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Ambivalence over Unity Day significance

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AS the country commemorates the National Unity Day today, Zimbabweans are sharply divided over the significance of the day, dedicated to observe an accord signed between Zanu PF and PF Zapu in 1987.

REPORT BY VENERANDA LANGA SENIOR PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER

While some people interviewed by NewsDay said it helped end the civil war in Matabeleland, others believed it was no longer relevant.

Paul Madzore — Glen View South MP (MDC-T)
The idea of unity is good because the two warring parties in 1987 (Zanu PF and PF Zapu) came together. As we remember National Unity Day, we should also not forget the suffering that our people went through in 2007 and 2008. Today there is still no unity and the Government of National Unity (GNU) is being run with a lot of suspicion among political parties.

Enny Mapombedze — Businesswoman
National Unity Day is important because it has united people from different regions.
We want the Ndebele and Shona people to remain united. We would also like to urge the Joint Operations Monitoring and Implementation Committee to keep unifying the political parties in the GNU so that there is peace and unity, especially during the forthcoming elections.

Melody Muguti — Self-employed woman
It is important to celebrate National Unity Day because it ended the civil war that rocked the country just after Independence. We want unity to prevail in this GNU.

Nhlanhla Dube — MDC (Ncube spokesperson)
The day on its own has very little, if anything to do, with unity in the country because it was meant to cement the swallowing of PF Zapu by Zanu PF.

For this day to have significance, it should not focus on the Unity Accord signed between Zanu PF’s President Robert Mugabe and the late PF Zapu leader, Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo. It should be broad and not focus on political parties.
Silver Bhebe — Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn spokesperson

Joshua Nkomo just signed the Unity Accord to halt the civil war that was ravaging Matabeleland. He only wanted to stop the genocide and I do not think PF Zapu benefited immensely from that.

Dumiso Dabengwa — Zapu President
The signing of the accord helped in neutralising political repression and a tendency towards forceful imposition of a one-party state. However, over the last 32+ years there is unfulfilled potential that could have been realised from this day.

Joram Gumbo — Mberengwa West MP (Zanu PF)
It is an important day to celebrate because there had been tribal conflict which had been separating us, but now people are no longer divided on a regional basis. After the signing of the Unity Accord in 1987 by Nkomo and Mugabe, peace prevailed and with peace there is development.

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