Mnangagwa recognised Sithole and Chikerema as national heroes on the occasion of the country’s 42nd Heroes Day commemorations last week.
Both were allies-turned-enemies of late former state leader Robert Mugabe, who denied them the honour due to grudges dating back to the trenches in the liberation struggle.
Sithole came from Chipinge and Chikerema from Mashonaland West with both commanding a strong sentiment from their tribesmen.
Mandaza told ZimLive that Mnangagwa is not sincere and is targeting the late pioneering nationalists’ sympathisers ahead of elections next year. He said:
Such ahistorical nonsense, full of dubious political motives.
The historic question should be; why and how was this obvious hero of Zimbabwe’s nationalist struggle so ignominiously dumped by his erstwhile comrades, including Mugabe and Mnangagwa himself?
The past is also the present in Zimbabwe’s nasty liberation narrative. Fellow historians and compatriots need to exorcise this terrible beauty, our history.
So, if, as a fellow student of Zimbabwe’s liberation history has correctly observed, Mnangagwa lacks the depth of perception to make (independently) the intervention in official history.
Who are the people around him that came up with such a profound acknowledgement, and why.
Sithole who was ZANU’s founding leader was deposed by Mugabe in 1975 through the Mgagao declaration.
He went on to become the opposition leader of a less popular ZANU-Ndonga and had little success after independence, with his support base narrowing to Chipinge where he was MP from 1995 to 2000.
Similarly, Chikerema, an uncle and Mugabe contemporary had the same treatment under the late veteran leader.
The process that is being used to deal with the conferment of hero status has for years been criticised by some analysts who said the issue was being politicised by the ruling ZANU PF.