'Unity Accord losing meaning'

HARARE - Former and current Zanu PF stalwarts say the Unity Accord signed between President Robert Mugabe and the late Vice President Joshua Nkomo in 1987 has lost significance owing to the debilitating political polarisation within the party.

Since the signing of the accord, government has set aside December 22 as the day to celebrate the coming together of Zanu PF and PF Zapu to signal the end of hostilities between the two parties that saw the needless massacre of an estimated 20 000 innocent civilians in Matabeleland and the Midlands in the early 1980s.

Zapu was forced to enter into a unity agreement with Zanu PF after these brutal murders that were widely blamed on the North Korean-trained Fifth Brigade which operated in the regions under the guise of hunting “dissidents”.

Former Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo told the Daily News yesterday that the ruling party had destroyed the essence of unity by pursuing politics of exclusion.

Gumbo said the country was now seriously divided to the extent that Zanu PF was now finding it difficult to determine the political and electoral processes in Matabeleland.

In addition, he said, the majority of the leaders representing Zapu in Zanu PF did not come from the people as they were appointees rather than elected officials.

“There is no more unity to talk about and nothing to celebrate especially when all what it (Unity Accord) stood for has been lost, after we have lost the idea of one man one vote, democracy and all that we fought for.

“How do you justify the so-called Unity Accord?” asked Gumbo.

He added that the majority of former Zapu cadres had become fed up and joined the opposition MDC which he said was now dictating the electoral processes in the region.

“Zanu PF will have to find an innovative way otherwise Unity Day no longer carries that same significance to the people as it used to have. How do you unite people by purging them?

“How do you say you are united when it is the MDC determining the electoral processes in Matabeleland? It shows there is no unity,” he said.

Politburo member, Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, said more or the same thing in an interview with the State media at the weekend.

Ndlovu admitted that tribal exclusion had become the hallmark of Zanu PF politics and that discussing the issue would open a Pandora’s Box.

He called on those in the party’s top echelons to walk the talk on unity as he accused them of speaking about it with forked tongues.

“If you neglect people on the basis that they are former Zapu then those people won’t feel emotionally attached to unity.

“I am also urging people to cherish unity and also highlight that some are not sincere about unity.

“They just talk by word of mouth but do nothing to show they are serious about it. How can one be an advocate for unity when as a Cabinet minister you appoint all the directors in your ministry from your tribe and neglect people from other regions,” Ndlovu said.

Former Zipra intelligence supremo, Dumiso Dabengwa, has since broken away from Zanu PF and revived Zapu, citing unfulfilled promises and insincerity about unity on the part of Zanu leaders in Zanu PF.

The opposition MDC has also, since its formation in 1999, taken advantage of the disgruntlement of people in Matabeleland to win the majority of votes in the region in successive elections.

Comments (4)

Those who surrender usually have limited rights-so are former Zapu cadres in Zanu. Dont cry foul,even Nkomo knew it. He did it just for the sake of peace, to save the Ndebeles from being wiped off the face of Zimbabwe. Be thankful that today you are alive otherwise there would be no Ndebeles left except for those who ran away to other lands. Zanu deyeropa !

TK - 23 December 2014

Those who surrender usually have limited rights-so are former Zapu cadres in Zanu. Dont cry foul,even Nkomo knew it. He did it just for the sake of peace, to save the Ndebeles from being wiped off the face of Zimbabwe. Be thankful that today you are alive otherwise there would be no Ndebeles left except for those who ran away to other lands. Zanu deyeropa !

TK - 23 December 2014

Firstly getting comments from Rugare Gumbo is like having wishes from a dead donkey. Secondly to assume that Unity Accord has become irrelevant is to exhibit ignorance at maximum. Alas! For you and me to sleep in our beds complete reckless and comfortable is because of peace born out of Unity Accord.

dungas - 23 December 2014

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