Mugabe sued over Unity Day

MDC-T Chitungwiza MP Alexio Musundire and civic activists Tinomudaishe Chinyoka and Coliwe Mufaki have taken President Robert Mugabe to the Constitutional Court challenging the constitutionality of declaring December 22 a national holiday.


The three, who filed their papers last Friday, argue that December 22 was not a national holiday, but a commemoration of a unity between two political parties — Zanu and PF-Zapu.

The day was set aside to celebrate the signing of the 1987 Unity Accord between President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu and the late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo’s PF Zapu.

In his founding affidavit, Musundire said December 22 was not a date for celebration, but one for “mourning one of the victims of Zanu PF hegemony”.

“And more importantly, as a member of the opposition, I do not believe that I should observe this so-called Unity Day, as it effectively forces me to think on, reflect about and celebrate a day that is only relevant to our political rivals,” he said.

“Zanu PF can and should celebrate their day as Zanu PF and not seek to foist it on the rest of us.”

Grace Mugabe speaking during a rally in Mbare yesterday Pic Shepherd Tozvireva

Mugabe is cited as the first respondent, while Zanu PF secretary for administration, Ignatius Chombo is cited as second respondent in his capacity as Home Affairs minister and responsible for the administration of the public holidays and Prohibition of Business Act.

In her founding affidavit, Mufaki said she was apolitical, but was against being forced to celebrate the day.

“In the daily search for a living, there is no time left to get involved in politics. In any event, I believe that I have a right to choose to not be involved in politics if I do not want to. I have been informed, and, therefore, have reason to believe that the Constitution gives me a right to be apolitical,” she argued.

“I am, therefore, perturbed to see each year, second respondent designates December 22 as a day when I cannot go around to different companies looking for a job, on the excuse that I should join him in celebrating first respondent’s signature of some agreement with another political party that used to exist and may or may no longer exist.”

Mufaki added: “Even if I am apolitical, I think that my rights ought to be respected. That should include not being forced to celebrate an event that is only relevant to those interested in politics, in particular, Zanu PF politics.”

Chinyoka, a lawyer currently doing further studies at Oxford University in the United Kingdom, argued: “On this day, like on any other public holidays, all government business is shut. All public offices are closed, and major businesses like banks and other financial institutions are closed.

“It is virtually impossible to conduct any business on National Unity Day, even if one wanted to.”

Musundire and Chinyoka have also filed a separate lawsuit, challenging Zanu PF’s sole mandate to declare national heroes.

The matter is also pending at the High Court.

11 Responses to Mugabe sued over Unity Day

  1. gumisai mutasa January 25, 2016 at 8:58 am #

    Christmas is celebrated on 25 December every year. It is the celebration of the coming of our dear Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ because his coming marked the beginning of our salvation through His precious blood. Research has long thrown controversy over the accuracy of 25 December as the actual date of His birth. However, we continue to celebrate because albeit symbolically because it is the event that is of value to Christians. and of course, Moslems, Buddhists and Hindi all observe the holiday and close their businesses even though they have their own Messiahs.

    The Unity Day in Zimbabwe is a milestone in the history of peaceful resolution to a violent conflicts. It is not about the people involved and their parties. Unity Day reminds us that even if we have seemingly irreconcilable differences, even if we have had acrimonious, relationships of fatally violent proportions, we can still find one another, realise that we are one and the same thing despite inevitable socio-political diversity. It is for the young people like the misguided plaintiffs above, whose motive is clearly driven by political hatred myopia and naivety, to learn from experience. The conflicts that we have experienced, including the one that gave us Unity Day are by no means the last. The priceless lesson from Unity Day is that we can rise from a bitter conflict, learn to forgive and become a tolerant, accommodating society once again and achieve social harmony and peace. I see some young people being driven by bitterness and political failure now abusing resources to try and assuage their political egos under the guise of being ‘apolitical’. The word exists but I am yet to see a purely ‘apolitical’ person. And to conclude we can all learn from the wise words of one of the chief proponents and architects of Unity Day, the late VP John Landa Nkomo, “PEACE BEGINS WITH ME, PEACE BEGINS WITH YOU, PEACE BEGINS WITH ALL OF US” Lets all celebrate December 22, our Unity Day that forever reminds us that peace comes through everyone taking a step towards peace.

    • Vashe February 1, 2016 at 12:48 am #

      Christmas is a pagan holiday and has nothing to do with Christianity, please get your facts right before you comment. It was introduced by the Romans in the 4th Century. Jesus wasn’t born on the 25th of December.

  2. Oscar January 25, 2016 at 10:27 am #

    MDCT-T has run of ideas indeed.

    • Dhara Dee January 25, 2016 at 11:30 am #

      yes they have, but here they do have a valid point. The unity is between 2 parties and the other party is actually no longer represented in any govt structures so why celebrate the day? Why was there no unity day when the 2 MDCs and Zanu joined forces?

  3. Jerry January 25, 2016 at 10:49 am #

    So the Muslims and other non-Christians may as well challenge the constitutionality of the Christmas, New year and Easter holidays.

  4. horomba January 25, 2016 at 11:26 am #

    ayas! wasting judiciary`s tym & money

  5. Mhererwa January 25, 2016 at 11:29 am #

    kana asingade zvekuzorora iye ngaatsvage zvekuita musiwacho

  6. Levi January 25, 2016 at 11:30 am #

    I like Unity Day off because it means I can start my Christmas holidays early. ching ching

  7. Biggie Taapatsi January 25, 2016 at 2:12 pm #

    Am embarking on law studies right away and learn how to make educated noises

  8. Alex January 26, 2016 at 8:31 am #

    Ndokurasika, kusaziva nhoroondo yenyika. Unity was between two warring tribes, represented by the political parties. We enjoy peace today because of that unity treaty, thats why we celebrate it.

    If we follow the same logic given by these guys, we should stop independence day. The deal was signed by Zanu and Zapu as well. May day as well. Why stop there, Africa day as well.

    My conclusion: kushaya zvekuita nemari kwevanhu ava.

  9. Vladimr Chitungwiza January 26, 2016 at 2:47 pm #

    Zimbabwe will never be a colony again and we have invested 99% of our natural resources revenues and national fiscal collections since 1980 to date in financing of this and to date we continue to upgrade to the latest mechanisms of this era from Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, just like any other independent state would in safeguard of its national sovereighty. The West and allies continue to train lawyers, activists and so-called human rights advocates who are send to probe as pupperts for such nonsense things like this one, gay rights etc but the full list we have; know this, as long as you see one of these vomiting nonsense like this around alive, know that they pose no threat of treason against our government, otherwise its a 48hr rectification that guarantees Doves or Nyaradzo of a boost of sales within 48hrs. Lets unite as Zimbabweans and let no colonial sell outs corrupt our sovereighty, Unity Day is a national public holiday, a commemoration of unity for all Zimbabweans, which marks a historical peace and unity day that saw re-birth of a Zimbabwe we have today. I understand the economy is currently struggling big time, but shall we opt for re-colonization as resort? Ask those Zimbas who are in S.A vanokhuudzai how it is to survive in S.A with the racism yema boer and how they over-works ma blacks kubva na 7am to 10pm for r2000 per month murume mukuru. Live wire. That’s what will happen to you if you ever make a mistake of voting for the western-puppert party. The solutions Zimbabwe needs are not in the western-pupperted party, NO-but are in the Zimbabweans, lets stop corruption and exploitation amongst ourselves. Do away with inefficient grabbers of properties in the name of indigenization, and ofcourse sit down for a dialogue to work together with other countries for trade, commerce and FDI because no country, even USA, can ever live in autack without trading with others-that means our 51% needs re-moderation. That’s the plain simple. But if not implemented, then it might as well push loyal citizens of Zimbabwe to risk an experiment to try the other side of the coin in search for a better Zimbabwe political-wise, a risk that might see a better Zimbabwe, or a very very worst one as in the Libya Ghadhafi scenario where they’re crying things were better in Ghadhafi’s rule. Restore the post 1980 Zimba pride our forefathers shared with our fathers. Twe’ nty ei’ gh teen

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