“Unity Can Never Be Built On Mass Graves. 22 December Is A Day Of Shame!” ZAPU Speaks On Unity Day
21 December 2020
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Late President Mugabe and the late Vice President Dr Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo after the signing of the Unity Accord

For thirty three years now, Zimbabwe has been celebrating, disguised as unity, loss of tens of thousands of lives for ZANU PF  political expediency.

What ZANU PF failed to achieve by way of dialogue and negotiations  they forcefully accessed at the altar of bones piled in unmarked mass graves, toasting and drinking from glasses full of blood of innocent, unarmed and harmless civilians of Matebeleland and Midlands. The violence, brutality was initially targeted at all opposition political parties, but then turned into a genocide against the Ndebele people.

 ZANU PF, absolutely clueless about how to mobilise support and rally them to their cause, resorted to an armed operation to force the people to follow their ideology. What they failed to achieve by persuasion and getting people to vote them legitimately to power, they resorted to attain at the barrel of the gun. Had ZAPU been similarly minded, of course the history and course the country took would have been completely different. But ZAPU has always stood for the respect of human life and total freedom of choice.

What will be presented as unity is anything but, a forced conformity, subjugation of people’s will, conquest and marginalisation. How nonsensical to talk about unity when the cracks of division are everywhere to be seen? Unity cannot be forced down people’s throats as we see in Zimbabwe. Unity is, and must be a natural reaction to a policy of inclusiveness, equality, respect and promotion of rights of all citizens irrespective of colour, creed, place of birth or any minor differences that may exist.

The so called unity day in Zimbabwe, celebrated every December, is actually a sad day. To many who, the only memorable event was the beginning of the end of an orgy of gratuitous killings of innocents in the western parts of Zimbabwe from 1982 to 1987. The politically motivated operation that had aimed to specifically annihilate ZAPU, the opposition party that stood in the way of Mugabe attaining a one party state in Zimbabwe.

Many lives were subsequently lost while leaders of ZAPU were either incarcerated like Gen Masuku and President Dabengwa or murdered in cold blood like MP Njini Ntutha.

Attempts at convincing the marauding ZANU PF to stop the Gukurahundi killings were made with President Nkomo even writing Mugabe a letter from exile in UK. However, all were in vain as ZANU PF had only one condition it wanted met in order to stop the madness. The condition was that ZAPU be swallowed by ZANU PF and cease operating independently. This was the condition that is summed up in what is known as the Unity Accord agreement document. 

The unity accord document signed in 1987 is quite weird and makes for sorry reading. There was nothing of unity discernible in any of its clauses. Just a requirement that ZAPU surrenders  to the the British Conservative party project of 1963 with Robert Mugabe as its leader in perpetuity. To Zanu PF, unity was conforming to whatever nonsense the party is up to. To them, unity was having that odious formation alone on the political podium and absence of any opposition as well as checks and balances  to their incompetence and cluelessness. To them, unity of Zimbabweans meant ZAPU ceding all its rights of existence to the ethnocentric Zanu PF. The party then and now uses ethnic lenses in deciding every aspect of national policy. To them, anybody and anything that was not ZANU PF at that time represented the enemy, hence the use of the toxic reference to dissidents equating ZAPU and the Ndebele speaking people alone with that term. Primitive way of drawing the lines that demarcated areas where the genocide would take place. Bloody tribalism mindset! 

So, as the so called unity day approaches, it is imperative that Zimbabweans and the world know that the so called unity accord was the biggest misnomer, a process that never was. What happened on that fateful the 22 December was a sham, a deception and the greatest betrayal of all values, intentions and objectives of the liberation struggle. 

 22 December must be a day of shame for all who had participated in the liberation of our country. The only champagne that could have been popped on the signing of unity accord would have been of blood of children, women, the elderly, all unarmed and the fitting ink used to append signatures on that surrender document similarly the free flowing blood of the innocents. 

ZAPU does not celebrate on this day. Yes, we may pause,  remember and pay respects to all our people who were killed from 1982 to 1987, for either being members or for being perceived to be members of ZAPU, for that alone is the reason why tens of thousands were killed.  

It is not a unity day, for the people of Zimbabwe are not united. It actually is a day that Zanu PF celebrates its conquest on the mother party and the western Zimbabwe civilians. A day when primitive banditry was signed into the method of governance of our country.

Iphithule Maphosa
Secretary for Information Publicity and Marketing
[email protected]