OPINION: Unity Day remains hollow


Today is an important date on our calendar as the nation celebrates Unity Day which was declared after the signing of the Unity Accord between ZANU PF and ZAPU in 1985.

The concept is beautiful but the question is are we really united as a people.Indeed, Unity Day  is a day with a difference, for the first time ever it feels like a ritual far divorced from Zimbabweans – a mere celebration because of the calendar’s reminder.

These celebrations have lost meaning, they have been further diluted by events that have been happening throughout the year. Tribal differences seem to be on their peak while political differences create the worst rift between the people more.

Unity remains a facade in the life of the general citizenry. It is only a day acknowledged as a holiday but with no meaning whatsoever. After the much hyped ‘New Dispensation’ people hopes were raised very high and for a second  there was a glimmer of hope that all the atrocities that were committed in the older dispensation would be addressed and at least a word of apology would be extended to the grieved families and victims of the darkest hour of Gukurahundi and other related violent incidents.

After the new government got into power both the international and local communities quickly opened the old wound with the hope of finally looking into it and dress it with the proper medication to ensure it heals and becomes only a thing of the past with only scars as reference.

The people fed on this hope of a new era that would address these matters that still haunt others up to this day. While still opening and hoping for the wound to be addressed, there came the August 1st shootings leaving six civilians dead and 35 others injured.

Again our hopes were raised by the commission of inquiry that was set to look into the matter. People became skeptical following all these events but they left a small portal open, hoping that simple apologies and prosecution of the perpetrators would live to see the day. Again, the people were proved wrong, no apology was given to the people not even a half-hearted apology was extended because the people in the position to do so are playing politics and do not want their names and egos tainted. Now the people are divided, opposition and ruling party supporters play the blame game as to who is wrong and there do not come forward as a united front, tribal rivalries are further deepened as other tribes feel ignored and not respected enough to be apologized to.

So today yes on the calendar it is unity day, but who is united in present day Zimbabwe?