The Matabeleland I aspire to

My starting point is to proudly reiterate the fact that Mthwakazi is a diverse socio-cultural space. For that reason we must not aspire to political systems that seek to build a singular national identity; the only progressive political system and one we should all aspire to will be one that recognises, accepts, respects, celebrates diversity and jealously guards against compromising that reality.

What will make Matabeleland better is not Harare easing its grip but Matabele wisdom building a genuine Matabele power base in the region. We have the capacity to create a just society but such a society is inconvenient for Zimbabwean authorities which is the reason the State has continued to rebuff any suggestions for devolution of power or reviewing power disparities between the State and the people. A Matabeleland we all want should redefine the parameters of State power; it must reduce than increase power in the hands of the State, increase instead of reduce power in the hands of society. Power in the hands of a few corrupts; it is for that reason that the restoration of a Ndebele monarchy has never appealed to me.

Our progress will not be measured by how much power the Mthwakazi nation surrenders to the Khumalo family but how successful we are in respecting the civil rights and freedoms of all who inhabit the region, including our guests. What will mark the onset of our civilisation will be when we start appreciating the rights of others including our enemies. Abuse of human rights of even our fiercest of enemies sets a precedence for future abuse that may in the future reach our own doorstep.

The Matabeleland I aspire to is a socio-political space that will not attempt to make unequal things equal but one that jealously safeguards diversity. I believe in a Matabeleland that will not discriminate against languages people speak, the colour of their skin, their religion and gender among other social descriptors. Every individual, every race, every ethnic group, every gender, every sex should feel at the centre of decisions made about it in a multi-ethnic focused socio-political system.

We appreciate the fact that inherent in human designed systems are flaws; but, let such flaws be in error or the discovery of new and better ways of doing things than calculated sink holes designed to swallow and destroy deliberately targeted socio-political groups in our society for whatever reason. Keeping our society safe is one thing; making lives of some of our people miserable simply for being who they are is another.

Matabeleland needs more good men and women to take action in order to defeat the evil that continues to burrow away our socio-political structures. We must not allow our systems and progress to be defined by how our oppressors have done. The coincidence that is our internal socio-cultural diversity should form the basis of our political design. We are a multi-ethnic society, the width and breadth of our politics must reflect that without fail. If – for whatever reason – the security of a single group or community within Matabeleland is compromised, everyone else is left vulnerable.

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