Preserving Heritage: Zimbabwe Parliament visits Dr. Eduardo Chivambo Mondlane’s Memorial Shrine

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Speaker of Parliament of Zimbabwe, Advocate Jacob F. N. Mudenda’s delegation wound up its Parliamentary benchmarking visit to Mozambique on the 3rd May 2024, by visiting the Nwadjahane Village, Mandlakazi District, in the Gaza Province. This is the birthplace and memorial shrine dedicated to the late Dr. Eduardo Chivambo Mondlane, the luminary Founding Father of FRELIMO (the front for the liberation of Mozambique). Nwadjahane village is named in honor of Dr. Mondlane’s traditional name.

Speaker Mudenda’s delegation was given a biographical history of the late Mondlane by his maternal grandson, Arlindo Hoguane. What emerged from the illustrious account by Arlindo Hoguane, who is the curator of the memorial shrine was the historic achievement by Dr Mondlane who astutely united the erstwhile three political movements that were then involved in the fight to liberate Mozambique from the Portuguese colonial shackles. These were; the Mozambique African National Union (MANU) based in Mozambique, the National Democratic Union of Mozambique (UDENAMO) which was founded in the then Salisbury, in the then Southern Rhodesia, and the African National Union of Independent Mozambique (UNAMI) which based in Nyasaland, now Malawi.

The unity of these three contending political parties created a unity of liberation purpose under the aeges of what became FRELIMO, the gigantic and formidable force that guaranteed the attainment of independence, freedom, and democracy in Mozambique in 1975 having its military launch pad established in Tanzania in 1962.

If it were not for the iconic and passionate leadership of Dr. Mondlane in uniting the erstwhile three freedom parties into a united political entity in the mould of FRELIMO, the liberation of Mozambique and indirectly that of Zimbabwe would have been inconceivable because the ZANLA forces would not have had an assured rear base to wage the armed liberation struggle from the Eastern Front of Zimbabwe.

To that extent, Speaker Mudenda’s delegation also was humbled by the narrative of Mr Hoguane when he underscored Dr. Mondlane’s unwavering commitment to the liberation of his country as epitomized by his decision to forego the comfort zone of a promising career as a research officer in the Trusteeship Department of the United Nations and thereby choosing to offer himself as a dedicated cadre in leading the struggle against the Portuguese colonialism. The seed of the armed struggle sown by Dr Mondlane in the heart and soul of FRELIMO became irreversible although Dr. Mondlane had been assassinated in 1969 through a parcel bomb.

Furthermore, Speaker Mudenda’s delegation lauded Dr Mondlane’s profile that lives on through the dynamic leadership of FRELIMO which continues to advance the national agenda of Mozambique, including Dr Mondlane’s legacy that has been captured in his book, “Fighting for Mozambique,” which was published posthumously.

After touring the inside shrine of Dr Mondlane, the Speaker’s delegation was also shown a pedestal on which a statue of the late Dr. Mondlane will be majestically erected in the near future. Furthermore, in expressing appreciation to the Government of the Republic of Mozambique, the family representative informed Speaker’s Mudenda that the largest and oldest University in Mozambique has been renamed the Eduardo Mondlane University in the endearing memory of Dr. Mondlani is why the 20th June of each year which is the birthday of Dr. Mondlane is celebrated as the Eduardo Mondlane University day.

In an interview with the local media after the tour, Speaker Mudenda commended the village location as a quintessential Mondlane memorial shrine that reflects and immortalizes the life history of a selfless gallant freedom fighter, unifier, and nation builder. Speaker Mudenda further encouraged the people of Mozambic to cherish and jealously guard the memory of Dr. Mondlane for time immemorial. In his testimonial message written on a clay pot, a preserve for high-level visiting dignitaries to the shrine, which guarantees that the written message is etched in the annals of history for posterity, Speaker Mudenda inscribed on the outside of the clay pot the eternal message,‘The memory of Dr. Mondlane shall live forever!!!’.

After visiting the Mondlane shrine, the Speaker’s delegation passed by the modern Filipe Jacinto Nyusi Airport which was officially opened in 2021. The airport runway is wide enough to accommodate Boeing 737-700 aeroplanes and it is hoped that it will service Mozambique and the neighbouring SADC countries. Concomitantly, the District Administrator of Chongoene, Mr Arthur Manuel Macamo extended an invitation to the Zimbabwean business community to take advantage of the transport provided by the Felipe Nyusi Airport. The Speaker’s delegation appreciated that suggestion.