National Heroes Acre (Zimbabwe)

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Looking down to the statue of the unknown soldier

National Heroes Acre or simply Heroes Acre is a burial ground and national monument in Harare, Zimbabwe. The 23-hectare (57-acre) site is situated on a ridge seven kilometres from Harare, towards Norton. Its stated purpose is to commemorate Patriotic Front guerrillas killed during the Rhodesian Bush War, and contemporary Zimbabweans whose dedication or commitment to their country justify their interment at the shrine. Persons buried here are considered heroes by the incumbent Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front regime, which has administered the country since independence at 1980.[1] Indeed, most of the recipients of the 'hero status' were known to be Zanu-PF sympathisers.[2]

The actual monument itself is modeled after two AK-47s lying back-to-back; the graves are meant to resemble their magazines.[3][4] The monument is an early example of work of the North Korean firm Mansudae Overseas Projects. It closely mirrors the design of the Revolutionary Martyrs' Cemetery in Taesong-guyŏk, just outside Pyongyang, North Korea.[5]


Work was initiated on the National Heroes' Acre in September 1981, a year after Zimbabwean independence. Ten Zimbabwean and seven North Korean architects and artists were recruited to map the site's layout. 250 local workers were involved in the project at the height of its construction. Black granite used for the main structures was quarried from Mutoko, about 140 kilometres northeast of the capital, then known as Salisbury.

National Heroes[edit]

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 is the highest honour that can be conferred to an individual by Zimbabwe and the recipient is entitled to be buried at the National Heroes' Acre.[6] As of 7 August 2001, 47 persons had been interred on site.


The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier[edit]

The statue of the unknown soldier

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier recognises unidentified insurgents who lost their lives during the liberation war. Included is a bronze statue of three guerrillas – one female, two male – a flagpole, and an ornate artifice.[3]

The Eternal Flame[edit]

The Eternal Flame rests atop a tower measuring some forty metres.[6] It was lit at independence celebrations in 1982 and embodies the spirit of Zimbabwean independence. The tower is the highest point at Heroes' Acre; it can readily be viewed from Harare.

Wall murals[edit]

Two walls on either side of the monument carry murals depicting the history of Zimbabwe, from pre-colonial times through the Chimurenga, the Rhodesian Bush War, and independence under national hero Robert Mugabe.


Near the entrance of Heroes' Acre is a museum dedicated to the rise of African nationalism in Zimbabwe and the anti-colonial struggle, showcasing artifacts, photographs, documents and other paraphernalia from the war and the period shortly after independence Zimbabwe National heroes buried at the shrine.


  1. Cephas Cele
  2. Felix Ngwarati Muchemwa
  3. Sabina Mugabe
  4. Edgar Tekere
  5. Samuel Mamutse
  6. Dzingai Mutumbuka
  7. Lameck Makanda
  8. Daniel Nyamayaro Madzimbamuto
  9. Stanford Shamu
  10. Joshua Nkomo
  11. Simon Mazorodze
  12. Josiah Tongogara
  13. Sally Mugabe
  14. Jason Ziyaphapha Moyo
  15. Alfred Nikita Mangena
  16. Herbert Wiltshire Chitepo
  17. Leopold Takawira
  18. Masotsha Ndlovu
  19. T. M. George Silundika
  20. Johanna "Mama" MaFuyana
  21. Major General Charles Njodzi Dauramanzi
  22. Edson Jonasi Mudadirwa Zvobgo
  23. Julia Tukai Zvobgo
  24. Simon Vengai Muzenda
  25. Lookout Masuku
  26. Herbert Sylvester Masiyiwa Ushewokunze
  27. Moven Mahachi
  28. Ernest R. Kadungure
  29. Sydney Donald Malunga
  30. Joseph Culverwell
  31. General Solomon Rex Nhongo Mutusva- Mujuru
  32. Brig. General John Zingoni
  33. Josiah Tungamirai
  34. Brigadier General Charles Tigwe Gumbo
  35. Zororo Duri
  36. Christopher Machingura Ushewokunze
  37. Sikwili Kohli Moyo
  38. Vitalis Zvinavashe
  39. Chenjerai Hunzvi
  40. Border Gezi
  41. Robson Manyika
  42. Josiah Mushore Chinamano
  43. Swithun Mombeshora
  44. Sabina Mugabe
  45. Maurice Nyagumbo
  46. Bernard Chidzero
  47. Elliot Manyika
  48. David Ishemunyoro Karimanzira
  49. Livingstone Mernard Negidi Muzariri
  50. Brig. Gen. Armstrong Gunda
  51. Misheck "Makasha" Chando
  52. Guy Clutton-Brock
  53. John Landa Nkomo
  54. Herbert Mahlaba
  55. Lt. Gen. Amoth Chingombe
  56. Edson Ncube
  57. Elias Kanengoni
  58. Nathan Shamuyarira
  59. Kantibhai Gordanbhai
  60. George Lifa (Maj.Gen)
  61. Cornelius Nhloko
  62. Lieutenant Colonel Harold Chirenda
  63. Mike Karakadzai
  64. Kumbirai Kangai
  65. Enos Nkala
  66. Solomon Chirume Tawengwa
  67. George Bodzo Nyandoro
  68. Joseph Msika
  69. Witness Mangwende
  70. Gary Settled Tamayi Hlomayi Magadzire
  71. Vivian Mwashita
  72. Victoria Chitepo
  73. Charles Utete
  74. Cephas G. Msipa
  75. Peter Chanetsa
  76. Shuvai Mahofa
  77. Stanley Gagisa Nleya
  78. Major General Trust Mugoba


  1. ^ "National Heroes Acre losing significance?". The Financial Gazette. October 8, 2010. Archived from the original on March 21, 2012. Retrieved August 22, 2011.
  2. ^ "Mugabe says National Heroes Acre is solely for Zanu PF members". Zimbabwe Metro. October 1, 2010. Archived from the original on June 26, 2011. Retrieved August 22, 2011.
  3. ^ a b "Things you didn't know about the Heroes' Acre in Harare". Zimbabwe Metro. Archived from the original on June 26, 2011. Retrieved April 30, 2017.
  4. ^ Farai, Christopher (August 22, 2011). "Heroes Acre: bastionof patriotism, tourist attraction". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved April 30, 2017.
  5. ^ Kirkwood, Meghan L. E. (2013). "Postindependence Architecture through North Korean Modes: Namibian Commissions of the Mansudae Overseas Project". A companion to Modern African Art. Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley Blackwell. ISBN 9781444338379.
  6. ^ a b "Heroes Acre: Bastion of patriotism, tourist attraction".

Coordinates: 17°50′04″S 30°59′14″E / 17.83444°S 30.98722°E / -17.83444; 30.98722