Zimbabwe hails Samora Machel

The Herald, August 8, 1980

PRESIDENT Samora Machel yesterday paid tribute to the fallen heroes of the Zimbabwean war by laying a wreath beneath the eternal flame on Salisbury Kopje.

The President, dressed in green combat fatigues, observed a minute’s silence, and saluted the flame, which had been lit by the Prime Minister, Mr Robert Mugabe, during the independence celebrations in April.

President Machel was accompanied to the site by his wife Graca, Mr Mugabe, Zimbabwean and Mozambican ministers, and the Mayor of Salisbury, Councillor Jack Whiting.

President Machel was later taken around the Kopje area where he was shown plaques bearing names of places in Salisbury. Vandals stole one of the plaques last night, an act which was deplored by Mr Mugabe.

Later at the Town House, Mr Whiting gave President Machel a commemorative plaque bearing the coat of arms of the Salisbury City Council.

He was also given a pair of scissors which he used to cut the tape when he officially opened Samora Machel Avenue on Monday.

The Deputy Mayor, Councillor George Grantham-Good, said President Machel did in fact cut the ribbon, contrary to local and international press reports that it was snapped by the surging crowd.

Later yesterday, more than 40 000 chanting and jubilant Zimbabweans gave President Machel a rousing welcome on his arrival for the rally at Rufaro Stadium.

The Mozambican leader acknowledged the cheers with a power salute and a clenched fist and led the crowds through chants of “Viva Mozambique…Viva Mozambique.”

He was presented with a variety of gifts, including two oxen, a goat, and a sheep, chicken, pots, spears, and knobkerries.


  • The late Mozambican President Samora Machel was a leader who was revered in Zimbabwe and that is why he was the first head of state to officially visit the country after independence. He had a clear understanding of the sacrifices that were made to bring independence to the country.
  • Zimbabwe and Mozambique have a long-standing and strong bond dating back to the war of liberation when the latter provided base camps for the liberation war fighters such as Chimoio, Tembwe and Nyadzonia.
  • As we commemorate Heroes Day, there are thousands of our fighters that remain interred on Mozambican soil.
  • It is always important to pay homage to our fallen heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice for the country’s Uhuru.
  • It is important to appreciate those that would have helped you especially in your hour of need, without expecting anything in return.

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