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Celebrating ‘Unity Day’ is celebrating genocide

By Dr Gorden Moyo

It is with a profound sense of patriotism and a deep sense of duty that on behalf of my party; the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), I make the following remarks on the occasion of Zimbabwe’s ‘Unity Day’:

Gorden Moyo
Gorden Moyo

It has been 28 years now since the Unity Accord was signed between the leaders of PF ZAPU and ZANU PF. Yet no full disclosure has been made of who did what and why.

In fact Robert Mugabe and his lieutenants in ZANU PF have stubbornly refused to release the findings of the Chihambakwe and Dumbutshena Commissions on the activities of the 5th Brigade in Matabeleland and Midlands Provinces.

For the record, over 20 000 innocent lives were lost while thousands of others were maimed, raped and tortured in the hands of Mugabe’s private army-the 5th Brigade.

Without official admission, full disclosure, and reparations, the annual ritual of commemorating the Unity Accord has become more and more meaningless to the generality of Zimbabweans and infuriating to the survivors of the Robert Mugabe inspired ideology of Gukurahundism.

Contrary to the pretensions of Mugabe’s pan-African pedigree, the killings, maimings, rapings and torturings of thousands of innocent black Zimbabweans were instigated by the abduction and subsequent killing of six Western tourists in Lupane in 1982.

It is difficult to understand the psychology and intention of a black government which could slaughter so many of its own citizens in search of six white visitors. Clearly, ZANU PF and Mugabe operate within a law of contradiction.

They sing hallelluyah to African pedigree during the day but shout crucify it during the night. They also shout crucify the white stock during the day and then sing the hallelluyah chorus to white supremacy at night while dreaming dollars.

PDP holds Robert Mugabe and his associates in ZANU PF responsible for the genocide in Matabeleland and Midlands Provinces in the 1980s in as much as they are responsible for the victims of election related violence of the 2000s.

The Unity Accord remains a questionable project. Evidently, it is a very important date in the calendar of ZANU PF since it signifies its victory over PF ZAPU as a nationalist opposition party and the appropriation of the most revered nationalist icon Joshua Nkomo.

Both PF ZAPU and Joshua Nkomo represented a sociopolitical reality that did not derive its ontological density from Mugabe’s patronage or his patriotic historical narrative. Instead, PF ZAPU under Joshua Nkomo was a liberation movement of international stature.

It dwarfed both Robert Mugabe and ZANU PF even when wearing their stolen palace gowns. Robert Mugabe had to marshal state power in his bid to crush ZAPU and to get himself affirmed.  In this sense, ‘Unity Day’ is nothing but a celebration of individual affirmation and a cynical way of celebrating genocide.

Celebrating Unity Day is Celebrating Genocide. All peoples of conscience should ask themselves uncomfortable questions about this abomination that is veiled as virtue.

The ZANU PF Gukurahundi ideology which inspired genocide in Matabeleland and Midlands is still alive and active today. The rest of the people of Zimbabwe are now enduring various forms of Gukurahundi such as destruction of their homes and disappearance of their loved ones who dare to speak against ZANU PF misrule.

Moreover, the regions which were meant to be integrated (through the Unity Accord) to the rest of the country after a decade of underdevelopment and social upheaval have become more alienated. For instance, Bulawayo, the citadel of resistance against ZANU PF rule continues to be punished by Government which practically sponsors disinvestment from that city.

Again, 28 years after the signing of the ‘Unity Accord’, some indigenous Zimbabwean languages are banned from being used in the legislature by tribal ZANU PF stewards in charge of the two houses of parliament. The military, which was used to deal a genocidal blow to the opposition PF ZAPU supporters in the 1980s, is still being used today to intimidate and browbeat the opposition supporters and their leadership.

Today, it’s more than 200 days since journalist Itai Dzamara was abducted. Like thousands of the 1980s Gukurahundi victims whose graves are still unknown, Dzamara’s family misses him. They need answers; they need closure. But how do they achieve closure when they don’t know where their loved one is or if he still lives?

Like Rashiwe Guzha in the 1990s, Dzamara’s family wants to know how they should proceed in terms of their lives without him. Like Patrick Nabanyama’s family in 2000, Dzamara’s family is confused and traumatized.

They need answers and President Robert Gabriel Mugabe as the Head of State and Government as well as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed forces, should provide answers on the whereabouts of Dzamara and all the other people who have mysteriously disappeared in Zimbabwe under his captaincy.

The nation needs closure to this dark chapter of its history. Silence on the Gukurahundi issue has encouraged the perpetrators to continue to violate human rights in Zimbabwe with impunity. The sooner we make peace with that episode of our history the better for our national stability, reconciliation, unity and democracy.

PDP believes that for true unity to prevail in Zimbabwe there must be a truth process and reparations of victims of Gukurahundi ideology of 1980s and the victims of the 3rd Chimurenga policy of the 2000s.

PDP also believes that the human rights record of Robert Mugabe and his lieutenants in ZANU PF is one of the reasons why they cannot countenance life outside government. The Gukurahundi episode is the most singular reason why Mugabe remains stuck in the state house in spite of his dotage.

It accounts for his long distance rulership, stayism and sit-tightism. But Mugabe should know that history is a ruthless judge, it doesn’t forget neither does it forgive those that try to undermine it. As long as there is no closure through truth telling and reparations, history will torture all perpetrators and haunt them even in their graves- they will never find rest.

In short, Robert Mugabe should do this nation a ‘favour’, that is, resign and leave the nation to heal from postcolonial wounds inflicted by his leadership. We urge Robert Mugabe to urgently abdicate as Head of State and Government and save Zimbabwe from sinking into further chaos.

He should take full responsibility of the past and current national tragedy and resign to allow a National Transitional Authority (NTA) to take over the business of governing the country whilst the nation prepares for the next elections on a level playing field.

On the other hand, the progressive opposition political society should come together as equal partners and forge a Grand Coalition that will work together towards political and electoral reforms. This consolidated body of opposition to act as a surety against electoral fraud, electoral manipulation, electoral corruption and electoral malfeasance.

Coalitional politics is the future of Zimbabwe. The parties should coalesce on the basis of values and principles and not personalities and positions. The Unity Accord of ZANU PF and PF ZAPU has failed simply because it was about political positions and not about public accountability.

Dr Gorden Moyo is the Secretary General of People’s Democratic Party (PDP)

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