THIS year, our commemoration of the Chimoio genocide of November 23 1977 coincided with President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s plea for national unity at the burial of yet another liberation war hero Cde Simon Khaya Moyo.
On this day in 1977, thousands of our brave sons and daughters were mercilessly massacred by the illegal Smith regime in Mozambique.
These gallant cadres, like those of Freedom Camp, Mkushi and Mulungushi in Zambia as well as Nyadzonia, Tembwe and Doiroi in Mozambique suffered the same fate.
We, the living, must realise these heroes and heroines were prepared to shed their blood to see a united and free Zimbabwe.
It is incumbent upon us to cherish the unity by these cadres in identifying a common enemy.
True, people belonged to different political parties.
But what was important was that a common enemy, bent on dividing the people on bases of colour, was identified.
Operations were launched from Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia, but an exclusive characteristic of the fighters was their bravery and determination.
This was so because the people were united in wanting their land back.
It is this common heritage, according to the President, which sees us united in our determination to produce a bumper harvest.
“We are diverse but one people,” said the President at the burial of national hero Cde Simon Khaya Moyo at the National Heroes’ Acre on Monday.
He must have had this in mind when he pleaded with the people to shun violence as we head towards next year’s by-elections and the 2023 harmonised elections.
The Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD) is made up of 19 presidential aspirants who lost to President Mnangagwa in the July 18 2018 harmonised elections.
Added to this is the MDC Alliance, still to recover from the conclusive defeat.
All these political parties have heroes and heroines who died to see a free Zimbabwe.
Whatever their differences, they have a similar goal of seeing a prosperous Zimbabwe.
It is this shared vision and love of one’s country, etched in our hearts through the blood of our heroes, which should always remain supreme.
We know as we fought for our independence, colonial forces were always busy trying to divide us.
The massacres at refugee camps were meant to cower us into submission or make the faint-hearted give up.
Even now, these same forces are still active trying to make brother fight brother and sister fight sister.
If our brothers and sisters at Chimoio or Freedom Camp were that gullible, they would have torn each other to pieces, leaving the white racist imperialists in control.
It is victory over these sadistic forces which should always bind us together.
The white imperialists want to colonise us mentally, religiously and culturally.
But ours is a life that respects ubuntu/hunhu – concern for each other.
And if we accept we are one but differ in certain perceptions, this does not mean we can convert opponents through beatings.
Let’s look at PF ZAPU and ZANU PF.
These were two different political parties but with similar objectives.
They both wanted control of their land and other natural resources and freedom from colonial racist rule.
Of course, as usual, there were some elements determined to sow seeds of disunity and perhaps spark a civil war.
Try as they did, the leaders buried whatever differences they might have had and the Unity Accord of December 22 1987 was the inevitable outcome.
As the nation buried national hero Cde Moyo on Monday, a day before commemorations of the Chimoio massacre, we were reminded it is the armed struggle which unites us as a nation.
There is therefore no need to fight among ourselves.