By Success Majaramhepo:
The booming sound of the 21-gun salute send a plume of smoke into the air as the hills at National Heroes Acre echoed, followed by the sonorous rendition of the Last Post, confirming a hero had indeed departed.
The military are the only constant that is part of the burial of national heroes, despite reports and acts of violence against the people at some moments, their presence always confirm the rituals of somber burials of national heroes.
Long before the 21-gun salute, the burial of Major-General Trust Mugoba was a subdued event. Thousands had thronged the hallowed grounds of the National Heroes Acre to pay their last respects to one of the least known heroes, but a man who had bequeathed his life to saving the country since the 1970s liberation struggle.
Dignitaries wearing their designer dresses and shades sat in the VIP tent, speaking in hushed tones as various choral and ensembles sang religious hymns in that raised the soul as the crowd looked at the towering Heroes Acre spire that stands for freedom.
It may have been in contrast to the crowd that were in cheap Zanu PF party paraphernalia and some soldiers who were in their fatigues on the grandstand, while others were perched on tree tops to get a bird eyeview of the proceedings. However, they shared the same spirit of saying their goodbyes to one of Zimbabwe’s gallant sons and daughters who fought colonialism.
Mugoba’s family were all clad in black and white apparel, showing their sadness at the departure of many who was not only a father or uncle, but also the breadwinner as their eulogies proved.
The military pall-bearers hoisted the white casket, marched in slow-motion as they carried the mortal remains of Mugoba to their final resting place, closing a chapter of his life to the great Zimbabwe’s annals of history.
The crowds started descending from the hill, being covered in the dust as the elites drove back to their homes and possibly lunch, but the reality was etched on their poor faces that they are going back to their daily grind as the economy continues to tank.
For one more moment, the military, the elites, church and the poor mingled outside electioneering as death the great equalizer brought them together.