Home News Zim Independence: Honouring the unsung heroines, reflecting on the struggles faced by female liberation fighters

Zim Independence: Honouring the unsung heroines, reflecting on the struggles faced by female liberation fighters

by Bustop TV News

By Panashe Kaseke

As Zimbabwe commemorates its 44th Independence Day, the nation pauses to honor the often-overlooked contributions of female liberation fighters. Among these unsung heroines is Karen Kazingizi, whose story embodies the courage and sacrifice of women in the struggle for independence.

Karen Kazingizi, born in rural Zimbabwe, was drawn into the liberation movement at a young age, inspired by the injustices of colonial rule. She joined the Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army (ZANLA) and quickly rose through the ranks, becoming a respected commander known for her strategic acumen and unwavering commitment to the cause.

Currently, she is the welfare secretary for the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA).

Kazingizi faced numerous challenges during her time as a fighter, including the constant threat of capture and torture by colonial forces and being sexually abused.

“I was once imprisoned for mentioning Nehanda Nyakasikana, and I was helped by Casey Mosva Dzamira who later on claimed that I was his wife because he had assisted me to be released from the jail, he later on tortured and sexual abused me during. I suffered during the struggle but I did not suffer more that other girls.”

“I healed myself from the trauma by saying that everything that happened, happened for a purpose,” she said.

Some female liberation fighters were sexually abused by their fellow heroes, and this information has been overlooked.

Despite these dangers, she remained resolute, driven by her belief in the need for a free and independent Zimbabwe.

One of Kazingizi’s most significant contributions was her role in organizing and leading military operations against the colonial forces. Her leadership and tactical skills were instrumental in several key battles, helping to secure victories for the liberation movement.

Kazingizi’s commitment to the cause extended beyond the battlefield. She was also deeply involved in community organizing and education, recognizing the importance of empowering the next generation of Zimbabweans.

 “I was later on selected to go and do further political training at Chitepo College in Chimoyo: Political Economy, Dialectical Materialism, and History.”

“I got pregnant and after I gave birth I was made the Detachment Commander at Tembwe, and later own I was made the Camp Commander, making me the female commander for ZANLA. I can say that this was my major roles during the liberation struggle,” she added.

Despite her bravery and dedication, Kazingizi’s story, like many other female liberation fighters, remains largely untold. The sacrifices she made and the challenges she faced are a testament to the resilience and strength of Zimbabwean women in the face of adversity.

As Zimbabwe celebrates 44 years of independence, it is crucial to remember and honor the contributions of women like Karen Kazingizi. Their courage and sacrifice laid the foundation for the freedoms enjoyed today, serving as a reminder of the ongoing struggle for gender equality and justice.

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