Today roads lead to different heroes acres in different parts of the country as the nation commemorates the Heroes’ Day. The main event will be at the National Heroes’ Acre in Harare where President Mugabe will address thousands of people expected to throng the national shrine to remember the country’s gallant sons and daughters who sacrificed their lives to liberate the country.
Zimbabweans in other parts of the country will gather at either provincial or district heroes’ acres to pay homage to the thousands of freedom fighters who took arms to liberate the country from the shackles of colonialism. This is the day we must take stock of what we have achieved during the 37 years since the country attained Independence.
Today we look back with pride that the majority of Zimbabweans have now been allocated land in prime farming areas which used to be a preserve of the minority whites. Most Zimbabweans were, before independence, confined to barren land as whites enjoyed the fruits of the productive land in the prime farming areas in different parts of the country.
The skewed land ownership was one of the major grievances that drove Zimbabweans to take up arms to fight the settler regime. The Government soon after independence embarked on a programme to resettle thousands of landless Zimbabweans but the process was moving at a snail’s pace due to resistance from white farmers.
In 2000 the landless Zimbabweans invaded farms to protest against the slow pace at which they were being resettled thereby prompting Government to embark on a fast track land resettlement. This has seen about 300 000 families being resettled throughout the country and what is encouraging is that most of these new farmers have demonstrated that they have the capacity to fully utilise the finite resource.
This year the country recorded a bumper maize harvest and most of the maize came from these new farmers. The Grain Marketing Board silos dotted throughout the country, are slowly filling up as farmers deliver their produce. Government has already banned maize imports because the country harvested enough to meet national consumption and there are strong indications that we could have a surplus.
The gallant sons and daughters who sacrificed with their lives to get the land back to its rightful owners, should be smiling in their graves. The challenge is to ensure we continue to use this land productively to improve our livelihoods.
We, however have among us, a few individuals who are now leasing the allocated land to the very whites who yesterday were denying us the same resource.
The freedom fighters we are remembering today should be turning in their graves as a result of such unpatriotic conduct. We have already alluded to the fact that land is a finite resource which means we cannot expand it and as such we cannot afford to misuse it.
Those that got land for speculative purposes should give way to committed farmers. The gallant sons and daughters whose remains are interred at the different shrines while others are buried in unmarked graves in the different corners of the country as well as in neighbouring countries such as Zambia and Mozambique where freedom fighters operated from, did their part to liberate the country.
It is now our responsibility to wage and win the next struggle which is economic independence. The country is endowed with many natural resources that include minerals, rich soils, flora and fauna so we have no excuse not to prosper as a nation.
The farmers, as already stated, are oiled hence the bumper harvest this year which should impact positively on industrial growth. It is Zimbabweans who should take the lead in investing in the different sectors of the economy so that they enjoy the fruits of independence.
We want at this juncture to call on Zimbabweans to strive to fulfil the wishes and aspirations of the many heroes and heroines who paid with their lives to liberate us.
Article Source: The Chronicle