The Zimbabwean Government on Wednesday officially renamed the country’s Army and Air Force headquarters in Harare after one of the country’s liberation war icons, Josiah Tongogara.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa, name the King George the VI army barracks after Tongogara, a military strategist who directed the prosecution of Zimbabwe’s liberation war that culminated in its independence from Britain in 1980.
At the ceremony in Harare, Mnangagwa said that the measure was part of a process to rid the country of a colonial mentality.
Albert Fredericks Arthur George VI was king of Britain between 1936 and 1952.
Late Gen. Tongogara was born in 1940 and died on the eve of Zimbabwe’s independence in 1979.
Mnangagwa said he would 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.
“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,’’ Mnangagwa said.