By Bulawayo Correspondent
THE Bulawayo based opposition party, Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP) has the described Unity Day an insult and provocation to the people of Midlands and Matabeleland regions who were seriously affected by the Gukurahundi atrocities.
Unity Day is an annual holiday celebrated on December 22, a day which the late Joshua Nkomo led PF Zapu signed a unity accord agreement with the late former state president Robert Mugabe’s Zanu to form what became Zanu PF.
The unity accord is credited for ending fierce hostilities in the western regions of the country in which an estimated 20 000 mostly Ndebele civilians were butchered by the military at the behest of the government.
However, MRP says there is nothing to celebrate.
“Of the 10 public holidays observed in Zimbabwe, the Unity Day holiday is insulting and provocative to the Mthwakazi people. The insult revolves not only on the circumstances that led to the signing of the agreement, but also on the terms of the accord itself, which have nothing in store for Mthwakazi people,” Mqondisi Moyo told NewZimbabwe.com.
“The signing of the unity accord was, therefore, nothing but a surrender by Joshua Nkomo to Mugabe’s Zanu. It represented a final blow by which PF Zapu was swallowed by Zanu PF. Honestly, there is nothing for the people of Matabeleland and Midlands to celebrate here.”
He said for the people in the affected regions to celebrate Unity Day was as good as celebrating their own death.
“Can we celebrate our own murder, rape, maiming, displacement and all those ways by which we were dehumanised? Should we really join Zanu PF and its sympathisers many of whom are beneficiaries of the genocide to celebrate our own downfall? I urge Mthwakazi people everywhere to consider this with a sane mind. We cannot celebrate our death,” ranted the MRP president.
Moyo added the reburial of Gukurahundi victims should also have been addressed in the unity accord before expressing reservations on the government’s decision to engage traditional leaders in the exhumations.
“The reburials of Gukurahundi victims should have been addressed by the Accord. We cannot be fooled by (President) Emmerson Mnangagwa’s political gimmicks, pretending he is concerned about the victims.
“If he was concerned, why is he and his government still reluctant to admit guilt and allow for truth telling and justice to prevail? There can’t be healing if the perpetrators are unrepentant and taking no genuine action to remedy their own mistakes,” added Moyo.
Zapu acting president Isaac Mabuka also concurred with Moyo saying the day had lost its relevance.
“We prefer a Unity Day which does not coincide with the signing of the unity accord by Mugabe and Nkomo. Unity is no longer relevant to us as Zapu and I do not see how it is linked to the Unity Accord signing,” said Mabuka.
The MDC Alliance Bulawayo provincial spokesperson Swethern Chirowodza described the day as the capitulation of Nkomo and PF Zapu by Zanu.
“It is a day when, through the abuse of the state’s coercive apparatus, the Lacoste faction of Zanu PF celebrates the capitulation of Joshua Nkomo and PF ZAPU. The capitulation was preceded by the murder of killing of innocent Ndebele citizens mainly in the Midlands and Matabeleland regions,” said Chirowodza.