Time the national calendar acknowledges Chinhoyi Battle

Lonias Rozvi Majoni Correspondent

The April 26 1966 is an important day in the history of Zimbabwe and should be marked in bold on our national calendar.

It is the day on which the Chinhoyi Battle, also known as the battle of Sinoia, was staged.

It is the day on which the first direct armed confrontation was made against the Rhodesian Forces, sparking the fire of the Second Chimurenga, though notwithstanding a historical fact that the first message of confrontation was sent through the fierce Crocodile Gang’s 1964 sabotage activities in the Melsetter district of Manicaland, which led to the first recorded killing of a symbol of oppression, Pieter Johannes Andries Oberholtzer, an Afrikaner white Rhodesian man.

The Chinhoyi battle, however, is clearly the harbinger of the Second Chimurenga as it marked the first direct armed conflict against the Rhodesian Forces, thus launching the anti-colonial armed resistance movement for Zimbabweans. This battle, was without doubt, one of the acts of bravery to have been staged by indigenous people to kick-start the Second Chimurenga.

It was a combat staged by one of the earliest trained group comprising of seven gallant Zimbabwean guerrillas.

The group waged a direct fight against a full-fledged Rhodesian Military Force.

The group comprised of David Guzuzu, Godwin Manyerenyere, Chabby Savanhu, Arthur Maramba, Godfrey Dube and Christopher Chatambudza, under the command of Simon Nyandoro.

Fortunately, a lot has been written, said and done to acknowledge the significance of that battle towards the birth and existence of Zimbabwe.

Most importantly, the Second Republic, under the able leadership of His Excellency, President E.D Mnangagwa has done a lot to acknowledge historical and revolutionary figures and acts.

The erecting of the Chinhoyi 7 monument is a celebrated step which reveals acknowledgement of the significance of the Chinhoyi battle.

The nation and most importantly relevant authorities should acknowledge the 26th of April as an important day for Zimbabweans.

Apart from preservation of the heritage of the Chinhoyi 7 battle and the liberation struggle in general, the declaration of 28 April as a national holiday will come with a number of merits.

The commemoration of this day and the heroics of the mentioned gallant freedom fighters will go a long way in deepening the depth of vital aspects of life and Zimbabwe as a nation.

These aspects include patriotism, black pride, black consciousness and the heritage of our nation. Above all there are many life lessons that can be drawn from the Chinhoyi battle.

It makes no sense to commemorate certain international holidays acknowledged on our calendars yet we do not have sufficient knowledge and direct contact with the events that led to that holiday when we fail to establish more holidays that directly involve the history and heritage of Zimbabwe.

Other countries also acknowledge similar battles and incidents of revolutionary significance to the independence of their respective nations.

Examples include the June 16 Youth Day in South Africa which commemorates the brutal Sharpville massacre of black students who gallantly protested against the Apartheid regime.

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