Eight freedom fighters killed by Rhodesian forces in 1977 in Mutoko have been reburied following the intervention of the Fallen Heroes Trust and the Mashonaland East War Veterans Association.

Nyakuho Mountain in Mtoko East was a battleground where a massacre of freedom and war collaborators happened after they were ambushed by the Rhodesian forces.

While some managed to get decent burials, others were not so lucky as they were buried in shallow graves in the mountain, while a number of them were taken away and their bodies burnt.

“It was in 1977 when the Rhodesian forces after a tip off from sellouts ambushed the freedom fighters at Nyakuho Mountain. Many died and some were buried in shallow graves while others had their bodies burnt,” said Cde Daniel Sigauke, the Mashonaland East War Veterans Association Chairman.

Despite having spent the last 42 years without a decent burial, eight of the freedom fighters who were killed in the battle were buried at Kapondoro Heroes Acre just a few days before the country commemorates 39 years of independence.

“It was not an easy job exhuming and reburying these colleagues but I am happy that finally we have managed, they can now rest in peace,” Fallen Heroes Trust Chief Exhumer, Cde George Foroma said.

Stakeholders feel the place they were reburied should now be declared a national heritage site.

“This place should now be declared a national heritage site where people will come and learn more about the history of the liberation struggle,” said Headman Nyanhamo.

42 years after the battle, the reburial process serves as a reminder of the atrocities committed by the white settler regime and the nation has not forgotten the rough road travelled for the country to be independent.