Calling for a healthy disagreement within Matabeleland

You know there is a big problem within a political space when it is an expectation that everyone agrees not only with everyone, but also with themselves, all the time in all situations, and any disagreement is viewed as a rebellion.

It is easy to agree with those who agree with our views, no surprise there; however, the sign of real maturity is the ability to disagree and disagree well. That is the kind of political space ZANU PF has worked hard to shut down and out, it is the sort of space Matabeleland should strive to create if we are to effectively displace and replace dysfunctional ZANU PF systems within our borders.

Our target is to disagree well. The beginning of that journey is the victory over ourselves while the foundation is self-discipline. Let our primary goal be the creation of a fairer political environment that removes internal obstacles to open debate. The focus of our politics must be to treat people the same, protect people the same and in accordance with their needs not their political allegiance.

We herein point at the fact that there is nothing more patriotic than disagreeing with your fellow nationalists for where there is debate, there are solutions. We ought not be uncomfortable with disagreement but jealously defend our space against political systems that promote compliance. It is often those who directly benefit from compliance and complacency who find disagreement disruptive for it threatens their vested interests, otherwise for the rest of us challenging the status quo is the only chance we have of shaping the politics to focus on the needs of the vulnerable many, not just the privileged few.

Ideological deviance, as alluded to earlier, should not be viewed as a threat to unity but be welcome as the mother of political innovation within Matabeleland. I see healthy debate as providing a platform for human interaction where a mutual exchange of ideas occurs, where true innovation takes place; and disagreement within our political space should be the norm rather than an exception.

Honest disagreement is often a step towards political maturity; it compels all involved to question their own opinions and emotions; even more important, it can lead to honest compromise. This is the platform upon which Matabeleland politics should be founded. Honest disagreement directs us at objective disagreement where people and organisations debate issues and not personalities. We must not find ourselves rejecting an idea offhand because we have not contributed to its manifestation or because it has been raised by those whom we dislike.

We want to be able to freely celebrate our diversity and debate our differences without fracturing our communities and without losing dignity. Let our space be not an urgency of a politics of destruction, intolerance, arrogance, anger and control as that compromises debate and dialogue. Fundamental to healthy disagreement is the ability to tone down rhetoric that polarises our nation, Matabeleland nationalists must not be seen to be even remotely legitimising hate in the region’s political space.

Safety throughout the process of disagreement is paramount within our space; we want an open society that allows one person to argue against fifteen people in the middle of the winter night without ever fearing for their personal safety. We need to guard against the creation of a socio-political environment that suppresses views of a minority; majoritarian tyranny is not alternative democracy. Everyone should feel safe and be safe before, during and well after a disagreement, that is a sign of mature political engagement we aspire to.

Freedom and liberty of every individual within our borders is our primary goal. We will need to be comfortable with those who disagree with our worldview for us to live harmoniously in a world viewed better by all of us. Our success will only be measured by how well we listen and treat the most vulnerable and those who disagree with us within our political space. The beginning of it all is self-discipline and the end is making ZANU PF systems and structures obsolete in Matabeleland.

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