Three decades plus of ZANU PF and Zimbabwean independence has been three decades plus of variable independence across Mashonaland and three decades plus of constructive alienation of Matabeleland from realpolitik. It is three plus decades of being remote from sources and processes that affect decisions that impact our lives.
Now, the way forward is accepting responsibility and not apportioning blame. We will have to be realistic and understand that the thinking that brought us into the current political murk cannot be used to get out of this murk. We cannot continue with old politics that has tended to attribute all of our problems to ZANU PF and learn to exercise our authority in determining our political destiny. Let us take full responsibility in the shaping of our political space.
Possibilities should inspire us more than the obstacles discourage us. We need to immediately rid our environment of the ZANU PF politics of expediency facilitated by scoundrels on behalf of scoundrels; we need to change ourselves, change our attitude to politics and our politics will change as will be the attitudes of our foes towards us. Let us dream and dream big; let us as Matabeleland imagine there are no limitations to what we can achieve and then sit down to decide what is right before deciding what is possible. We can then draw our aims.
Failing to plan is invariably planning to fail. We need to be crystal clear about our aims or our goals will be muddled up and chaos, instead of progress, will pervade our political space. Let us guard against escaping from a ZANU PF politics based on stereotypical myopia to adopting one influenced by stereotypical hysteria.
Our motivation for change is to improve the lives of Matabeleland people, it is never the hatred against any tribal group; our enemy is not ethnic Shona people but the ethnic Shona people dominated political system and institutions supporting it, it is this system that we need to change if we are to bring moral credibility to our political system and institutions.
It is now clear that unity will be vital in our efforts to build an effective local power base; competition between the different protest groups and political groups has not been helpful. We now need to find ways in which the many Matabele socio-political groups come together, keep together and start working together for the common good.
There needs to be an awareness that while protest groups will be great at raising awareness of specific issues, only a political party can govern and it is possible for protest groups to form a formidable partnership with political organisations to increase the ability of our communities to build the platform for the desired political change.
Matabeleland political progress will be measured not by how loud protests are or how much we hate ethnic Shona people but by how much we improve Matabeleland human rights including those of our guests. We will have to change ourselves, our attitude to politics, build new friendships, rid ourselves of old ones, if need be, and move on as long as the path is right.