National Heroes Acre (Zimbabwe)
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National Heroes Acre or simply Heroes Acre is a burial ground and national monument in Harare, Zimbabwe. The 57-acre (231,000 m2) site is situated on a ridge seven kilometres from Harare along the main Harare-Bulawayo Road between Harare and Norton which is just out of Harare. The shrine is a national monument of Zimbabwe. The work was undertaken by the Government to commemorate those who fell in the struggle for national liberation and the contemporary and future sons and daughters of Zimbabwe whose dedication and commitment to the nation justify their burial at this sacred spot. Burial at the shrine is reserved for those who have been declared a hero by the ruling Zanu-PF party politburo. This has raised questions on impartiality of the whole process as critics maintain that it should be the national government, rather than a political party, that must accord such status. Indeed, most of the recipients of the 'hero status' were known to be Zanu-PF sympathisers.
The Government of Zimbabwe started work on the Heroes Acre in September 12 1981, one year after Independence in Zimbabwe. The design and artwork used at the site was done by seven artists from North Korea and ten Zimbabwean Artists.
Over 250 local workers were involved in the project at the height of construction. The black granite stone used for the main construction was quarried from Mutoko; a rural area situated about 140 km Northeast of Harare. The Heroes Acre is protected under the Natural Monuments Act.
Definition of a Hero
|“||Those heroes subordinated their personal interests to the collective interest of Zimbabwe. They accepted and endured pain, suffering and brutality with fortitude even unto death.||”|
National Hero Status
National Hero Status is the highest honour that can be conferred to an individual and the recipient is entitled to be buried at the National Heroes Acre. By 7 August 2001, 47 heroes had been laid to rest at the National Shrine.
The Statue of the Unknown Soldier
The Statue of the Unknown Soldier commemorated the many Zimbabweans who died in the rebellion against the Rhodesian government. The statue is bronze sculptured and consists of three figures, one woman and two men, a flagpole with the Zimbabwe National Flag and tomb for the Unknown Soldier.
The Eternal Flame
The Eternal Flame sits on a 40 metre high tower. It was lit at Independence celebrations and depicts the spirit of Independence. The tower is the highest point of the site and can be seen from parts of Harare. This tower, built at the top of the southern hill is accessible through a flight of stairs extending from the foot of the hill.
Two walls on either side of the monuments are adorned with murals that tell the story of Zimbabwe from before the 1st Chimurenga through the 2nd Chimurenga to indepencence. Seven artists from North Korea and ten from Zimbabwe created the design and artwork used in the murals and other parts of the site.
Close to the entrance of the Heroes Acre is a small museum that contains a brief history of the liberation struggle, along with artefacts, photos, documents and other paraphernalia from the war and the period shortly after independence.
Zimbabwe National heroes buried at the shrine
- Edgar Tekere
- Samuel "Mayor Urimbo" Mamutse
- Lameck Makanda
- Daniel Nyamayaro Madzimbamuto
- Joshua Mqabuko Nyongolo Nkomo
- Simon C Mazorodze
- Josiah Magama Tongogara
- Sally Hayfron Mugabe
- Jason Ziyaphapha Moyo
- Alfred Nikita Mangena
- Herbert Wiltshire Chitepo
- Leopold Takawira
- Masotsha Ndlovu
- T. M. George Silundika
- Mama Mafuyana
- Edson Jonasi Mudadirwa Zvobgo
- Julia Tukai Zvobgo
- Simon Vengai Muzenda
- Lookout Masuku
- Herbert Sylvester Masiyiwa Ushewokunze
- Moven Mahachi
- Ernest R. Kadungure
- Sydney Donald Malunga
- Joseph Culverwell
- Josiah Tungamirai
- Brigadier General Gumbo
- Zororo Duri
- Christopher Machingura Ushewokunze
- Sikwili Kohli Moyo
- Vitalis Zvinavashe
- Chenjerai Hunzvi
- Border Gezi
- Robson Manyika
- Josiah Mushore Chinamano
- Swithun Mombeshora
- Sabina Mugabe
- Maurice Nyagumbo
- Bernard Chidzero
- Elliot Manyika
- David Ishemunyoro Karimanzira
- Livingstone Mernard Negidi Muzariri
- Brig Gen Armstrong Gunda
- Misheck "Makasha" Chando
- Solomon Tapfumaneyi Mujuru
- Guy Clutton-Brock
- John Landa Nkomo
- Herbert Mahlaba
- Lt Gen Amoth Chingombe
- "National Heroes Acre losing significance?". The Financial Gazette. October 8, 2010. Retrieved August 22, 2011.
- "Mugabe says National Heroes Acre is solely for Zanu PF members". Zimbabwe Metro. October 1, 2010. Archived from the original on July 22, 2012. Retrieved August 22, 2011.