“Unity! Unity! Unity is number one . . .” These are the late Nduna Malaba`s lyrics aptly stated but rich with meaning. The animal called “unity” is extremely important.
This is so because our society is a mixed bag of rogues and saints. Conflicts and violence are an inescapable reality yet we desperately need peace and prosperity to have a good life.
Following are a series of historical events pregnant with lessons on how crucial unity of purpose is.
In the 1890s the Shona and the Ndebele fought separately against the white settlers. Their efforts became an exercise in futility as they were easily defeated.
It was during the Second Chimurenga when they realised their folly that they decided to join hands. Finally the struggle was won thanks to unity of purpose.
Even the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks learnt the hard way during the Russian revolution in 1917 as they chose to go separate ways yet fighting for a common cause.
In October 2005, the then formidable opposition party, MDC split over senate elections. The effect of that unfortunate scenario was painfully felt in March 2008.
The divided party confused the electorate and split crucial votes leading to the creation of the government of national unity (GNU), a marriage of convenience. Had there been a unity of purpose this “government of no unity” would not have come into being.
Some fruits of unity of purpose were seen on March 29 2011. The MDC-N decided to close ranks and joined MDC-T during the election of the Speaker of Parliament. Eventually Lovemore Moyo reclaimed the speaker’s post which had sparked controversy in the inclusive government.
As long as we pull in different directions when striving for a common goal, our efforts will come to nought.
There is strength in unity. As long as unity of purpose is ignored in Zimbabwe, we will remain a failed State. We will be blamed by future generations for destroying the country.
In 2008 when the presidential election result was overdue, Morgan Tsvangirai urged fellow Zimbabweans to remain united in his messages of hope.
He reminded us that we were all the citizens of Zimbabwe, we were not divided aliens hence the need for unity of purpose in demanding results which we thought would reshape our lives.
As June 22 2011 dawned, teachers realised that the promised “better salaries” had not materialised. Instead of uniting to map the way forward as a united, “famished family”, teachers` organisations took diverse routes.
The Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe urged all civil servants to go on strike but the Zimbawe Teachers’ Association told its members to stay put and be patient for a little longer.
It is the poor worker who bears the brunt of this confusion, this battle for supremacy. Amazingly, these organisations meet in Apex Council where they are expected to speak with one voice.
Zimbabwe is endowed with rich resources to bail it out of its economic doldrums but the tug-of-war in this government is working heavily against us.
Farm invasions, politically-motivated violence, buck passing and hate speech we hear daily would be non-existent had there been unity of purpose in our unity government .
Civil servants would be handsomely remunerated, restrictive measures would have been lifted and direct foreign aid would have been poured into the country.
Those in Diaspora would have returned with their purses full and with requisite skills and knowledge to resurrect their moribund nation.
The Marange diamonds would not be a centre of antagonism and hullabaloo. The quantitative / qualitative debacle in Copac would not exist had there been unity of purpose in GNU.
To every dark cloud there’s a silver lining. It’s never too late to bring sanity to Zimbabwe. We only need to be united. United we stand, divided we fall.
Nathaniel dared David after the latter forced himself on Uriah’s wife before orchestrating his death. Nathaniel had no guns. His gun was his courage and love for absolute truth.
Let’s desist from political manipulation and call a spade a spade. There is no good boy or bad boy in this government. There is collective responsibility.
If we choose to confront some players while we treat others with kid gloves, we, as citizens, are losers in the end.
In his novel Ancestors, Chenjerai Hove says unless the hand moves, the mouth won’t eat. Ngugi wa Thiongo in Matigari says fear brings misery. Here we are, poor citizens!
The ball is in our hands. Let’s play it. When faced with a difficult situation an action however trival counts a great deal. A mere sling made David a hero!
While it’s our right to see and act differently in a healthy society, let’s also not forget Nduna Malaba’s Unity is Number One message or else our dear Zimbabwe remains a home of no homage.