When it comes to political indiscipline, we have learned from the best in the business; shambolic politics and nonchalance is a race to the bottom; Zimbabwe has just but fallen off its wheels; the country is right at the foot of every socioeconomic indicator. ZANU PF attempts at building one nation by crushing minority ethnic groups has successfully widened socio-political cracks, widened the gap between the elite and the poor and successfully rid society of the middle class.
The ZANU PF politics founded on tribalism, paranoia, vengeance and hatred of Matabeles and a desire to build an ethnic Shona super state raises little hope for the current and future Matabele generations. The shambolic political project has shaken many communities across Matabeleland but it must never be allowed to touch the foundation of the region; the steel of Matabeleland resolve cannot be dented.
Just like our circumstances were horrible in Rhodesia, our future is not secure under the current Zimbabwe political regime. We have regressed, the progress promised by Zimbabwean independence has not happened to Mthwakazi. Sadly, we are now trying to build our future on the tribalism platform when our foundations are multi-ethnic; there is no future in such an infrastructure.
Our task should not be to raise anxieties of any population group or individual resident or visitor in Matabeleland. We have to remain bold in our national ambitions. First, let us fight against the temptation for retaliatory ethnic discrimination; second, we must win the fight against the local dominance of ZANU PF politics and ensure empowerment of local communities in the next decade; third, we must improve moral standards in society to provide a strong foundation for good governance and fourth, let us fight against the demon of fear and confront all injustice irrespective of the source.
To build a Mthwakazi superstructure, a strong foundation is desirable. We have to understand who we are; define ourselves as a society and take control of our lives. It is essential that we identify our unique talent and what our skills are before the rebuilding exercise begins. We are a culturally diverse region upon which rest the cornerstones of tolerance, individual and collective freedom and liberty, and sustainable human development.
I am against a politics of hate; our children and their children’s children should not be brought up to think they are better human beings because they belong to one ethnic group and not the other. It must be drummed into their young minds that theirs and others’ rights are not incumbent on their being affiliated to any ethnic group but them being humans. They will have to appreciate that hard work in an environment that provides equal access to opportunity to all is the panacea to success. Our systems should seek to build an infrastructure that creates opportunities and ensures equal access to those opportunities.
If we are to create a fairer, safer and stable Matabeleland, objectivity and not our unstable emotions should detect our political direction. A strong infrastructure would act as a stimulant for a long-term socioeconomic and political stability while strategic investment in infrastructure should provide the desired foundation for long-term growth that unites all communities.
We need to proactively come together to pursue a democratic agenda that will build and reclaim Matabeleland’s democratic foundations. Matabeleland does not have the infrastructure to sustain tribalism, let us not attempt to. We are a multi-ethnic region; our solutions need to proactively include every ethnic group.