Character will move Matabeleland

Character has got us to the position where we are confidently challenging the fabrication of Zimbabwe’s political reality and into questioning Matabeleland’s position within the modern-day Zimbabwe state; commitment has moved us into action and without an ounce of doubt, discipline will allow us to follow through our dreams of a diverse, just, strong and resourceful Matabeleland.

We now fully appreciate that for so long we have consigned ourselves to living below our capabilities for the fear of upsetting the Unity Accord of 1987. Calling for equality and decent treatment of Mthwakazi citizens is not divisive but a human rights matter that should bring us closer than move us further apart. I have said this in my previous writings, I will reiterate what the Mthwakazi project is not: it is not the demonization of ordinary ethnic Shona people but a desire to rid society of all values which conflict with our fundamental rights; our focus is to reform the entire social, political and economic system and save Matabeleland from the often hate-filled and discriminatory policies proliferated and effected by the ZANU PF government.

What we as Mthwakazi have to realise is that for all good ideas and true change to be realised, we require a robust and positive internal interaction; significantly, we will have to concede too that debate comes with the possibility of conflict and argument. We cannot run away from that reality but we need to take responsibility to learn to argue objectively and peacefully. Smear campaigns are emotionally draining to both the executioners and the listening public; they do not give peace and objective unity the chance to manifest themselves in any socio-political space, Mthwakazi is no different.

Hatred is learned, it can be unlearned; we need to learn to be tolerant of diversity. As Mthwakazi, we need to commit to our responsibilities and rights; our dreams will not be achieved by slandering of those who dare disagree with our ‘solutions’. Let us respect diversity of thought, speak in integrity, avoid speech that incites hatred and widens internal divisions. The content of our debates will define our character; we need to show class, maintain pride and display character in all of our internal debates and, victory will take care of itself.

We have seen the negative impact – to communities across Zimbabwe – of ZANU PF’s dishonesty and lack of integrity. In similar measure, we have learned of the value of honesty and integrity, learned of the indispensability of the truth and that shortcuts will not build Mthwakazi. Our survival is dependent on us organising ourselves into groups sharing a common purpose for Mthwakazi; we have to stop veering away from our integrity and our hearts; stop paying allegiances to narrow party ideological goals and start placing our allegiance on Mthwakazi.

When focus is taken off Mthwakazi and into individuals and groups, it is easy to sleepwalk into the trap of tribalism; we are not fighting ethnic Shona people but principalities and powers that have diminished the corporate existence of our region as a social, political and economic entity. Our freedom and liberty will not be brought by exterminating any ethnic or racial group but through building systems and structures that promote justice for all across society.

We have a responsibility to ourselves and the next generation in our fight for Mthwakazi freedom and liberty. Turning the Mthwakazi right to break the shackles of ZANU PF misrule into a generalised Shona hatred agenda leaves doors wide open for an unhealthy opportunity for further hatred, abuse, marginalisation of other population groups opposed to the views of the majority. Let us conduct ourselves such that when the next generation of Mthwakazi ponders justice, sympathy and integrity, it thinks of this generation.

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