Some youths in the country’s second largest city, Bulawayo, say Zimbabwe will not achieve any peace unless it addresses atrocities committed by the national army in the 1980s.
Speaking to Studio 7 on Tuesday, Iphithule Maphosa, the Bulawayo provincial youth chairperson for Zapu, said the nation cannot celebrate Unity Day as it is gripped by what he called Zanu PF misrule, which he claimed is characterized by a lack of respect for democracy and human rights.
He blamed the ruling party for the economic crisis that is gripping Zimbabwe.
Some youths from the MDC led by Professor Welshman Ncube, MDC led by Morgan Tsvangirai, ZAPU and the Bulawayo Unemployment Youth Agenda gathered in Bulawayo on Monday ahead of the Unity Day holiday to discuss the significance of the day as well as find possible solutions to the national crises.
Maphosa said the youths are in agreement that the commemoration has lost its significance to ordinary Zimbabweans.
He said genuine togetherness will only come about if Zanu PF listens to concerns by some over the need to deal with past atrocities including the Gukurahundi period when about 20,000 supporters of ZAPU in the Matabeleland and Midlands provinces were allegedly killed by a crack unit of the Zimbabwean army.
Benny Hlatywayo, a member of the national executive of the MDC-T’s Youth Wing said it was time that youths took charge and come together to lead the nation out of the current hardships.
Hlatywayo said failure to do so would allow President Robert Mugabe to “steal the future of the youths.”
He agreed with his colleagues who said people should not just talk about their hardships without trying to hold government to account.
Provincial youth chairperson Ackim Mhlanga of the MDC also said it is important for youths to put aside their differences and work towards rebuilding the nation in order to help foster nationhood and genuine unity among the people.