The National Heroes Acre is Zimbabwe's national shrine where national heroes are buried. It was established in 1980 soon after the independence of Zimbabwe. The area was located on the heart of Harare in the Warren Park suburb.
The National Heroes Acre was established in 1980 with the purpose of honouring Zimbabweans who died within and outside the country whilst fighting for the country independence from the minority rule of Ian Smith and the Rhodesian Front.
Symbolism and Meaning
It is seen from most parts of the city, towering above the seen structures of the surrounding suburbs. Like a fortress, it symbolises Zimbabwe's liberation struggle for independence. It is also a place highly associated with the both the First and Second Chimurenga wars of independence. The place symbolises the country's liberation history or the history of nationalism dating back to the 1960s.
The tomb of an unknown soldier is a major attraction and it symbolises the unknown soldiers who died for the cause of the struggle. This section is one of the most respected ones because it carries the very essence of the liberations struggle.
There is also a national museum located within the National Heroes Acre. It is basically a repository of Zimbabwean history which is is displayed in the form of drawings, pictures, artwork and written word. The museum, by and large, contains the history of the Second Chimurenga in Zimbabwe. The place is administered by the National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe.
There is a general belief that the heroes acre has often been used as a platform to garner political support by the Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (Zanu PF) party led by Robert Mugabe. It has been a place for only Zanu PF loyalists. Opposition politicians such as Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change has on several occasions grieved the partisan approach used by Zanu PF in choosing national heroes.