By Tendai Chirau – ZANU PF Acting Deputy Secretary for Youth Affairs
Unity is significant to us as young persons. Most of us were not yet born during the liberation struggle, which gifted us the independence we enjoy today. The Unity Accord of 1987 also found most of us as young children as young as two years old, already in the embrace of this independence. From this powerful legacy of the coming together of revolutionary minds and hearts, we were priviledged to learn from a tender age, about the values of the foundations of our national unity bequeathed to us by selfless cadres, heroes both departed and living.
Unity can only be best understood by, and meaningfully shared among people with a collective appreciation of the ideals they seek. The liberation struggle saw the coming together of ZANLA and ZIPRA revolutionary militants under the Zimbabwe People’s Army (ZIPA) banner, and political stalwarts from the parent ZANU and ZAPU as the Patriotic Front (PF), in solidarity to bring about independence from colonial hegemony, a common enemy. This same convergence manifested itself in 1987, as the Unity Accord, to re-emphasise and re-dedicate the national revolutionary spirit in a logical escalation of the struggle, targeting national economic emancipation and development, and to underline the importance of the principle of “seeing with one eye and touching with one hand”.
As young people today, gifted with the blessing of being “born-free”, we embrace the responsibility of safeguarding the enduring benefits of this unity, and commit to making sure that the values and ethos of the nationalist movement preceding us are adhered to in letter and spirit, as we hold them sacrosanct. We are alive to the truth that this key ingredient of our collective mindset should continuously make us a formidable bulwark against neo-colonialist and neo-imperialist machinations of all forms. For where there is no unity and peace, there can be no iota of development to speak of.
As ZANU PF Youth League, and indeed, representing our generation, we are forever grateful to have a listening patron and President, His Excellency Cde Dr E.D. Mnangagwa, who is unwavering in his commitment to ensuring that the people-centred values of the revolution are carried forward unto posterity. We interpret Cde E.D. Mnangagwa’s Vision 2030 as a call for Zimbabwean youths to carry forward the revolution towards national economic emancipation, which can only be achieved if the values of unity, peace and development are allowed to take root among us. Under his astute stewardship, Cde E.D. Mnangagwa’s government has already set the pace and tempo for this trajectory through various youth empowerment and education initiatives in the Second Republic. These allow for patriotic cadres to take part in the generational mandate to ensure that national economic prosperity is made a reality. For this, we shall continue to work with, and receive guidance from our seniors in the revolution, in a process of generational blending.
As we commemorate this year’s National Unity Day, we draw strength and inspiration from His Excellency Cde E.D. Mnangagwa’s devolution concept, where all national developmental endeavours are configured to “leave no one and no place behind”, in pursuit of the overarching goal of collective national development, in unity and peace. We are forever cognisant, and wish to remind fellow youths, that the Unity Accord was never a “tribal” unification endeavour, but was and remains grounded in, the coming together of nationalist movements who shared common values and goals, to ensure national cohesion in pursuit of lasting unity, peace and development.