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Why I find the Mthwakazi monarchy restoration unjustified

Although a proud and keen believer in Mthwakazi’s past and present-day traditional institutions and a subscriber in the notion that real Mthwakazi success should draw from local building blocks and not from duplicating other communities, I am a firm believer in the retention of only those institutions that are relevant to our communities’ needs and context. I respect our past and kings but I am not a monarchist.

My ambivalence about the restoration of a monarchy draws from a considered opposition to systems likely to protect injustice. Beyond excitement, the monarchists have yet to convince communities of the broader national benefit of this institution. The merit of restoring a 19th Century leadership system in the 21st Century Mthwakazi without credible reforms is questionable. What would be the duties of a monarchy? There is no clarification on how this institution will interact with politics while protecting itself from political manipulation.

Years of African dictatorship must come to an end. The restoration of an institution that will have unmitigated control over the public is baffling; a monarchy is incompatible with the world order many in Mthwakazi aspire to. We want to minimise and not widen gender inequality; we want to increase and not restrict access to opportunity to citizens irrespective of families they are born into; we want merit and not the mere chance of being born into a particular household to be the difference between success and failure. No single family should be afforded unchallenged access to the opportunity to reach the apex of Mthwakazi society.

A monarchy is no cheap institution. Morally, we can ill-afford to maintain the luxury of a King in a region lagging behind in most socioeconomic indicators. It is impossible to justify bankrolling luxurious lifestyles of particular families while the rest suffocate in fumes of ZANU PF socioeconomic policies?

We are failing to keep well-meaning local sociopolitical programmes afloat, how do we expect to fund a monarchy except if we want to create a sham? A weak institution will give ZANU PF an opportunity to step in, fund and ‘shield’ the monarchy from Mthwakazi sociopolitics. An unholy alliance of a king and ZANU PF that will expand and deepen Harare’s control of Mthwakazi sociopolitical space with devastating effect now and for generations to come will be born.

No matter how we try to dress a monarchy, it is just an unfair institution at the apex of an unfair socio-political class system. What role do people expect a monarchy to play that the current traditional leadership regime cannot play? If the fear is that many of our chiefs have a toxic alliance with ZANU PF what guarantees are there that a monarchy will be shielded from forming similar alliances?


2 responses to “Why I find the Mthwakazi monarchy restoration unjustified”

  1. I know you are not a fan of monarch, but we do not need an absolute monarch. Let me direct your opinion to the chaotic situation in Middle East where countries that are ruled by dictators as opposed to those ruled by monarchs. We can create a good monarchic system ourselves. If you accept chiefs then it is proper to have a king because their line of chieftain was created by King Mzilikazi but not all of them. Believe me there are nations that envy our history. That monarch protected our forefathers and great grand-mothers to survive the tough conditions of the past for us to be here, and why to you hate the Khumalo legacy. Born Kings and chiefs do not buy votes like politicians leading to corruption. The Khumalo monarch was not old like other monarchs who went through different houses. The English have gone through Stuart, Lancaster, Tudor, Windsor and the Mountbatten clan is coming. I fail to see why Khumalo can be exception. a Khumalo does not marry a Khumalo, they marry other houses then bringing other families to the monarch, so it is not correct to state that only Khumalo occupy the monarch forever, besides Khumalos are not that dumb that there will never be a bright girl to be Queen then marry a Mugabe. a Moyo, a Mlilo, a Zhou and thats relegating the Khumalos. I agree with you about the corruption of the monarch by Zanu PF, so it is important to throne the monarch in Mthwakazi State. The monarch institution is respected by other monarchs in countries so his/her appeal for assistance will be stronger that politicians. A monarch can bring glory to a nation, but the person not the institution can damage it. As a Khumalo I know there are also Khumalos who share your sentiments.

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