Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Msipa, the 1987 Zanu PF Unity Accord was a curse and not a blessing to the nation. By Nomusa Garikai

The 1987 Unity Accord between Zanu PF and PF Zapu was about the establishment of the de facto one-party cum one-man (Robert Mugabe) dictatorship – a curse and not the blessing the name implies. Even now, with the benefit of hindsight of just how disastrous the dictatorship has been for Zimbabwe under our belt, it is amazing that some people will still not see the Unity Accord for curse it is.
It "boggles the mind that today no one seems to treasure unity anymore," commented former Midlands governor Cephas Msipa in praise of the 1987 Unity Accord.
Open debate and democratic competition is about the competition of ideas; it is just that when some people find they are losing the fight on the theatre of ideas they reach for the sword for the single purpose of silencing the opponent and, in some cases, for good. Whatever other reasons President Mugabe had for the Gukurahundi there is no deny that establishing a de facto one-party state was his primary reason. He saw the chance to silence his main political opponent and he seized it with both hands!
Those who want to consider the 1987 Unity Accord as a progressive move must accept that the Accord allowed President Mugabe to establish the de facto one-party cum one-man, Robert Mugabe, dictatorship and the consequences of the said dictatorship. If those consequence were not plain back in 1987 there are plain as daylight today. Zimbabwe is in this political and economic mess today because we have been stuck with the corrupt and tyrannical regime which, being a de facto one-man dictatorship, has eliminated all meaningful competition
“What was accomplished by the bullet cannot be undone by the ballot!” was President Mugabe’s cynical response in 2008. He had lost the March vote and mounted a ruthless campaign of violence to reverse the result in the run-off.
Free and open debate and meaningful democratic competition in which an informed electorate have the casting vote to decide who rules the country is the foundation of good, accountable and competent government the world over. People like President Mugabe instinctively dislike democracy because it forces them to compete and any fair competition holds the possibility of losing, which they cannot bear. Democracy also means being held accountable, a luxury tyrants the world over can ill afford given their track record of broken promises, broken limps and broken lives.
 As soon as they assume power, the tyrant’s instinctive act is to stifle debate and democratic competition and deny the people the free vote. This is exactly what President Mugabe did and by cloaking the autocratic move as unifying one was sugar coating the cyanide pill.
Dictatorships do not create peace and unity but an illusion of peace and unity for it is always the same people benefiting from the lack of democratic competition who will disturb the peace if they should be subjected to democratic competition and accountability. On the other hand the lack of democratic scrutiny will eventually lead to misrule and social tension which, in time, will boil over as the people demand an end to the misrule.
After decades of misrule by this Zanu PF dictatorship born out of the 1987 Unity Accord the people of Zimbabwe are demanding an end to the dictatorship masquerading as unity. There are many nations out there with a healthy and functional democratic system of government who have enjoyed peace, freedom and economic prosperity and confined their fighting in the theatre of ideas.
We totally reject this Zanu PF mentality that we must retain the de facto one-party dictatorship system because Zimbabweans are incapable of holding vigorous political debates and democratic competition for political power without sparking yet another Gukurahundi! Now, with the benefit of hindsight, we cannot still be na├»ve and gullible to accept Mugabe’s self-serving nonsense of stifling debate, democracy and the people’s right to a meaningful free vote under the pretence of unity!


  1. You are spot on there, Mugabe has used the excuse of promoting unity to justify the ruthless imposition of this Zanu PF dictatorship. You criticize the regime for being corrupt, mismanagement or whatever and the regime will accuse you of being a puppet threatening national unity.

    Although many people have reached the conclusion that the Zanu PF dictatorship had failed the nation some years ago they have struggled to accept that the party should be ditched because they considered that to be too divisive. If Gukurahundi had never happened and PF Zapu had continued to exist as a separate political party, a real challenge to Zanu PF then its election into government would have been more acceptable for many people especially the rogue war veterans whom Mugabe has since brainwashed into believing all war veterans outside Zanu PF lose their war credential!

    The realization that Zimbabweans can have serious public debate and a very competitive democratic system without anyone being beaten, raped or shot will come as liberating shock to many of our people. It will free many of them to think freely without having to fear being called a rebel who is threatening national unity.

    If the people embrace the freedom of expression and free media and competitive spirit multi-party democracy freed of the enslaving chains of Mugabe's Unity Accord or the nonsense of opposition uniting to form coalition; this could be the beginning of Zimbabwe's age of enlightenment!

  2. Zimbabwe’s economy is in total meltdown; unemployment has soared to 90% plus, 76% of the people now live in abject poverty, basic services like health and education have all but collapsed, etc. The economic situation is socially and politically unsustainable and the only hope of an economic recovery is for the country to have meaningful political reforms leading to free and fair elections.

    Sadly regime change is the one thing Mugabe and his Zanu PF cronies are determine to resist to the bitter. The party should have completely imploded and vanished by now if it was not for their fear of regime change resulting in them losing even the little loot they have and, worst of all, being forced to finally account for their dirty past. The regime murdered over 30 000 innocent people in its 36 years reign of terror and many of the leaders’ hands are red with blood.

    Even many of the Zanu PF leaders who are not as clever as Mugabe know that the regime is falling apart, regime change is as certain as the sun rising tomorrow, still they will continue to resist to the bitter end because their end is a very bitter one! When you know the end is a bitter one only thing you can do is delay the end for as long as you can.

    So considering where he would be going the day he is finally forced out of State House; Mugabe will consider the 12 months still in power to be a bonus!

  3. Ghana’s President, John Mahama, “is expected to confer on Africa’s longest serving President, the Millennium Life Time Achievement award for his role in Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle from British colonial rule,” the report said.

    Ghana cannot honour Mugabe knowing fully well he is a corrupt, vote rigging and murderous tyrant. They can do so but not without spitting in the faces of the millions of ordinary Zimbabweans who have suffered all these years because of his misrule! The people of Zimbabwe will not forget or forgive the insult in a hurry.

  4. People like Cephas Msipa have their hearts in the right place but sadly they have never had much brain. They had a head but it is empty. They have never understook what democracy, freedom and human rights were all about and so a cunning fox like President Mugabe has ran circles round them.

    Both Zanu PF and PF Zapu have each wanted to impose a one-party state in Zimbabwe; each was dead against the other imposing it but saw nothing wrong with it if it is them who impose it. All the previous attempts to unify these two parties were with one set objective - so the unified party can then impose a one-party state. So when the two parties finally singed the Unity Accord in 1987 followed by all the members in the new party behaving as if Zimbabwe was a de facto one-party state came very naturally to all of them.

    No intellectual worth his salt can never deny the inherent contradiction of one-party state and upholding the individual right to a meaningful and free one-man-one-vote. People like Msipa have always tried to justify the blatant denial of the individual freedoms and rights on the grounds of promoting national unity have been hollow because the two are not mutually ex-clusive but the opposite they complement each other.
    In a country were individual freedoms, liberties and human rights are held in high regard and guarded jealously there too are the people at peace and united. In other words President Mu-gabe conned PF Zapu, his own Zanu PF members and the nation at large into accepting the 1987 Unity Accord as a positive thing and slow minded people like Comrade Msipa swal-lowed the hook, line and sinker!
    The Zanu PF dictatorship have been a total failure, the evidence is there for all to see; yet poor Msipa still continue to defend it convinced it brought unity!

    1. The tragedy of our nation; we take one step forward and then take three or four steps backward and 36 years later we still celebrating the one step forward and have not even noticed the three steps backward! Msipa will go to his grave still think the Unity Accord was a good thing!