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Matabeleland requires a sane political debate

A different socio-political formulation is required if the Matabeleland political space is to embrace innovation. First, intolerance has to go! An intolerant socio-political environment cannot be a foundation for a political democracy. Matabeleland needs to reconfigure its political space such that it effectively denies space to intolerance.

The most certain victims of intolerance are debate and innovation. Intolerance is antagonist to debate; it is counter to learning and resistive to socio-political growth and development. Conviction and not desperation must guide our deliberations, guide the central debate and guide our decisions. Matabeleland must create a healthy socio-political environment that will effectively degrade and restrict the capabilities of intolerance across all levels of interaction.

The heat of the current Matabeleland political argument requires men and women with a willingness and genuine understanding of how to put their own ideas on ice while they take in other people’s contributions. The route to genuine autonomy will not be straight forward; it will require tough decisions and big compromises to be made along the way. No one view or ideal guarantees success; we need to learn to accommodate diversity of opinion, understand the argument of those we disagree with; above all, individuals and groups need to understand their own argument and understand it well before they present it for public scrutiny.

Ongoing unresolved high conflict within the nationalist agenda is, without a doubt, detrimental to the long-term debate on the general Matabeleland polity. It is hard to hold a constructive debate with people who confuse their subjective opinions for objective solutions and characters that are stubborn to even consider any other opinion other than theirs no matter how ‘compelling’ evidence is to the contrary. Such individuals are more disruptive to the broader Matabeleland agenda.

Matabeleland nationalists owe it to the public to conduct a mature political debate. We need to create a socio-political environment that promotes and constructively accommodates healthy human interaction, conflict, argument and debate; this will be essential for the propagation of good ideas and genuine innovation within the Matabeleland political space. We must by now be able to debate our political differences without fracturing communities.


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