It is not lost to the Matabeleland constituency that Zimbabwe’s independence has been nothing but an ethnic Shona franchise that disproportionately benefits the ethnic Shona constituency. Zimbabwean politics is a ZANU PF tribal supremacist creation based on habitual and uninterrupted deception.
The Zimbabwean Vice President Emerson Mnangagwa’s allegation of some impropriety in Nkomo’s political interaction with Mr Ian Smith in the 1970s smacks of desperation; it is an embarrassing case of manipulation of history. This is a desperate attempt by Mnangagwa at making himself relevant in the country’s political future. Elevating Mugabe as morally and politically deserving over and above Nkomo to rule the independent Zimbabwe and emphasising his (Mnangagwa’s) closeness to the epicentre of a dictatorship is no coincidence for a man hankering for future presidency of the country.
To say Nkomo represented the interests of a minority and Mugabe stood for the majority belies the reality of the liberation struggle and worryingly an independent Zimbabwe that has witnessed the empowerment and protection of only a small cohort of ZANU PF-connected high-profile personalities and not the ordinary citizen. Zimbabwe is poorer today because of ZANU PF policies to which Mnangagwa has been a major and valued contributor and not Nkomo’s chats with Smith.
What would be easier is for ZANU PF and Mnangagwa to concede their apparent failures and seek viable solutions than attempting to muddy a dead man. Mnangagwa has a right to raise his public profile as a potential leader of Zimbabwe but that should not preclude morality and facts. Manipulation of history and outright deception is not a good start.
While it is true that Matabeleland continues to be a victim of deliberate and constant misinformation, crying victim is not of itself a solution. Matabeleland has to extricate itself from the ZANU political deception and, knowledge is the bulwark against deception. First, we need a political transition; that would happen through people actively tackling the misinformation that has formed an oasis of a disruptive knowledge gap in the region. Our past including the contribution to Zimbabwean independence has to be written and presented by Matabeles and/ or Matabeleland sympathetic authors.
ZANU PF is the epicentre of all misrepresentation and blunt deception, not worthy of belief. Zimbabwe’s future is dead and never to wake up if Mnangagwa’s campaign strategy is centred on graveyards, misrepresentation of history and blaming fictitious events of the ‘70s instead of looking ahead.