Mliswa questions Biggie Matiza’s heroes status

Temba Mliswa

The late Transport and Infrastructural Development minister, Joel Biggie Matiza was declared a national hero yesterday but Norton MP, Temba Mliswa has conferring of hero status on him become a problem when one realises epic war veterans like Dumiso Dabengwa are not there.

Matiza succumbed to Covid-19 on Friday evening at St Annes Hospital in Harare becoming the fourth Cabinet minister to die from the respiratory disease.

Mliswa said he has no problems with JB Matiza but it looks like Heroes Acre burial has lost meaning due to politicisation.

Below are Tweets from Mliswa:

“I have no problem with the late JB Matiza, who was a hardworking Minister. However the conferring of hero status on him become a problem when one realises epic war veterans like Dumiso Dabengwa are not there. The inconsistencies are just shocking.”

“Is this the start of a changing criteria considering JB was never part of the struggle? He could have been made a provincial hero, yes but having overlooked other meritorious war veterans only to confer some like JB is shocking. What is the criteria now? Is there even one?”

“No wonder Mugabe refused to be buried there, the place has lost meaning due to politicisation. There are many war veterans, ZAPU people, not buried there but have enough credentials. Taifunga kuti zvekuHeroes zvine zera, it appears that’s not the case yangove ndonga ndonga.”

“An oversight, yes Dabengwa was made a hero but the point remains the absence of a national criteria, solid and recognisable is making Heros Acre meaningless. The criteria cannot be a wavering and politicised template tinkered with at a whim.”


“The end result of a criteria that is not national but political and partisan is that we shall ultimately have a shrine that is littered with henchmen of those with power and not necessarily national heroes.”

“The place is supposed to embody the values of people whom we look up to across the political divide; whose legacies span the limitations of ordinary people. It’s not supposed to be a mere private burial ground for recompensing political allies.”

“We cannot use a national shrine to settle personal& political scores. Today it’s not a place that cements one’s legacy as a national hero as anyone can be buried there. Mugabe started this whole thing by refusing personal opponents the right to be buried there. Now pafumuka.”

Source – online