Who is a real hero?

ZANU PF’s decision not to grant the late Dickson Chingaira, aka Cde Chinx national, hero status yet again brings alive the debate on who truly deserves to be accorded the highest honour in the country after death.

That there has been controversy yet again to the fore the question on the criteria that should be used or perhaps the need for a change of names so as to not mistake or demean true heroes.

It is perhaps high time now that Zanu PF separates national issues from petty party politics and set up a government committee that not only recommends a person for national hero status but also bestows such an honour because as it is now, the ruling party is abusing its role.

Of course, Zanu PF can single out its own heroes but in the case of Cde Chinx, there was a universal agreement that the man, who provided the much-needed morale to freedom fighters, deserved to be declared a national hero.

He has lived in a poor suburb among the poor and is perhaps an antithesis of most who have been interred at the National Heroes Acre because of his enduring connection with the broad masses.
Cde Chinx was a hero to the boy or girl who is in the ghetto, who learns at school the much-touted sacrifices that our liberators played during the liberation struggle.

But then among those in Zanu PF, that is inconsequential because for them he was never part of their league and they could afford to keep the fmily in suspense by not making a timely announcement on the fallen hero’s status.

Still he remains a hero and the country knows that there are some, many in fact, who are buried at the national burial shrine but do not deserve such an honour.

Zimbabwe has many illustrious sons and daughters, who are not necessarily war veterans who deserved to be buried at the National Heroes Acre, talk of the composer of the national anthem Solomon Mutsvairo, Jairos Jiri, and some great entertainers in the mould of Cde Chinx who were considered not gallant enough even though, through their works, they transformed lives and even our values and traditions.

Hopefully, future governments will depart from the present practices and make the conferment of hero status a national and not political thing so that deserving Zimbabweans will be duly recognised, whether they are soccer players or musicians.
?A hero is a hero.



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