BY SILAS NKALA
FORMER Ntabazinduna Chief Nhlanhlayamangwe Ndiweni says the late former President Robert Mugabe was far better in honouring the tenets of the 1987 Unity Accord than his successor Emmerson Mnangagwa.
The exiled Ndiweni was referring to Mnangagwa’s failure to fill the vacant Vice-President post after Kembo Mohadi resigned in 2021 under a cloud of shame involving sex scandals.
The Unity Accord was signed between the late former Vice-President Joshua Nkomo, then PF Zapu leader and the late former President Robert Mugabe who led Zanu to form Zanu PF.
They formed a government of national unity at independence in 1980, but soon fell out after Mugabe accused Nkomo and his party of plotting an armed insurrection.
More than 20 000 innocent civilians, who mostly supported PF Zapu, were killed after Mugabe deployed the Fifth Brigade in Matabeleland and Midlands provinces.
The Unity Accord led to the cessation of the mass killings.
Ex-Zapu members argue that the VP and Zanu PF chairperson’s posts were a preserve of former PF Zapu cadres in the spirit of the 1987 Unity Accord.
The VP post has, however, remained vacant after Mohadi’s resignation.
“The Unity Accord, remember, it was signed on one side of the A4 paper. It was like a ceasefire paper to say let’s come together and work together for the good of all people. Mugabe tried to maintain that throughout his presidency,” Ndiweni said.
“When Mnangagwa came into office, he did the reverse. He has single handedly destroyed the Unity Accord. The Unity Accord no longer exists in Zimbabwe. Mnangagwa has left it (VP post) open and unfilled, which is a classic sign that the Unity Accord no longer exists.”
“Even on that basis the Unity Accord is no longer there. The only time they mention accord is when they come to Matabeleland to campaign. They must first lead by example. Fill the VP post with a Zapu candidate. He must go to Sibangilizwe Nkomo (Zapu leader) and ask for a candidate to fill that post.”
Mnangagwa recently said the 1987 Unity Accord was a key pillar of national peace and stability, and should never be challenged, breached or compromised.
Mohadi became VP after Phelekezela Mphoko was ousted following the 2017 coup that toppled Mugabe.