Zimbabwe marked Unity Day on Monday with some Zanu PF members in the country’s second largest city, Bulawayo, holding prayers at different places in the city while the day went unnoticed in most parts of the southern African nation.
Party supporters who spoke to Studio 7 acknowledged that the day has been almost downgraded since PF Zapu and Zanu PF signed the 1987 Unity Accord to end hostilities between the two former liberation parties following an internal political strife, which left thousands of people killed and hundreds maimed.
Then Prime Minister Robert Mugabe and his bitter political rival and leader of PF Zapu, Joshua Nkomo, signed the agreement to stop the killings in Matabeleland and the Midlands provinces by the North-Korean trained national army unity, the Fifth Brigade.
The government claimed that Nkomo’s party was supporting dissidents that took up arms soon after independence to fight against the ruling party. Nkomo denied that he was supporting dissidents, who were mostly former ZIPRA freedom fighters discharged from the national army.
Mr. Mugabe once described the killings as an act of madness.
Some critics like alternate secretary-general Strike Mnkandla of a Zapu group led by Dumiso Dabengwa, which pulled out of the ruling Zanu PF party, say the accord is now dysfunctional.
But Zanu PF Central Committee member Joseph Tshuma believes that the agreement signed by the two parties is irreversible.