Michael Tome Business Reporter
LOCAL businesses and economists have implored the citizenry to value the peace that prevails in the country, brought about by the Unity Accord signed in 1987.
The Unity Accord brought together Zanu PF and PF Zapu, the two major political parties in the country.
The signing of the accord in 1987 signalled the end of conflict that had characterised the early years of Zimbabwe’s Independence and sought to establish peace, law and order as well as social and economic development.
As a result, Zimbabwe has since Independence from Britain enjoyed a peaceful environment, free of civil unrest, a critical element for a good economic environment.
The African continent has from time and again been characterised by tribal wars and fierce battles that have hindered optimum economic development and growth.
Locally, all tribes enjoy conducting business in any part of the country without limitations of tribal discrimination and can freely seek employment from any part of the country without fear of victimisation.
Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers (CZR) president, Denford Mutashu urged Zimbabweans to maintain the peace and tranquillity that prevails across the country.
“Unity anchors a stable environment, without unity and stability or a stable environment like the one that we currently enjoy, we should never ever take for granted the unity and stability that we have as a country.
“As an economy, we can only function and contribute positively when the environment is stable. We cherish the unity and we should jealously guard the unity that we enjoy at the moment amongst Zimbabweans
“We might have issues that we want addressed but that is possible only if we remain united,” Mr Mutashu said.
Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) immediate past president Sifelani Jabangwe lauded the peace that exists in the country pointing that some countries in the continent have failed to progress economically due to upheavals that arise along tribal lines.
“Unity promotes stability, tribalism is a major issue which has resulted in a major economic destabilisation in some parts of Africa. When you look at Zimbabwe, due to the unity accord, we have a peaceful environment, which then makes it easy for businesses to operate from any place within Zimbabwe,” added Mr Jabangwe.
Economist Dr Prosper Chitambara weighed in saying unity brought a peaceful environment which now is a vital ingredient for economic growth and development.
He however, pointed out that he was concerned about the issue of growing polarisation, indicating that it had the potential to cause significant harm to the economy.
“Generally, unity is good for the economy, no country prospers without unity. Without unity the economic vision and development of a country cannot be achieved.
“We should, however, deal with the issue of polarisation, it is a major cancer that must be dealt with urgently, Zimbabweans need to be united by certain values and principles that put the nation ahead of political and partisan interests,” said Dr Chitambara.
The pact was a culmination of two years of meticulous negotiations between 1985 and 1987 pitting Zanu PF and PF Zapu.
The late President Robert Mugabe who was then Prime Minister of the country and leader of ZANU PF signed the accord on behalf of his party while PF ZAPU leader Dr Joshua Nkomo signed on behalf of his party.