via Bulawayo24 NEWS | ZAPU End of Year Statement by Ralph Mguni, ZAPU Secretary General 22 December 2013
As the end of this momentous year draws near, please join me in reflecting on one or two issues relating to our Party. It is tempting to reach out for the obvious subject, that Great Son of Qunu but I will avoid that temptation.
The Not So Unity Accord:
I start with the immediate matter of concern, the celebration of the Unity Accord, an infamy to match any in the history of Zimbabwe?
What words would best fit that farcical moment in 1987? Unity or Disunity, Accord or Discord, name it what you will but for me the best word to describe the occasion came from the comments by the ZAPU President, Dr Dabengwa when he referred to the charade as a “nullity!” see statement on link: Zapu Unity message to the people of Zimbabwe
I do not think that one has to be a legal expert to come to a conclusion that the very basis of the so-called unity never existed. Let me refer to the ZAPU constitution, the sole guide which defines the very essence of our Party which states:
“ARTICLE 1. NAME
The name of the party shall be and remain the Zimbabwe African People`s Union, abbreviated as “ZAPU” and otherwise referred to as “the Party”, which name shall, as agreed at the Cold Comfort Farm, not be changed as long as the Party exists.”
Counterpoise this with the opening statement of the Unity Accord headed: ZAPU, Unification into Zanu PF:
“That ZANU PF and PF ZAPU have irrevocably committed themselves to unite under one political party.
That the unity of the two political parties; shall be achieved under the name Zimbabwe African National Union (Patriotic Front) in short ZANU PF.”
Looking at the two positions, something does not add up here; these two cannot be reconciled, even in a world where rigging is the norm. So when the ZAPU President refers to the so termed unity as a nullity, somehow I start to comprehend; one and one equals two after all, not thirty-two. Phew!
I hope I don’t run the risk of people concluding that I am somehow regarding what my leaders then did on that fateful December 22, 1987 as treacherous. What options were there for them? That event must be taken in context of what was happening at the time.
A quote from one Nathan Shamuyarira helps put the events in their correct context and perspective when he stated:
“The area of violence is an area where Zanu PF has a very strong, long and successful history”.
In saying this, Shamuyarira was simply regurgitating the words of his master who had ghoulishly boasted about possessing among other implements of terror, a “degree in violence!” No doubt, his expectation was that the response from the hordes of his admirers would be a standing ovation to honour the most feared Pan African!
Zanu in government inherited not only the political and economic powers of the settler state but also the monopoly of its force and security apparatus. But it had another aim, a one party state under its sole control forever. Zanu was in no mood to let something as pithy as respect for human life stand in its way. Thousands of innocent lives had perished, their only sin that as real or perceived ZAPU supporters they posed an obstacle to total Zanu dominance. Their blood was seen as fitting libation for the final solution, termed the Grand Plan!
There is no better description of the event of December 22, 1987 than BRUTE RAPE. Not marriage; no amount of massaging can alter the facts. Anyone attempting to portray the events of that fateful day as a unity of the willing knows fully well that they are peddling falsehoods.
The 2013 Elections.
I have listened with interest to the expression of disappointments at what is referred to as the “dismal”performance shown by our Party in the July 31 elections. The sentiments are understandable. Nobody enters a contest in order to lose.
However, there is another part of me that asks whether we were we being realistic in our expectations. Whereas many feel might be called reflected pain, I was there on the ground; I experienced every contour of emotion first hand.
I remember well the very first gathering I attended at Rutendo Hall. I stood there like a general inspecting troops at the start of battle. I felt as if I was on a ridge, on one side were our troops, armed to the teeth with their bows arrows, catapults, slings and stones. Arrayed against them on the other side were the opposition, glistening in their armoury with F16 fighters, stealth bombers, cruise missiles and all arsenal of modern warfare.
It was simply a game of unequals. Here was the governing party which treated the whole country’s resources as its own. Theirs was bottomless pit from which they could draw whatever resources they required. Likewise the other competitors, in terms of resources, they too had stolen a march on us.
Back to Rutendo Hall. Yes, the idea did cross my mind to suggest to our Commander-in- Chief to order our fighters back to barracks. Why commit to such an unequal battle? Of course, as we all know, worse was to come. The rigging, the control of media, the voter enticement and intimidation, the list is endless.
This was the reality on the ground. We all know the saying, damned if I do, damned if I don’t. Yes some might question the decision but we decide that, notwithstanding the hurdles we as ZAPU we would participate, knowing full well that the outcome of the contest was written even before the first rigged ballot was cast.
Our President is on record as saying that the 2013 elections were an opportunity for us to reconnoitre. We have surveyed the electoral landscape and we are better for it. Like the first of our guerrillas who took the very first steps into the then Rhodesia, we too did get a mauling but we remain unbowed. We certainly have felt the beast; we have identified its soft underbelly and going forward we are the much better for it.
As 2013 draws to a close, I exhort all Zimbabweans to retrace the steps to where it all began, where the dream of a truly independent Zimbabwe was conceived. A vision of a country united and at peace with itself, a people together and offering respect and opportunities for all! If those words do not spell ZAPU, then nothing does. ZAPU started the journey, only the originators of the vision can take us there.
Wishing you all a Happy Christmas and a most Prosperous 2014.