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Matabeleland politicians must show leadership

A lack of desire to improve the experiences of Mthwakazi citizens and an insidious lack of political representation for the nation defines Zimbabwe’s independence today. Placing trust on Zimbabwean systems and institutions to empower Matabeleland when their primary role is to manage the territory is misplaced confidence.

Zimbabwean politics and its operational processes continue to show an uncanny bias against Mthwakazi nationals while Mthwakazi political organisations seem unable to come up with a coherent plan to break the cycle of retrogressive politics that defines human beings by their ethnicity and tribes.

At this stage of our political lives we need visionaries able to enunciate the vision, prepared to walk the journey, make less excuses and, leaders who can separate bravery from negligence. Irresponsible pronouncements of a Mthwakazi military force are not a sign of intelligent politics or bravery but desperation and naivety whose costs we are yet to establish.

The public is not stupid, nobody in their right mind believes in military declarations made over social media. Our leadership needs to understand the workings of the media and start using it both creatively and effectively for the benefit of Matabeleland politics.

Populism, oversimplification of issues and the manipulation of the Mthwakazi public by our pro-Mthwakazi political groups is reckless politics at the least and no way of working towards a long-term solution to our political problems.

For starters, let us show seriousness; apart from the US president-elect Mr Donald Trump frequently using tweeter to air his strong political views, no right-minded leader uses a social media platform to announce an intention to create a military force to a random audience. Such spontaneity brings the whole project into disrepute; worse still, it does not protect the security interests of our region.

Not many people are convinced there is a socioeconomic and political capacity, let alone interest to militarise the region. Unfortunate as it sounds, some of the groups take their social responsibilities lightly to protect their political interests. Ethnic Shona people are a good target for such populist groups; they bash Shonas, raise anxiety and paranoia in the region.

We need honest and committed leaders that will spur our people to action to realise genuine freedom and liberty. A progressive leadership that focuses more on solutions and less on the enemy is essential.

Ideas alone will not free Mthwakazi from repressive systems of Zimbabwe but, right choices and a leadership that stimulates action will. Slogans are easy, action is not; leadership is not only having a vision but also the ability to appreciate the capabilities, intentions and actions of your enemy, figure out the direction of the winds, convincing yourself and those around you that your vision is right and that change of direction is inevitable.

When people are compelled by facts and not forced to embrace a project they are more likely to stay the duration of their own will. Good leadership is that ability to translate vision into reality; turning dreams to reality requires patience, meticulous planning and organisation. Spontaneity that currently seems to be the favoured ‘policy’ of many pro-Mthwakazi restoration organisations is not something that will protect Mthwakazi national socioeconomic and security interests.

While the sense of surprise that spontaneity may bring about is not always bad, without proper structures and without a clear direction of how to carry the impetuous forward emerges uncertainty, the unwanted risk to the security of the public and with it the threat to the sustenance of the project as people start to distance themselves.

In summary, it is good politics to understand what your opponents are doing but, it is even better politics to understand what you are doing. I have touched on this subject before, if you spend too much time studying your enemy you risk losing trail of your own ideas. Defensive policies that are only geared towards merely defending yourself from enemies’ ideas and not progressive in nature tend to exclude the very people they intend to protect and will not win anyone a popularity contest.


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