BY SILAS NKALA
THE opposition Zapu last week said Unity Day remains a painful reminder of how the party was forced to surrender to Zanu PF to save lives in Matabeleland and Midlands.
Then Zanu leader and former president Robert Mugabe and ex vice president and Zapu leader Joshua Nkomo (both late) signed the Unity Accord in December 1987 to end the mass killings which left over 20 000 people dead.
The killings were mainly targeted at Zapu and its suspected supporters as Mugabe sought to establish a one-party state under the guise of fighting dissidents against his rule.
Zapu spokesperson Mso Ndlovu said the Unity Day which is celebrated on December 22 annually marks the anniversary of a “crime scene.”
“On this day, we observe the day in which we capitulated to save lives. It is a day which is significant in putting to an end a vicious genocide which threatened to wipe a people from the face of earth,” Ndlovu said.
“We acknowledge that the genocide has continued in different forms though, but we reject out rightly that this day is a day to mark any sort of unity. For unity with benchmarks must have a cause and must clearly define the interests of those uniting. If unity is to be celebrated like this, it means there was disunity in the first place.”
Ndlovu said the Accord only served to address Zanu PF’s narrow interests to crush the opposition party at all cost.
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“Any effort towards “unity” should never have been between two political parties. For sustainable unity, the leaders should have, at that time and every day of their lives, promoted and worked towards the unity of all Zimbabweans,” he said.
“This cosmetic “unity” marked by sloganeering over a day which marks the massacre of over 30,000 women and children was and continues to be an exercise in futility which fails to address the elephant in the room.”
“It is ironic that those basking in the glory of the fake unity have themselves sustained their power through tribalism and divisions. They have reduced national elections to periodic tribal censuses.
“It must be understood that we are not celebrating any unity with Zanu PF but mourning our people who died at the hands of state sponsored terror. We continue to call for Zimbabweans to engage in their communities, churches and everywhere, about the unity we all aspire for which respects everyone in our diversity.”
There has been no redress to the Gukurahundi massacres despite endless meetings aimed at finding a lasting solution to the killings. Mnangagwa has opened dialogue but critics have said he lacks the political will to implement various recommendations on addressing Gukurahundi.
Ndlovu said without addressing Gukurahundi, unity remains elusive.
“That unity should be driven by all of us identifying ourselves as Zimbabweans first before we’re anything else. That process cannot be driven by political parties because they are known to be partisan and self-serving.
“It is Zimbabweans themselves who should understand that the divisions we face today are sponsored by the so-called leaders and must be rejected by all and sundry and those leaders fanning such divisions condemned to the dustbin of political history.”