BY SILAS NKALA
Mafela Trust, an organisation that has been documenting Zapu and Zipra’s history, says there is need to account for people who died or disappeared during the liberation struggle.
The organisation, which was formed in 1989, has been recording Zapu and Zpra liberation history as well as archiving information, artefacts and other heritage material.
Zephaniah Nkomo, the Mafela Trust director, said there were many freedom fighters and civilians who went missing
during the war whose whereabouts were still unknown.
“Former freedom fighters, civilians and missing persons of the liberation war of our time 1962-1981 remain
unaccounted for to date,” he said.
“These people were subject to families, kraal heads and traditional chiefs, institutions that still yearn to be
informed of the fate of many who never returned from the war.
“In 1980, the demobilisation, disarmament, reintegration and reconstruction exercise was not owned nor defined
in the terms that would address challenges born out of war efforts along the human cost quantum muzzled in the
exercise through the then British Monitoring and Advisory Team (BMAT).”
Nkomo said war veterans had never been given a chance to share their experiences.
“Living war veterans never had a chance to share their experiences of the liberation collective effort to
institutions they belonged nor such a programme ever materialised in the need of the 1980 incoming government
and further on,” he said.
Wilson Ndlovu, the Mafela Trust programmes officer, urged legislators to push for the documentation of those
who died during the war.
“Parliamentarians must go to traditional leaders where the missing citizens came from,” he said.
“The chiefs know the people who lived in their area that might have died during the struggle, those who went to
the war and never returned and those who might have been killed locally during the fight between the
liberation war fighters and the Rhodesian soldiers.
“The problem we have is that the MPs do not understand what is meant by the word heritage and there is need to
empower them with that knowledge so that they push such issues for the development of the nation.”
Ndlovu said chiefs that were members of the Senate must demand investigations to establish the whereabouts of
their subjects who disappeared during the war.