A ripe age for unity

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THE attendance at the Bulawayo Independence Day celebrations on Monday showed that there is a growing realisation among politicians that national unity supersedes partisan political differences.

The presence of leaders from the country’s main opposition political parties was testimony of the unifying effect of the celebrations.

MDC Alliance leader Douglas Mwonzora, CCC secretary-general Charlton Hwende and NCA leader Professor Lovemore Madhuku were some of the political leaders there.

This is in addition to the rank and file of different political persuasion who filled several celebration venues countrywide.

That, among all attendees, there was probably not a single person who did not have a relative or friend killed or maimed in the struggle for our independence is an unquestionable truism.

Thus the unity we witnessed on Monday was born out of this bitter struggle.

The independence celebrations were a national occasion which merited a united acknowledgement.

There were festivities, regrettably, when some political parties boycotted such national occasions.

Mind you, these are political parties that claimed to be indigenous.

But attendance at the main celebrations in Bulawayo on Monday shows that, at 42, we are entering a new era.

This is an era where we should give unity a chance in pursuance of national objectives..

And, indeed, why should we not be united when we share the same Flag, the same National Anthem and the same values?

The President couldn’t have put it better in his address at the Bulawayo celebrations when he said: “The cords that bind us are much stronger than the differences which we may ever encounter.”

When the objectives of  Vision 2030 are finally achieved with the envisaged prosperity and an upper-middle income society in place, no one should be left behind if we remain united.

If we work hard together, putting aside our political differences, won’t that national achievement be for the good of all?

The mantra of ‘kudira jecha’ for selfish political reasons at the expense of national development ends up self-defeating — why cut your nose to spite your face!

We believe our 42nd Independence Day theme: ‘Zim @ 42: Leaving No-One and No Place Behind’, should go a long way in buttressing our unity.

That’s provided it doesn’t end up as lip service only, for development that is discriminatory is inimical to unity.

The drive to leave no place or person behind as we surge ahead with our developmental trajectory should be seen to be real.

Everybody should feel it.

That is why we believe in devolution and decentralisation, for it allows each province to choose unique developmental projects.

Why should people of a particular district not be united when a school, clinic or road in their area is being constructed?

That is what we did during the days of the liberation struggle.

We stood together, as determined by our collective needs intertwined with those of the liberation fighters. 

That is where we find the genesis of the unity that pervaded all the Independence Day celebrations countrywide on Monday.

But this show of unity should not be limited to festive gatherings only.

The defence of our sovereignty should also demonstrate to what extent we are united.

We are under illegal sanctions which are adversely affecting the livelihoods of Zimbabweans, regardless of political affiliation.

Why shouldn’t we be all united in our denunciation of the American ploy to see our economy ‘scream’?

We are now 42 years old and, to show our maturity  and that we are proud of our heritage, never again should we see any Zimbabwean conniving with Uncle Sam in the battle against sanctions. 

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