Nduduzo Tshuma, Political Editor
Contrary to protestations by opposition parties led by Mr Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC-T that the venue reignites memories of Gukurahundi, the celebrations remind progressive Zimbabweans of the Unity Accord signed by the two great leaders on December 22, 1987
THE spirit of unity among Zimbabweans is rekindled as President Mugabe heads to Matobo district, the home of his long time political friend, the late Dr Joshua Nkomo, for his 93rd birthday celebrations on Saturday.
President Mugabe turned 93 on Tuesday.
The celebrations running under the theme, “Honouring our icon, unlocking the value in youth,” will be held at the Rhodes Estate Preparatory School (REPS) in Matobo, Matabeleland South.
Matobo is also the home district to the late PF Zapu vice president Jason Ziyapapa Moyo who was killed by a parcel bomb on January 22, 1977, in Lusaka.
Contrary to protestations by opposition parties led by Mr Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC-T that the venue reignites memories of Gukurahundi, the celebrations remind progressive Zimbabweans of the Unity Accord signed by the two great leaders on December 22, 1987.
It is the Unity Accord of 1987 that brought Zanu and PF Zapu under the banner of Zanu-PF that the late Dr Nkomo remained a member, serving as second secretary in the party and Vice President in the Government until the time of his death on July 1, 1999.
President Mugabe, in his annual birthday interview with state broadcaster Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (Zbc) on Monday night, vividly recalled how his late deputy, on his death bed, urged him to pursue unity among Zimbabweans and give land to the majority blacks.
It is against this background of the relationship between the two iconic leaders that Saturday’s celebrations should be appreciated and not the desperate manoeuvres by perennial electoral losers to try and gain mileage from the emotive Gukurahundi chapter.
Perennial losers forget the simple fact that Zanu- PF led by President Mugabe made a clean sweep in Matabeleland South during the 2013 harmonised elections making the liberation movement a party of choice in the province.
Such stubborn facts expose the MDC-T and its like-minded partners as not only sore losers but petty noisemakers suffering from the foolish belief that they can speak on behalf of a Zanu-PF constituency.
This adds to the fact that Zimbabweans rallied behind President Mugabe in their majority to lead this country whole and not some parts of it, HE is the President of Zimbabwe including Matobo and only delusional opposition elements can pretend to have authority and the power to decide where President Mugabe should go and should not.
The Zanu-PF youth league has said it is targeting the country’s holiday resort areas as venues for President Mugabe’s birthday celebrations in order to market the tourists destinations that are visited by no less than 200 000 party faithfuls and other Zimbabweans during such celebrations.
Last year, the celebrations were held in the historic Great Zimbabwe monuments in Masvingo province and the previous year in the resort town of Victoria Falls in Matabeleland North.
The fruits of this year’s celebrations are already being experienced with business booming right up to Bulawayo where hotels are already turning away people beause they are fully booked ahead of Saturday’s celebrations.
Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe (HAZ) chairperson, Mrs Faith Makamure, yesterday said the celebrations had brought extra business to the region outside the sector’s usual calendar.
“The information gathered from local hotels and lodges suggests that all the accommodation is fully booked and some people are being turned away. The response is quite good and the 21st February Movement celebrations are a blessing to this region,” said Mrs Makamure.
“We’re very appreciative because this was not a planned event like Christmas or other event that is on the calendar. This is really a boost in business for Bulawayo.”
Mrs Makamure supported the youth league’s stance saying the celebrations will boost the tourism sector and other businesses.
“It’s not only the tourism sector that will gain; we talk of local supermarkets here, vendors, transport sector. Everyone will benefit here and this will help resuscitate the industry and make people work again,” she said.
Matobo, one of Matabeleland South’s seven districts, boasts a number of historical sites that the delegates to the birthday celebrations can visit.
These include two prominent graves of founding Ndebele king, Mzilikazi and colonialist Cecil John Rhodes.
Njelele, the national rain-making shrine is also located in the district as well as Matopos National Park.
Matabeleland South provincial Affairs Minister Cde Abednico Ncube has said all is in place to ensure the event is a success.
“We are ready to host the party and we would like to extend our invitation to everyone to come and celebrate this special day with us,” said Cde Ncube who is also the Minister of Rural Development, Preservation and Promotion of Culture and Heritage.
“We are here to support our President, we are certain that the celebrations that recognise the birthday of President Mugabe will be a success so we really support him very much and wish him a long life.”
Zimbabweans have long seen into the divisive politics of the opposition who have no clear
ideology but want to thrive on causing chaos and anarchy.
The Tajamukas of this world have been ignored into oblivion by the people and the success of the Saturday celebrations will serve to confirm the status of these opposition parties as mere irritants and nothing more.
Progressive Zimbabweans will use Saturday’s celebrations to consolidate the unity that Dr Nkomo preached about and President Mugabe continues to foster.
As for which party is the most popular in Zimbabwe, the numbers on Saturday will say it all.