By Bulawayo Correspondent
OPPOSITION Freedom Alliance (FA) has described Unity Day as an insignificant day on the Zimbabwean calendar that is only meant for ‘braaing and beer drinking’ Zanu PF supporters.
Unity Day is celebrated every year on December 22, in memory of late President Robert Mugabe and deputy Joshua Nkomo’s unity accord which ended almost half a decade of carnage in the south-western parts of Zimbabwe.
The two represented their parties Zanu PF and PF Zapu respectively.
An estimated 20 000, mostly Ndebele speaking civilians were butchered by Mugabe’s North Korean trained Fifth Brigade between 1983 and 1987, before the agreement.
“Unity is desirable but it cannot happen because a day is reserved annually for braai and beer drinking. As long as fundamentals are not attended to, the Unity Day remains a charade,” said FA leader Samukele Hadebe in an interview with NewZimbabwe.com
“Citizens need to enjoy equal opportunities if true unity is to be achieved, unity needs to be accompanied by truth telling even if that truth is not palatable.”
“Genuine national unity must go beyond human goodwill or worse still the goodwill by the victor who chooses amongst the vanquished who should be a token second Vice President.”
Since the Unity Accord, Zanu PF has maintained presidency of their unified party with PF Zapu cadres serving as deputies.
Added Hadebe: “Unity cannot be about government positions or some such rewards to political elites while the majority continue to suffer from the legacy of violence and discrimination. The 1987 Unity Pact between Zanu PF and PF Zapu remains hollow and meaningless if not insulting to the masses who suffered untold injustices.
“This revisionist narrative churned out by the state broadcaster in the name of unity and patriotism is a disservice to unity.
“Without visionary leadership, there is no way unity can be achieved and unfortunately there is lack of political will to genuinely address Gukurahundi and make 22 December not a surrender day but a truly Unity Day.”
Under Mugabe, Zanu PF used to host multi-million dollar, lavish events to remember the occasion, even when millions more faced starvation.