On August 15 2011, the nation woke up to the sad news that one of the gallant sons of the soil, General Solomon Tapfumaneyi Mujuru, was no more.
More than 40 000 mourners thronged the national Heroes acre on August 20, to bid him farewell. A sign that he was revered.
General Mujuru was a man of the people and his sudden departure left people speechless. The nation only took solace in that he departed at a time when his goals of going to the bush to liberate the country from the colonial bondage were in fruition.
The land redistribution programmes, which saw vast tracts of land being given to landless black majority in the country, were some of the goals which saw him cut short his academic pursuit to fight for equitable distribution of resources. He felt that economic emancipation of the majority could not be attained when only a few people owned the means and mode of production, hence his decision to join the armed struggle that brought independence to the country.
It is disheartening and disturbing to note that the country which he, and other gallant sons and daughters of the soil, struggled for is being sold out to the same people who oppressed us during the colonial era.
If the truth is to be told, history would severely punish those who are blinding the young generation into believing that they are their saviours. History will also punish them for selling out the country to the colonial powers as they think that a puppet government is the only way to save the country from economic demise.
The noble idea by the Harare City Council fathers to rename Enterprise Road in honour of General Mujuru could not have come at a better time. It is an idea that must get thumps up from those who really appreciate and understand the good work that was done by Mujuru during his time in the bush and after independence.
It is a befitting honour.
The renaming of Enterprise Road must not be the end. The Ministry of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture should also come in the picture by introducing cup games in different sporting activities like soccer, under names of the departed gallant sons and daughters of the soil.
Introducing Cup games in names of the departed heroes would ensure that their contributions remain etched in people’s minds so that they are not only remembered in August, during the heroes’ holiday.
Mashonaland East Province must also get a street in Marondera named after Mujuru.
The late General was a man of the people. People of his stature, who committed themselves for other people’s welfare, are hard to find.
People who worked with the General during and after the armed struggle, know that we lost a true revolutionary and a war strategist par excellence, a farmer and businessman of good repute. So taking time to remember his life and history this month is a proper way of appreciating the good work which he did for this country.
His legacy must be carried on and as such, local authorities around the country must carry on with his legacy by renaming various institutions and roads after him following Harare City Council’s example.
General Mujuru’s life history must be introduced to primary and secondary schools so that the young people can acknowledge and appreciate his invaluable contribution to this country.
Our schools are awash with history books detailing the exploits of European soldiers, while ignoring the exploits of great African people like General Mujuru, Chaka the Zulu warrior, Steve Biko, and many others.
Africa must wake up and make their great sons known throughout the continent and beyond by promoting African history in all schools.