Now Matabeleland has to challenge herself: why is it that the oppressor has just the same number of hours as us to execute her plan yet she has made massive progress, we have not? Besides internal squabbling what exactly is the plan of action in Matabeleland?
Matabeleland lost it in 1987 when she ‘agreed’ to stand in Harare’s shadow to rest and cool down and the destiny was lost there and then. The question that needs answering now is how do we get ourselves out and what the plan is? What would progress look like in the short-term and what would it look like in the longer-term? It is not an exaggeration that we are still at the squabbling stage, where many are fighting for their egos and not Matabeleland.
It is fair to say lack of direction has been our problem not the lack of time. It has taken us 34 years to get to where we are and that is the abyss! The main feature of our socio-political environment remains that of silence, fragmentation, disconnection and intense squabbling. There are a few local organisations doing amazing local socioeconomic and political work but many are disconnected from the public, their ambitions and actions are not pitched at the right level hence locals are not ready to embrace them.
If we want to change our circumstances we need to change ourselves; Matabeleland will have to direct politics or politics will direct Matabeleland. ZANU PF must not be the limit of Matabeleland’s planning; we certainly do not require directions from Harare on where to go; we need courage to use our own reason. If we spend our socio-political lives reacting and responding to Harare instead of focussing on our vision, we will not reach anywhere soon. Let us steer only the ship we are in and stop trying to alter the winds.
Zimbabwean politics is not set out to empower Matabeleland; it has for years been chipping away at all those symbols and institutions of authority in the region. It is essential that Matabeleland thinks and identifies her vision and all those steps required to get there; once we start doing that, things will start happening for us and not to us.
What we have become and who we are are now separated by a huge ocean but this ocean provides real clarity of where we have been and where we should be heading towards. Our perception of the challenges facing the region must change; instead of seeing them as blockades, let us view them as vital cues pointing us in the direction we want to go. Last but not least, squabbling is not debate!