want to live with each other.

Today, we must ask ourselves whether Josiah Magama Tongogara, Hebert Wiltshire Chitepo, Joshua Nkomo or Sheba Tavarwisa, Ndabaningi Sithole, Tichaona Mudzingwa and other true heroes of this land, would really rest in peace if we can’t give life to a Constitution that we heroically made ourselves.

The blood lost for this country was not lost in vain and every day, we must strive to pursue that which makes us proud Zimbabweans; a proud people known for their heroism and other acts of distinction.

The MDC is concerned about the lack of dignity, respect and the apparent neglect of the welfare of the true heroes of this country.

We urge government to look into the welfare of the heroes and heroines of Zimbabwe so that they are able to live with the dignity that they deserve.

On Defence Forces day, we remember the sons and daughters of this land who toil every day to defend and protect this land and its people. We recognize their plight, their poor welfare, their lack of housing and decent pay.

Our thoughts in the MDC are with our Defence forces, all of whom are part of a heroic civil service with an indecent salary that is not even guaranteed by this uncaring government.

This government sometimes has abused some of them by coercing them to beat up and harass their fellow citizens but we know that deep down in their hearts, and left to their whims, they are all loving and caring mothers and fathers in their own right who would ordinarily not wish any harm to their fellow citizens.

We take into cognizance of the great work they do in protecting and defending this country and we know that most of them voted for the positive transformation of their lives in the last election. This Defence Forces day, we in the MDC spare a thought for you, the gallant sons and daughters of this land who protect us every day.

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