By Charles Motsi
Kids of today only know 22 December as that day labelled Unity Day on the calendar and if it is mid-week it is that holiday that daddy and mommy do not go to work before the actual holiday they get excited about which is Christmas.
The reason why most kids are not aware of the importance of the day is that unlike Christmas, Easter and most holidays is that there is no Unity day Box or Unity Day candy. So to them, no gift means no joy. What they do not know is that the gift of Unity Day is one that was given to us by the Founding Fathers of this nation, former president Robert Mugabe and former Deputy President Joshua Nkomo, and that is the gift of peace, love and harmony brought in by their unified call for a single nation of Zimbabwe.
The day was officially proclaimed a public holiday in 1997 in recognition of the signing of the Unity Accord which was an agreement that brought together two of the country’s major political outfits at the time, Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU) led by Joshua Nkomo and the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) led by Robert Mugabe. This also gave birth to the current political heavy weight which is ZANU PF.
The unification of the two political parties went beyond politics as it also brought together the various ethnic groups that were split along party lines and their military wings, ZAPU's Zimbabwe People's Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA) and ZANU's Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army (ZANLA) , that had fought side by side during the liberation war.
This magnanimous agreement rightfully deserved a public holiday of its own as it should serve as a reminder to all Zimbabweans on the need to be one nation so as to progress and remain relevant in this global village. This idea of unity seems to have been lost on the country’s current major opposition outfit, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) as they believe in opposing just for the sake of opposing and do not seem to care about the collateral damage to ordinary Zimbabweans.
The MDC seems to be ok with a divided nation that is always in political bickering mode rather that bring the nation together as exemplified by the old madhalas in 1987. President Emmerson Mnangagwa is on record calling for unity in the 2nd Republic, as he calls it, and urging all to move away from politicking and embark on a journey of national development. His plea has fallen on deaf eyes as MDC president, Nelson Chamisa, still refuses to accept the results of the July 2018 elections announced by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).
The youthful and naïve leader further refuses to respect the highest court in the land, the Constitutional Court, which reiterated what ZEC had announced. Chamisa even refused to take responsibility for his supporters’ actions on 1 August. Violent actions, that tainted the whole electoral process as they led to the death of six unfortunate individuals. As if that was not enough he went on to call his supporters ‘STUPIDS’ for the part they played in the August 1 violence.
Just this week, Chamisa refused to acknowledge a report by the Commission of Inquiry which was set up to investigate the events of the fateful day. The commission led by former South African President, Kgalema Motlanthe, found that the MDC was responsible for planning and executing its plan to destabilise the nation and discrediting the electoral process. However, Chamisa’s outfit remains adamant that they are not to blame.
It is paramount that Chamisa takes a leaf from the founding fathers and put aside petty political differences for the good of those he purports to represent by refusing to accept anything that is not in line with his selfish political agenda.
Unity is not just for Unity Day but should be an everyday thing as preached by President Mnangagwa following the footsteps of Cde Mugabe and Cde Nkomo and setting an example of UNITY for the prosperity of our great nation.