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Zapu regrets signing unity accord with Zanu

Thirty-three years now since the signing of the Unity Accord, the opposition Zapu says it regrets rubber-stamping the agreement because the ruling Zanu PF administration has not reformed.

Robert Mugabe seen here with the late Joshua Nkomo
Robert Mugabe seen here with the late Joshua Nkomo

The unity accord was signed in 1987 by once main opposition and former liberation party then known as PF Zapu and led by the now late Joshua Nkomo with Zanu which was then led by late State president Robert Mugabe, to form what then became Zanu PF.

The agreement is also credited for ending the Gukurahundi Massacres in which an estimated 20 000 mostly Ndebele civilians were butchered by the military at the behest of the government.

It was signed on December 22 and the date has since been made a public holiday. This year, it is going to be celebrated on Tuesday.

Speaking at a revived Zapu celebrations to mark the party’s 59 years of existence at party headquarters in Bulawayo, Zapu acting president Isaac Mabuka said the opposition party regretted signing the agreement with Zanu.

Mabuka said the unity accord document was not negotiated but forced but forced by Mugabe in order for Zanu to swallow the then main opposition.

“Only one condition was given by Zanu PF’s Mugabe in order for Gukurahundi to stop – that Zapu signs the never negotiated unity accord document and agrees to be swallowed by his party.

“As a result, Zapu went in and the physical killings stopped albeit with the scorched earth policies of the government continuing up to this very day. What followed were years of unsuccessful efforts to reform the Zanu PF government as well as prescribing Zapu’s social, economic and developmental component into the resultant government’s policy.

“The Zapu component in the government also called in the government to respect, protect and promote human rights, but the calls fell on deaf ears,” Mabuka said.

In 2009, Zapu broke away from Zanu after failing to convince the ruling party to reform.

“Eventually, Zapu got fed up and in 2009 severed the unity accord ties and pulled out from both Zanu PF as well as the government.

“A resolution was taken at the White City Stadium and marked the first step of Zapu’s revival, followed by a special convention at McDonalds Hall in 2009 and later in 2010 at the ZITF Congress.

“The Zapu structures, after these events, were revived and became independent from Zanu PF. It has been a tumultuous journey, with the party operating in the most hostile of environments with close to zero budgets, but the loyal members and committed leaders. The party saw through its 2016 congress.

“However, we lost our sitting president (Dumiso Dabengwa) in 2019. We are preparing the upcoming 2021 (elective) congress. Zapu has proved to be the most resilient political party of all time After surviving the worst adversities and still being able to celebrate its 59th anniversary,” Mabuka said.