Rebuilding Matabeleland

The bravery and spirit of Ubuntu that oversaw Mzilikazi’s escape from Shaka Zulu’s brutal reign and not only create a nation from scratch but model a new brand of politics; the same spirit that inspired Lobengula to wage a war against the white invaders of the 19th Century cannot die. It must and will inspire this generation to rebuild and rebrand the Mthwakazi socio-politics.

The first phase toward change is awareness; Matabeles literally need to be reminded of their circumstances in an independent Zimbabwe; the independence illusion has to be exposed for what it is – a toxic package wrapped up in a foil of deceit. We have persevered Zimbabwean independence because of the belief that we thought we shared with our Mashonaland brothers and sisters that a new politics was being born. We believed the independence was to be a base upon which all citizens were to equally access opportunities yet ZANU PF was driven by the desire for Mashonaland politics to dominate as opposed to accommodating Matabeleland.

The biased Zimbabwean socio-political systems have not only failed to repair pre-independence structural inequalities but have instead built in new ones that for 36 years have condemned Matabeleland to perpetual socioeconomic and political insecurity. In an independent Zimbabwe Matabeleland is unnecessarily and disproportionately vulnerable to poor infrastructure hence, restricted achievement. This is a result of long-term neglect made possible by structural and systematic neglect – a by-product of tribalism and cronyism. This has made the restoration of Matabeleland inevitable; Matabeleland human, economic and political resources have to be reconstituted and start working for Matabeles again.

We may not have control of our current experience but we do certainly have the ability to decide not to be reduced by it. Every minute that passes by provides an opportunity to transform our circumstances. If we want to change our circumstances, we need to discipline and control our minds. With the internal stability comes the calmness that we will need to control our lives and analyse our expectations and, see what is realistic. Only Matabeles can influence their future, not foreign aid; whatever form it takes, foreign aid works best where there is an efficient local base.

The ability to learn from historical experiences and the ability to translate that learning into usable education is essential in any attempts at transforming the Matabeleland socioeconomic and political sphere. We are a multi-ethnic nation; we have always been. Our systems need to reflect that. We have to eschew any politics that attempts to turn the differences that have always strengthened us into weapons of mass destruction. If we are to restore Matabeleland it will not be a sensible political move to allow the present Zimbabwean political regime an uninterrupted reign.

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