The nation marks the 35th anniversary of the signing of the Unity Accord today.
It is a hugely significant day for the country as the signing of the pact ended five years of fighting that resulted in much suffering in Bulawayo, Matabeleland North, Matabeleland South and parts of Midlands provinces.
Some people lost lives, others were injured and displaced. Insecurity and fear ruled across the country. Also, there was no much development in the four provinces due to the disturbances.
However, Cde Robert Mugabe, then Prime Minister of the country and leader of Zanu-PF and Dr Joshua Nkomo, then PF-Zapu leader came together, discussed the challenges between their movements and took a decision to forge peace. They signed the agreement and came together to form Zanu-PF. Cde Mugabe assumed the post of executive President having served as Prime Minister since 1980 with Canaan Banana as ceremonial president during that time. Dr Nkomo became Vice-President of the united party and Government.
We cherish December 22, 1987 greatly as we know that development cannot take place in an environment of disunity, fear, insecurity and armed conflict. Now there is a genuine sense of oneness across the country. Anyone is free to relate, travel, marry, work and do business anywhere across the country regardless of their totem, their name, their tribe, their mother tongue or their skin colour.
We are now one people, contributing to the development of the country in peace and unity.
Also due to the unity and peace prevailing nationwide, many areas that lagged behind due to the fighting are catching up. Binga is becoming a whole new district, the same for Tsholotsho, Mangwe, Bulilima, Silobela, Lupane, Matobo, Gwanda, Lower Gweru, Insiza and others.
Infrastructure such as roads, schools, clinics, hospitals, colleges, universities, irrigation schemes, dams and others are being built and operationalised.
Millions of people who could not access these services as a result of the Gukurahundi conflict now have unimpeded access to them. Lake Gwayi-Shangani, Tuli Manyange Dam, Bulawayo Kraal Irrigation Scheme, Elitsheni Government Complex, Lupane State University campus and other major projects would most likely not have seen the light of the day if the Unity Accord had not been signed and upheld over the past 35 years.
Also, thanks to President Mnangagwa’s Government, the genuine wounds that hadn’t healed in the hearts and minds of some citizens as a result of Gukurahundi are being attended to.
He has encouraged the people to openly discuss the disturbances and ensured that the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission is well resourced so it can discharge its mandate. Hearings to find solutions to the aftermath of the conflict are on expected soon after the Government recently approved a manual to be used for the process.
“We will be celebrating unity day soon,” the President said on Tuesday while addressing young innovators and businesspeople in Harare.
“This unity was brought about by the young then. Defend that unity. You can now preserve that legacy by voting Zanu-PF. We are a unitary state united under one national flag and national anthem.
Say no to racism, tribalism and all such vices.”
Indeed, the accord and the oneness it created must be defended, as the President exhorted. Zimbabwe is a unitary state. We sing one national anthem and have one national flag.
We, thus, urge every one of us to play their roles to promote national unity, peace and development. We must not only work hard but also smartly and honestly. If we all do so, nothing will stop the country from achieving Vision 2030 of an upper middle-income economy.
Article Source: The Chronicle