Let’s give Unity Day a new meaning: UZA

By William Milasi
An opposition leader has said there is a need to give the country’s Unity Day a new meaning if the country is to heal from the history of violence.
United Zimbabwe Alliance (UZA) president Elisabeth Valerio in her Unity Day Speech described the day as significant in the country’s history before adding that her party on the day reflects on the profound importance of unity as the cornerstone for the advancement of our nation.
“Recognizing the pivotal role that unity plays in fostering development, prosperity, reconciliation, and a tranquil Zimbabwe, UZA joins the nation in commemorating this day with a heartfelt commitment to promoting a cohesive and peaceful society,” she said.
Valerio further described Unity Day as a “solemn day in our Zimbabwean calendar,” where UZA, “honor the memory of Gukurahundi victims, acknowledging the importance of ensuring that such atrocities have no place in our future.”
The opposition leader said the country’s Unity Day is in remembrance of the historic merger of Zanu-PF and PF-Zapu in 1987. The collaborative effort of the late Robert Mugabe and Dr. Joshua Nkomo, leaders of the respective parties at the time, to set aside their differences and unite inspires us to value solidarity and work towards a better Zimbabwe.
“This unity was forged in the aftermath of the tragic events of Gukurahundi, during which over 20,000 lives were lost in Matabeleland. The signing of the peace accord served as a turning point, putting an end to the ethnic and political strife that marred our nation from 1983 to 1987,” she said.
Valerio said her party is committed to peace and unity.
“We believe that in unity lies the power to unlock the full potential of our citizens and of our country. A nation of people that stand united is resilient and capable of overcoming any challenge. Embracing diversity in political affiliations, culture, language, race, and beliefs, we understand that unity not only ensures security and stability but also brings about numerous other benefits. Without unity, there is only conflict, hindering growth and integrity. Strength comes through unity, providing a constant source of positive motivation for development and growth. UZA commends leaders across political, community, business, and church spheres who advocate for unity, recognizing its pivotal role in fostering social cohesion, stability, and economic development,” she said.
The opposition leader added that her party is making a clarion call to the government to foster genuine unity.
“We call upon the government to prioritize genuine unity over political tactics for the sake of progress in our nation. Unity, freedom and human rights cannot exist without democracy. The containment of unrest without democracy shall not bring us peace. Authoritarian rule and the suppression of Zimbabwe’s citizens will not bring us peace – it will only lead to greater disunity. And so today, I remind the citizens as well as the leaders of our great nation, Zimbabwe, that there is a choice before us. What will we do? Will we embrace our fellow citizens to give Unity Day a new meaning? This Unity Day may the spirit of togetherness prevail and lead us to a brighter, more harmonious future,” she said.

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