THE late Transport and Infrastructural Development minister, Joel Biggie Matiza was declared a national hero on Sunday but Norton MP, Temba Mliswa says conferring of hero status on him becomes a problem when one realises epic war veterans like Dumiso Dabengwa are not there.
Matiza succumbed to Covid-19 on Friday evening at St Annes Hospital in Harare becoming the fourth Cabinet minister to die from the respiratory disease.
Mliswa on Twitter said he has no problems with JB Matiza but it looks like Heroes Acre burial has lost meaning due to politicisation. He said the criteria of national heroes has changed considering that he was never a part of the struggle.
He said Zimbabwe will ultimately have a shrine that is littered with henchmen of those with power and not necessarily national heroes.
Mliswa said this as the only surviving member of Zanla’s Dare re Chimurenga, Rugare Gumbo has lashed out at the ruling party for continuing to play down the key roles of some late freedom fighters.
Gumbo said that it was wrong Zanu-PF continued to mimic the way national heroes were selected during the era of the late President Robert Mugabe.
This comes after Zanu-PF did not accord national hero status to struggle veteran Mukudzei Mudzi. Gumbo said the snubbing of Mudzi showed that Zanu-PF allegedly continued to disrespect people who were close to the late Herbert Chitepo.
He added that the character of Zanu does not reflect the true leadership of Chitepo legacy, but is a reflection of Mugabe.