We are all Zimbabweans

HARARE - Disturbances in Gwanda in which alleged tribal skirmishes erupted over mine claims should be handled with great caution.

Elsewhere in this edition, we report an incident in which some miners in Matabeleland allegedly clashed over gold claims along suspected tribal lines and this is regrettable.

The disturbances by miners are coming just as Zimbabweans prepare to commemorate Unity Day on Saturday.

While it is common knowledge that Ndebele people constitute the majority of people in Matabeleland and Midlands provinces, and the Shona dominate Mashonaland regions, playing the tribal card when it comes to natural resources will not take us anywhere.

We have also heard reports of people in Mashonaland provinces ostracising other tribes over natural resources and this also has to stop. Zimbabwe is for Zimbabweans.

We hope to see a situation where anyone can own a mine anywhere.

After all, we are all Zimbabweans.

Brandishing the tribal card as a passport to own mine claims in particular areas will not help us build a united Zimbabwe.

As Zimbabweans, we need to learn to share our natural resources and shun away from creating barriers basing that on tribal grounds.

We urge leaders and politicians in all provinces to shun tribal divisions and work together as one.

History has taught us over and over again that tribalism brings with it hate and untold suffering as citizens fight for territorial control.

Tribal conflict has turned some African countries into war zones where mass murders and rapes occur as fellow citizens turn on each other.

Zimbabweans remember vividly what can happen when there is tribal conflict.

The Gukurahundi massacres in which an estimated 20 000 were reportedly murdered in Matabeleland and Midlands are a quick reminder of how ugly things can turn if we let tribal conflicts go unchecked.

As a nation, we are yet to punish perpetrators of the Gukurahundi massacres and we are still hopeful that the brutal killers who caused mayhem in Matabeleland in the 80s will one day face justice.

As Zimbabweans, we have come a long way since the 1987 Unity Accord and it is time we maintain peace and tranquility in the country.

It is time we start treating each other simply as Zimbabweans.

We owe each other that much. - Staff Writer

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