Zimbabwe renames army headquarters after liberation war icon – Xinhua

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HARARE, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) — The Zimbabwean government on Wednesday officially renamed the country’s army and airforce headquarters in the capital Harare after one of the country’s liberation war icons as part of a process to rid the country of a colonial mentality.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa officiated at the event where King George the Sixth army barracks was renamed after Josiah Magama Tongogara, a military strategist who directed the prosecution of Zimbabwe’s liberation war that culminated in the independence from Britain in 1980.

Albert Fredericks Arthur George VI was king of Britain between 1936 and 1952. The late General Josiah Magama Tongogara was born in 1940 and died on the eve of Zimbabwe’s independence in 1979.

Mnangagwa said he will preside over the renaming of three other military cantonments in the country as the nation takes steps to rewrite and preserve its liberation war history.

The renaming of all the country’s barracks after the country’s liberation war heroes comes after government recently gazetted the name changes.

Mnangagwa said the process of renaming the military barracks from colonial names was critical to help Zimbabwe “exorcise” the ghost of colonialism and shed colonial mentality.

The country’s military barracks had largely maintained colonial names 37 years after independence.

“This process (of renaming) has set in motion our longstanding desire to re-write our own history and in the process promoting our values as Zimbabweans,” Mnangagwa said.

“By so doing, we rid ourselves of the colonial mentality which regards all that is associated with Europe and the West with high esteem while placing a low opinion on our own value systems as Africans.”