December 22, 2022 will be Zimbabwe Unity Day, a public holiday commemorating the country’s unity and peace. It will also be the first anniversary of the death of Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s first president and liberation hero. The holiday will be celebrated with a national day of thanksgiving, prayer, and reflection. There will also be events and programs held throughout the country to promote national unity and reconciliation.
What is Zimbabwe Unity Day?
Zimbabwe Unity Day is a public holiday celebrated on December 22nd. It commemorates the signing of the Unity Accord between Robert Mugabe and Joshua Nkomo in 1987, which ended years of civil war and paved the way for majority rule and independence. The holiday is celebrated with parades, music, and dance.
History of Zimbabwe Unity Day
Zimbabwe Unity Day is celebrated each year on December 22 to mark the country’s independence from Britain. The holiday commemorates the signing of the Lancaster House Agreement, which ended white-minority rule in Zimbabwe and led to free elections in 1980.
In October of that year, the first universal suffrage elections were held in Zimbabwe, resulting in a victory for the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) and its leader, Robert Mugabe. Mugabe became the country’s first black Prime Minister, and ZANU-PF has remained in power ever since.
Under British colonial rule, what is now Zimbabwe was known as Rhodesia. In 1965, Ian Smith, the leader of the all-white Rhodesian government, declared independence from Britain without consulting the country’s black majority. This Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) led to years of international isolation for Rhodesia and a bitter civil war between the government and various black nationalist groups.
The war finally came to an end in 1979 after years of negotiations between Smith’s government and representatives of ZANU-PF and the Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU). The Lancaster House Agreement resulted in a power-sharing transitional government and new constitution for Zimbabwe. Mugabe was sworn in as Prime Minister on April 18, 1980, officially marking the end of Rhodesia and the beginning of Zimbabwe.
The Importance of Zimbabwe Unity Day
Unity is critical for any country, but especially for one as young and fragile as Zimbabwe. The Unity Day holiday celebrates the day when former rivals ZANU-PF and PF-ZAPU came together to form a unity government in 1987. This was an important step in ending the country’s civil war and beginning the process of rebuilding.
Today, Zimbabwe is still a young country struggling to find its footing. The economy is weak, unemployment is high, and political tensions are never far from the surface. But on days like Unity Day, Zimbabweans can come together and remember that, despite all their differences, they are still one nation.
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ZIMBABWE UNITY DAY DATES