The Matabeleland socio-political world we see today is a living expression of how we have responded or not responded to situations presented to us by Zimbabwean politics; indeed, it is testimony of how we are using or have used the socio-political resources at our disposal.
Our problem and arguably the weakest link in the region is local leadership (including nationalist leadership) that is meant to come up with ideas, establish working partnerships with the people and focus people on Mthwakazi matters and not ZANU PF.
We have also suffered from deep-rooted indiscipline that has often hindered our commitment to Matabeleland issues. ZANU PF does contribute significantly to our problems but we need to be responding to our needs, and not ZANU PF.
We have struggled to expand our political footprint in the region yet we have several Matabeleland socio-political groups all ostensibly pursuing the same goal of empowering the region. There is indeed a lot of activity going on in the region yet that has failed to translate to real political power on the ground. Matabeleland remains a toothless political entity struggling for recognition and influence since Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980.
Our current problems can be traced back to poor coordination, a consequence of poor leadership, yet we are barely interested in addressing that. We have all these different groups with their eyes set on a similar prize – the liberty and improvement of Matabele lives – but their impact remains insignificant.
Instead of fostering an unnecessary and selfish competition between groups, a reorganisation of the socio-political system will be necessary for us to identify what is necessary, what is possible for now and how it can be achieved.
We require selflessness, teamwork and collaboration. Creating a better Mthwakazi will require more than just having several pro-Matabeleland groups but teamwork, planned partnerships and collaboration. The different projects will need to be integrated into Matabelelandwide development plans.
Perfection may not be attainable yet working towards it will lead us to excellence. No single group has all the ideas and solutions that will lead to our freedom and liberty, politicians must accept that reality and start being open to learning to learn beyond their own scripts.
A stronger and successful Mthwakazi will be built by groups coming together, keeping and working together. We need to create a socio-political space that will bring the different groups operating in the region together while allowing them to retain their individual identities. If we are to elbow ZANU PF/ MDC out of Mthwakazi, we will need to develop and execute an entirely new socio-political paradigm that will make possible a productive collaboration amongst the different pro-Mthwakazi socio-political groups.
Only a genuine commitment to collaborative work between different groups will see Matabeleland move forward. Our many and different socio-political groups must embrace the benefits of cooperating with each other; they must always leave themselves open to new collaboration as long as that focused on strengthening the region. Even more significant, we need to ensure our projects do not leave outside the most important element – the communities who are the primary target of these projects.