ZAPU president Sibangilizwe Nkomo said the opposition party will not celebrate the country’s 42nd independence anniversary this Monday but will be in mourning “the death of our collective dignity”.
This year’s Independence Day celebrations will be held at Barbourfields Stadium in Bulawayo.
It will be the first time that the event has been hosted by the country’s second-largest city since the attainment of independence in 1980.
In his independence message, Nkomo, who is also the son of the late nationalist and former vice president, Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo, said the party will be mourning the loss of lives before and after independence. Nkomo said:
ZAPU will be mourning than celebrating on Monday 18th of April 2022. We are mourning the women who die giving birth in our hospitals due to a lack of care and medicinal support. We are mourning the looting of our granite by the Chinese in Mutoko.
We are mourning the lives of compatriots murdered in neighbouring countries.
We are mourning the looting of our gold from Kwekwe and Gwanda.
We are mourning the endemic corruption, where the Anti-corruption agency has become corrupt itself.
Nkomo said ZAPU will be running a #iamceleblackit hashtag campaign on social media, to encourage Zimbabweans, not to celebrate independence.
He called upon every Zimbabwean to wear a black top, doek or armband as an act of mourning all heroes, living and the departed, who sacrificed their lives for nothing. He added:
Barely two years after this historic moment, the new regime embarked on an orgy of violence against our supporters and members, resulting in the loss of over 20 000 lives in a genocide known today as Gukurahundi.
I am 64 years old now, and together with millions of my compatriots, have, for more than four decades, been subjected to living with the painful reality that the dream of a prosperous Zimbabwe, as proclaimed on the 18th of April 1980, was not only deferred but hijacked and ruined by merciless individuals organized under a political party called ZANU PF.
Meanwhile, President Emmerson Mnangagwa has invited all opposition parties to attend this year’s celebrations, which will be held at Barbourfields stadium.