The Unity Accord, what it says

The issue of the Unity Accord signed between Zanu PF and PF Zapu in 1987 has remained an emotive subject in the county especially among the ruling party leadership.
The Unity Accord was signed between Zanu PF and PF Zapu in 1987. Here the late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo and President Robert Mugabe are seen hugging at the signing ceremony

The issue has of late become more contentious as the party needs to fill in critical positions in the Politburo, including the co-Vice President position, which fell vacant after the death of VP John Nkomo in January last year.

The issue become more contentious after position fell vacant after the death of VP John Nkomo in January last year.
The issue become more contentious after position fell vacant after the death of VP John Nkomo in January last year.

This Zanu PF succession debate has revived discourse on the future of the Accord and its relevance in modern day Zimbabwean politics.

Senior politicians in the party do not appear to have a common position on the tenets of the Accord as it relates to the succession and seniority of the cadres in the united party.

Starting today NewsDay will be publishing a series of articles to unpack the discourse on the Unity Accord. We will also be inviting our valued readers and key stakeholders to contribute to the discussion through our website and social media platforms.

To start off this discussion we today publish the full text of the Unity Accord Document.

Please send your feedback to our website, or click the Twitter or  Facebook  buttons to follow and like us







Agreement of Unity between The Zimbabwe African National Union (Patriotic Front) and Patriotic Front (Zapu)


Conscious of the historical links between Zanu PF and PF Zapu in the struggle for national independence and democracy through the strategy of the Armed Struggle and their alliance under the banner of the Patriotic Front;

Cognisant of the fact that the two Parties jointly command the support of the overwhelming majority of the people of Zimbabwe as evidenced by the General Election results of 1980 and 1985 respectively;

Notwithstanding that Zanu PF commands a greater percentage of the said overwhelming majority of the people of Zimbabwe;

Desirous to unite our nation; establish peace, law and order and to guarantee social and economic development and political stability;

Determined to eliminate and end the insecurity and violence caused by dissidents in Matabeleland;

Convinced that national unity, political stability, peace, law and order, social and economic development can only be achieved to their fullest under conditions of peace and the unity primarily of Zanu PF and PF Zapu;

We, the two leaders of Zanu PF and PF Zapu, that is to say Comrade Robert Gabriel Mugabe, First Secretary and President of Zanu PF, and Comrade Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo, President of PF Zapu, assisted by a Sub-Committee of equal members of Zanu PF and PF Zapu, held ten meetings to discuss the possible unity of our two parties as follows.

Consequent upon these meetings and paying due regard to all the principal issues raised thereat, we have agreed as follows: –

1st Meeting: 2nd October, 1985: Parliament Buildings
2nd Meeting: 28th November, 1985: Parliament Buildings
3rd Meeting: 4th April, 1986: Parliament Buildings
4th Meeting: 22nd July 1986: Parliament Buildings
5th Meeting: 29th December, 1986: Parliament Buildings
6th Meeting: 25th February, 1987: Parliament Buildings
7th Meeting: 3rd August, 1987: Parliament Buildings
8th Meeting: 10th August, 1987: Parliament Buildings
9th Meeting: 23rd October, 1987: Parliament Buildings
10th Meeting: 10th December, 1987: Parliament Buildings




1. That Zanu PF and PF Zapu have irrevocably committed themselves to unite under one political Party;

2. That the unity of the two political Parties shall be achieved under the name Zimbabwe African National Union (Patriotic Front) in short Zanu PF ;
3. That Comrade Robert Gabriel Mugabe shall be the First Secretary and President of Zanu PF ;

4. That Zanu PF shall have two Second Secretaries and Vice Presidents who shall be appointed by the First Secretary and President of the Party;

5. That Zanu PF shall seek to establish a socialist society in Zimbabwe on the guidance of Marxist-Leninist principles;

6. That Zanu PF shall seek to establish a ONE-PARTY STATE in Zimbabwe;

7. That the leadership of Zanu PF shall abide by the Leadership Code;

8. That the existing structures of Zanu PF and PF Zapu shall be merged in accordance with the letter and spirit of this Agreement;

9. That both parties shall, in the interim, take immediate vigorous steps to eliminate and end the insecurity and violence prevalent in Matabeleland.

10. That Zanu PF and PF Zapu shall convene their respective Congresses to give effect to this Agreement within the shortest possible time;

11. That, in the interim, Comrade Robert Gabriel Mugabe is vested with full powers to prepare for the implementation of this Agreement and to act in the name and authority of Zanu PF.


Do you have a coronavirus story? You can email us on:


  1. Rome was a very big empire back then. But its now all gone. This document is no longer valid because Zanu has successfully swallowed Zapu, & only Zanu’s principles are working. It was a huge deal back then, but its slowly dwindling. You have to build structures on a strong foundation, so that it sustains to tremors & floods. But this one was built on trickery & mischief, which is more like sand. My honest opinion is that, the days of Zanu PF are gone, & only confused supporters will be left to suffer! Handiti murikubatwa semazai? Kana kombi yafa vanhu vanoburuka vokwira imwe. Ndosaka kwane maopposition parties. DEATH TO THE OLD PARTY!

  2. If this is the whole agreement then even the Vice President of PF Zapu is not guaranteed the Vice Presidency.We are now almost 30 years later and the political situation of that time is no longer relevant.It is no longer relevant to talk of PF Zapu.

    1. Zapu is dead and buried and Zanu has killed and buried the economy,murdered even its own people and looted the wealth to the few.How convenient

  3. First Joshua Nkomo, then Chamatama led up the garden path by foxy Bob.

  4. This is such a scanty agreement. I is therefore
    bereft of logic that former PF Zapu members demand the Vice Presidency & Chairmanship of Zanu PF. Where do they get that nonsense, if this is what they signed?

    From reading this the two posts are fair play and open to grabs. Is their claim based on a word of mouth gentleman’s agreement? Were 10 PF Zapu committee members outflanked and outwitted by their 10 Zanu PF counterparts.

    As a Zimbabwean of Matabeleland descent, l am ashamed by these PF Zapu men who put their names onto this nonsense. Even uMdala wethu. Hawu bantu!!!!!!!!

  5. There is NO unity accord.
    There is no known public, signed, gazetted or formal record copy of the agreement. And never has been in thirty plus years.

    There is no known copy in Zimbabwe, govt, ZANU or ZAPU files.

    The only known independent record of the accords actual existence or articles is in a book by Judith Todd, which was written out for her, apparently on a scrap notebook, by a friend in ZAPU, who is alleged to have actually seen a copy of the accord:

    If you don’t believe that go and ask the Zim Govt public records office for a copy, since no-one else has ever managed to get a copy of it from them in thirty years. Let alone a photocopy of the actual signed agreement.

    IF if actually exists.

    Anytime you’d like to notice that ZANU has been selling the Zim people a lie for thirty years.

    And anytime you’d like to notice the Zim people (and all the other Pan Africanists in the Liberation parties) have fallen for it, as they are that daft.

  6. and we make so much noise about this agreement. I f theere was real unity why not a new name. its gone past its sell by date.. m ore or lesser like the GPA .

  7. Thank you so much News Day for this revelation.This Accord is tired and entitles no one from former ZAPU -PF to a post or even that of party chairman.Let democratic values of this dispensation (21stCentury) take centre stage as the way foward.

  8. Kanotyisa kadocument ako,usatamba nana tsuro magen’a. kano nyenyeredza nyaya dzacho seGNU agreement. ndiye mukoma waGNU uyu kkkkkk

    1. Kikikikikiki Watawura hako iwe.

  9. Can you make it clear if before the accord there was a party called Zanu Pf or Zanu. I always thought the Pf came from Zapu when the accord was signed..

    1. PF stands for Partriotic Front. It was the united name used by Zanu and Zapu at Lancaster House. Zapu retained tge PF at election time in1980 to differentiate between Zanu and itself

      1. Zanu adopted PF in 1980 before elections because Ndabaningi was using the name Zanu.
        Zapu adopted PF in 1980 because (PF was the name used during Lacashire talks) Bob had dribbled Josh (refused to go into elections together – with Josh as leader – all as per agreed with mkoma Tongo)

  10. Am shocked with this revelation, how could people be cheated right in their faces like that, as alluded to earlier MDC factions fell into the same trap, regai vati history repeat it’s self shuwa haya nxwaaa

  11. The relevance of this document at that time was that a lot of people were dying in Midlands and Matabeleland. So the atrocities had to be stopped. As such a leader concerned with the people’s safety would have signed it despite its being so scanty and wily.

  12. ONE PARTY STATE. So it means these Zanu pf guys wanted to rule forever. Joshua Nkomo signed a fake deal with Mugabe.

  13. This has outlived its relevance and must be thrown into the dustbin of history. Its states that Zanu Pf seeks to establish a one party state. Kupi kwacho mukore uno. These politicians were outsmarted by Bob. Let the democratic principles apply!!!

  14. We need to be careful with this document as it might devide us as Zimbabweans. I have a lot of friends and relatives from matebeleland even though I am from Mashonaland. I respect all my country man in Matebeleland. I feel for them if i look at how underdeveloped matebeleland is. Independence is just history to them.
    Even if Joshua Nkomo did his best to stop the genocide through signing the unite accord to save people’s lives i think that was fair simply because the vampire was killing innocent souls. The only solution to the problem now is to change the leadership and change the leadership style of ruling. Hate speech, and racism against whites, tribalism and nepotism must go when we attain the second independence from zanu pf. Zimbabwe need fresh minded leaders.

  15. Zapu fools, ten meetings for such rubbish.TEN here vakomana , an hour’s meeting can produce better resolutions

  16. So we this agreement Didymus is correct that he can contest for the chairmanship of this party. Nkomo had people at heart and hence his humbleness to sign the document and become Vice President. Kwete zviriko muzanu mazuvano izvi.

  17. The document says Mugabe will be the President and First Secretary and he (Mugabe) will appoint the Vice Presidents.It does not even say Joshua Nkomo will be the First Vice President.The parties merged.It means,PF Zapu has not been able to recruit new members since 1987.All new members of the party are ZanuPF.So in a few years time when all the old former PF Zapu members have died,there will be no PF Zapu Unity to talk about.A merger is a merger.Old identities should be buried and forgotten.

  18. i had no idea the whole document was such a scant thing designed to hoodwink Nkomo. i remember Tekere said Nkomo drove all the way to Mutare from Bulawayo to ask him if he should sign it. I wish he hadnt! but Nkomo was a leader and he had to save his supporters from the gukurahundi persecution so he agreed to this cheating. oh my… he was cornered!!!!

    i know zapu guys had little bargaining power here, what with Mugabe being the darling of the first world, receiving nobel prizes and honorory degrees everywhere – they had no room to call his bluff. but with hindsight, they should have tried to:

    1. get that whole VP, Chairman and Home Affairs minister thing on paper, not on gentleman’s agreements!
    2. should never have agreed to a ‘one party state’!!!! its clear mugabe still thinks within that framework. is there any opposition leader who was never persecuted in Zim? shame.
    3.they must have had the name changed, not allow theirs to be swallowed. they should have adopted a new name altogether.

    i understand why Dabengwa didnt want to be part of it from point go. and technically, Mutasa is right to say the positions are not reserved for anyone. i suppose the headache now is, if Mugabe lets Didymus and Co outfox Zapu cadres, then the whole rank and file will follow Dabengwa out. Oppah has already given Grace the women league and waits to get Didymus’s job. So if Robert blocks Didymus from the charmanship what will happen to him? Fight Oppah? and if he loses…? the chickens are coming home to roost!!!!!!! we are in for season finale! tiri kusvikapo zvakare paHeroes acre apo before xmas, maybe even thrice!!!!

  19. Joshua Nkomo like Tsvangirayi signed a flawed agreement to save the people. I hope debate focuses on showing how devious zanu pf is than denigrate people who were trying their best under difficult circumstances. The matabeleland situation is playing out in Nigeria with the army killing innocent civilians in pursuit of Boko Haram.

  20. It is easy to say from the comfort and security of Harare that Nkomo was “dribbled”, ZAPU reps were foolish etc. To us who are and were in Nyamandlovu, Lupane, Nkayi, Matobo, Bhalagwe, Khezi, Gokwe, Bulawayo etc this accord is of monumental worth. True leadership and wisdom is concerned with saving lives more than retaining or accessing power. This document saved our lives from Gukurahundi.

  21. Ilizwe angeke lilunge! Mutasa for Chairman? Diesel & Chinhoyi come to my mind. But anyway Robert Mugabe deserves to be President, & Zimbabweans deserve Mugabe! Let him rule as he pleases. Zanu deserves what they are getting. Lets wait and see if Zimbabweans recover from this mad history.

  22. But all the pple havnt u noticed that e agreement is written preamble. Newsday give us e final doc.

  23. What & where is the LEADERSHIP CODE? HYPOCRISY!!!!

  24. As much as it was relevant in that time, the document was flawed and mentions zapu less than it mentions zanu. In this time, the document mayy as well be buried, the one party agenda still plays in zimbabwe no wonder the opposition is highly persecuted…..its such a shame they had to sign such a documenta nd to think they had 10 meetinge over 2 yeard to agree to this ….ma 1

  25. Zanu succession now playing out in the media. …
    is this a true record of the agreement.
    This is someone trying to justify their grabbing of posts. Anyway, Mugabe has little to play for otherwise he would stop all these power plays dead in their tracks.

  26. What we need is development not power struggles

  27. I did not see where it says the second vice president and party chairman positions are reserved for PF Zapu cadres.It is provided ‘That ZANU PF shall have two vice secretaries and two vice Presidents appointed by the First Secretary and President of the party’.

  28. All comments people are saying killings killings Knomo saved the people of matebeleland , from who? who was killing them ? its said they where disidents from where ? As i can see this document i dont think its a correct one . Nkomo sold the matebeleland folks for luxuary and fame . unlike our pres Tsvangirai he went there with a vision and his princiles never to be swallowed by this bastads. Morgan for more .

  29. Eishh,so even Joshua Nkomo agreed to the One party state?
    I doubt if he (Joshua) did everything for the love of the people,he might have been face saving,coz he was defeated on the battle front,because Gwasela and dissidents were loosing much ground and outsmarted during negotiations.
    In soccer the side that score more goals win the match,in war the side that kills the most wins war,so PF Zanu lost it and Bob prevailed.
    Joshua had no choice,he had to agree to everything coz he was arm twisted.

  30. Dzinonzwa Hadzirimi

    Another one by the Wily Fox! So far nobody has been able to match the The Panther of the Undergrowth when it comes to crafting “unity agreements”.One gets this feeling that the old fox somehow first induces the negotiators into some kind of drunken stupor before making them sign these things.Kkkkkkk haa ndaseka hangu

  31. I wish the world had more people like Joshua Nkomo. The tragedy in Africa is that there are too many war lords who will not think twice about having a million people killed in order to get to power. Nkomo was not out foxed by Mugabe and for the benefit of those with short memories I will quote what he said on TV; “We had to stop the killings!” Need I say more. He had the means to make this country an Angola. He gave us all a chance at peace.For me he truly is Father Zimbabwe.

  32. the unity accord is a political disorder of the highest kind. it does not create the solutions to lasting peace but rather created stronger basis for Zimbabwe to plunch into more conflicts… tribal…so forth. I think it failed because GNUs are designed to ursup democratic principlesbecause it undemines the choice of the people thus why the so called unity agreement do noto last even though they are 24 months to survive. how do we expect such mechaNINISMS TO CONTRIBUTE TO NATIONAL PEACE, RECONCILIATION AND PEACEBUILDING

Comments are closed.