‘New dispensation phasing out unity accord’

Source: ‘New dispensation phasing out unity accord’ – NewsDay Zimbabwe


BULAWAYO-BASED political analysts and politicians have questioned the significance of the Unity Accord signed by Zanu PF and PF Zapu, saying former members no longer held influential government and Zanu PF politburo positions as agreed.

The Unity Accord was signed on December 22 in 1987 by the late former President Robert Mugabe (Zanu PF) and the late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo (PF Zapu) to form Zanu PF.

It was meant to end the civil disturbances of 1983 to 1987 which resulted in the killing of around 20 000 civilians in Matabeleland and Midlands provinces.

After the Unity Accord, Zapu members were given key government posts like the Vice-Presidency.

However, political analysts and politicians in Matabeleland told Southern Eye that Zapu members no longer hold influential posts in Zanu PF and government.

Analyst Effie Ncube described the Unity Day as a façade.

“Zapu was compelled through mass murders and other atrocities to join Zanu. Then, at least the appointments to party portfolios that were subsequently made tried to paint a picture of unity. But since (President Emmerson) Mnangagwa came into power, he has not even pretended that there is unity anymore, the reality is that there is none. Those former Zapu members, who remain in Zanu, are not there because of the Unity Accord, but because they want to be there. They love Zanu,” Ncube said.

“The idea of two Vice-Presidents was borne out of very difficult circumstances in which the government had committed genocide and crimes against humanity. But instead of being a genuine act of reparation, it became a way to facilitate the assimilation of Zapu by Zanu. As such it served no purpose for the rest of the people,” he said.

Zapu southern region spokesperson Patrick Ndlovu (in his personal capacity) said: “It only exists in history books as an example of failure of a one-party system. Mnangagwa no longer recognises that accord. This is shown by the appointments in his government and politburo.”

South Africa-based educationist and businessman Nkosilathi Ncube said: “Even the VP position that used to be given to Zapu is no longer there, while Zapu members are struggling to be declared national heroes.”

Pan Africanist Chandagwinyira Chose, who is based in South Africa, said: “Nkomo was a people-driven leader rather than power hungry leader. He felt that the lives of the people of Matabeleland and Midlands were threatened and went on to sign the Unity Accord. Mnangangwa will never distribute ministerial positions equitable to Zanu PF and Zapu members.”

In the early stages of the unity accord, PF Zapu members that held the VP post included Nkomo, Joseph Msika, John Nkomo (all late), Phelekezela Mphoko and Kembo Mohadi.

Msika, John Nkomo, and late Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo held chairmanship position in the ruling party.

The Home Affairs ministry was at some point held by the late Dumiso Dabengwa and Mohadi from the Zapu side before Obert Mpofu and Cain Mathema, who have questionable status from the Zapu side took over the ministry.

Indications are that they left the party before independence so they did not represent Zapu in those positions.