chimbwido.jpgThey were not on the battle front during the liberation war, but the story of the struggle cannot be told without mentioning the critical role played by the war collaborators.

Better known as ‘vanachimbwido’ and ‘vanamujibha’, the history of the liberation war cannot be complete without mentioning the role played by these people.

The war collaborators, as their name implies worked together with guerrillas in the armed struggle that brought Zimbabwe’s independence.

Speaking to ZBCNews, the National Chairman of the Zimbabwe Liberation War Collaborators Association, Cde Joseph Kandemiri said, they were not on the war front but they played several pivotal roles in bringing the independence that we enjoy today.

Without any formal hospitals for the then marginalised black people, one of the roles of the war collaborators was to act as sentries, alerting the freedom fighters and villagers of the approach of enemy forces and to nurse soldiers wounded in battle.

Strange but true, vanachibwido nana mujibha even sacrificed their lives for their brothers and sisters who were on the war front as they took it upon themselves to taste food that was to be eaten by freedom fighters before the guerrillas could eat it out of concern that the comrades could be poisoned.

One would wonder how and why they did this but a war is fought in many different ways.

mujibha.jpgA few among us can be entrusted with others life, but indeed the war collaborators made life bearable for the comrades in and outside the Chimurenga battles. They had their special way of mobilizing the masses for pungwes which were meant to boost the soldiers’ morale before engaging into battle.

Indeed the country’s independency did not come on a silver platter and with a few days to go before we celebrate our 31st independence anniversary, it is indeed a time to pause and reflect on the work that was done by those who liberated us.