Political Reporter- Simba Moyo

When President Robert Mugabe came to power in 1980, one of his policy was to create a nation of citizens who can co-exist with others from different races, political affiliations, he is credited of the so-called rainbow nation that was popularised by the former South African president, the late Nelson Mandela.

Three decades down the line, the nation is still polarised along ethnic and political lines.

When the parliamentary portfolio committee on peace and reconciliation visited Norton last year, the debate could not went on well, as there were clashes, with people from different political parties mocking one another. This revealed the extent to which citizens are divided.

It also recently came to the fore in parliament when the Vice President Pelekezela Mphoko presented his National Peace and Reconciliation Bill- Part 2. Commenting on the matter, Matebeleland South Member of Parliament, Priscillah Misihairambwi-Mushonga said the nation was still a divided one.

“For me, the debate and the public hearings showed me an extremely divided nation- divided in a number of ways. It is divided in appreciation of the things that happened both in the pre and post-colonial era, and what is currently happening,” she said.

She added that many people who attended the hearings, even the one held in Bulawayo can confirm the division of people along ethnic lines, and said that may explode into clashes sooner or later if not dealt with in time.

Mushonga added that so far some people are already saying we now want the next president to come from Kalangas, Ndebeles, or from this ethnic group or that.

Meanwhile, some analysts have blamed the country’s leadership for fuelling divisions among citizens, they preach peace by day and practising war and anarchy by night, this includes Mugabe himself. He stands accused of using the divide and rule tactics, his party is blamed or using food aid against their political opponents.

Members of opposition parties are being denied food aid that was sourced from well-wishers, in some extent they are denied access to land, in worse situations, they have their homes destroyed by arson, with local leaders also wading into the political fray on the side of the ruling party. They threaten to evict their subjects from their villages if they support opposition parties.