The pro-Matabeleland agenda platforms must only accommodate an objective pro-Matabeleland debate and have nothing to do with those that stand against it. No sane business takes its advertising space and goes on to fill it up with what its competitors think about its products.
Your competitors will never promote your products over theirs; logic says it is not their responsibility; their job is to sell theirs not purr over yours. Filling our debate time and space with what ZANU PF, the MDC-T and local anti-Mthwakazi restoration individuals think about pro-Mthwakazi politics is wasteful at best and, naivety at worst.
We will not successfully sell the Matabeleland agenda by merely reminding our people of what our opponents think of us and hoping they will automatically see through the lies; instead of empowering the region, that approach only reveals our brittleness and quite frankly hints at deeper and more dangerous insecurities.
It is not our responsibility to normalise what ZANU PF, MDC-T and all individuals (locals or outsiders) not keen on the pro-Matabeleland agenda promote within Matabeleland. Pro-Matabeleland Facebook groups/pages should not just act as running commentaries of the negative effects of Harare-imposed systems in Matabeleland but problem solving platforms. The only and certain way forward is telling our people what the pro-Matabeleland agenda is and is not.
Uncertainty is no way of dealing with critical political issues; let our priorities be explicit to all who support the Matabeleland project, those ignorant of it and of course those who oppose it. When our people are crystal clear about our goals they will get a clear understanding of the project and learn to prioritise their work around those goals; that increases their effectiveness in the project and that effectiveness will extend to the broader project.
A state that works for everyone is our priority. Our actions should denote our priorities; we cannot talk equality and then immediately follow that up with action that deliberately promotes abuse of sections of the population for merely being different in one way or the other. Abusing citizens for being different, as Zimbabwean experience has taught us, only succeeds in trivialising very important arguments of socioeconomic and political development.
There is a realisation within Matabeleland that a strong positive self-image is essential if the pro-Matabeleland project is to succeed. Focus of our platforms should remain firmly on reinforcing our goals and not misdirected on attempts at wrestling ZANU PF’s toxic systems. An active replacement of negative ideals with positive ones will be the beginning of our success.
We are not looking at recovering the period between 1980 and 2016, that one is a lost cause but tomorrow is ours to win or lose. Tribe, ethnicity, race, gender, social background and political allegiance should play no part in how we formulate, policies, rules and laws. The focus now is the creation of a state blind to ethnicity, gender and race but one alert to the fact human beings are born equal until society starts ascribing self-serving subjective values.
Pro-Matabeleland groups’ focus is the restoration of a diversity safe socio-political space; our goal is therefore the creation of a genuinely equal society that extends access to opportunity for all; a region that treats and protects all its residents equally regardless of their family background.
To conclude, we seek not the adoption of anti-ZANU PF policies but the creation of a fairer socio-political background for all in Matabeleland. We seek to put a stop to systematic injustice; ability and not ethnicity, race, gender, political allegiance, etc. should be the main determinant of what profession people do. That approach will naturally translate into the shrinking and eventual elimination of ZANU PF influence while deepening and widening ours.