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Book industry urged to document literature on liberation struggle and promote African culture
Zimbabwe Liberators Platform (ZLP)
July 24, 2003

While the liberation struggle brought independence to Zimbabwe, its history has been distorted because of lack of written literature.

The Zimbabwe Liberators Platform (ZLP), an non-partisan, non governmental organisation formed by genuine war veterans, whose core business is to advocate for peace, democracy, good governance and development, is appealing to book sellers, publishers, writers and librarians to work together to document a true and accurate account of the liberation struggle, for which so many lives were lost.

The accurate documentation of the liberation struggle is important because at independence in 1980, the Rhodesian authorities destroyed many records. Top officials in the post independence government have also destroyed certain records on the liberation struggle in a bid to deliberately rewrite the liberation struggle and put important roles for themselves. It is however sad to note that very few writers and historians in Zimbabwe have shown interest in the documentation of the struggle 23 years after independence.

Available literature in Zimbabwe is mostly Western, resulting in the reinforcement of cultural bias that denigrates African cultural values. Schools and colleges have very limited material on the liberation struggle. The government has also not made the history of Zimbabwe a compulsory subject for the schools and colleges. However, the Kosovo and First Gulf Wars are already part of the history curriculum in schools for Zimbabwe. Students and pupils in Zimbabwe know more about Western history than their own because there is abundant material on the World wars while there is limited literature on Zimbabwe and Africa in general.

The lack of literature on the history of the country has resulted in the disregard of historical monuments of Chimurenga wars. Neglected monuments for the First Chimurenga include, the Jameson House where heroes were "mock-tried", the "hangman's tree" where they were murdered and the burial site in Dzivarasekwa that has been desecrated by the construction of military barracks, which are not even named after any of the heroes. Only a few heroes are remembered while the bulk of them have been forgotten due to lack of literature.

Powerful spirit mediums such as Ambuya Nehanda, Sekuru Chidyamauyu, Sekuru Chiodzamamera and Sekuru Chipfene of Mt Darwin guided freedom fighters during the liberation struggle. Unfortunately after independence the roles of these mediums have been discarded. The spirit mediums have complained through their heirs and heiresses. They are saying there are inexplicable accidents and droughts in Zimbabwe because people have disregarded their culture.

The book industry is therefore urged to document the history of the liberation struggle as well as promote the African culture polluted by colonisation and neglected after independence.

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