Communicate and inform Mthwakazi public

Our enemies will always see us as ignorant, thanks to ZANU PF indoctrination. But, to avoid being perceived as arrogant by our own, we need to start communicating and informing people of our political ideas more effectively.

To fight a State that has maintained its presence through arrogance, intimidation, violence, voter fraud and disenfranchisement of ethnic minorities, we need a well-oiled fightback strategy. The key to success will be having our people on board from the starting line; it certainly will not be arrogance but humility that connects us with the public.

Pro-Mthwakazi political organisations must not fall into the trap of thinking they can carry the political burden on their shoulders all by themselves when what we need is a committed involvement from everyone in Matabeleland every step of the way. We are no authority unto ourselves, we should expect to be called to account. We have a responsibility to communicate with the public, inform and allow Mthwakazi to make informed decisions.

We live in better times as far as communication is concerned; smart phones and the social media have expanded our universe. Let us utilise the resources available to us to articulate the Mthwakazi empowerment project.

Differences in political opinion are natural; we expect that some views would be more controversial than others. Different views apart, I want to believe we all have the best interest of Mthwakazi at heart. We have a responsibility to the Mthwakazi public to argue well. Trading insults undermines the whole political project and risks shooting it dead on arrival.

All political groups are equal; crucially, all opinions should be open to scrutiny in our attempt to save Mthwakazi from modern-day colonialism which sees the ZANU PF led State managing Mthwakazi. Those Mthwakazi groups that believe only an armed violent intervention is what it will take to gain autonomy, freedom and liberty for the territory have a right to hold that view. However, they also have a responsibility not only to explicitly justify their case but to tell people the truth about the risks associated with violent conflict.

I remain unconvinced by the violent means proponents’ argument; it is presumptuous for any organisation to reject nonviolent interventions without evidential justification; the argument that elections and other nonviolent interventions will not work is disingenuous as that conclusion is derived from a dataset of results from elections that focused on Zimbabwe, and not Mthwakazi. We have not specifically used elections as a targeted intervention; we can only reliably measure the effectiveness of elections when a truly pro-Mthwakazi election focus is instituted and, not before.

Violent interventions may be attractive yet their broader success is questionable. Well researched evidence of at least 40 years of conflict concludes that nonviolent means have been more successful than violent means. Effects from ongoing armed conflict across the world indicates its unpleasant side.

In March 11, 2017, the United Nations (UN) announced that the world is facing the worst human-induced humanitarian crisis since the formation of the organisation in 1945. It is estimated that more than 20 million people across four countries in Africa and Asia (see map below) are facing famine or a credible risk of famine; $4.4bn is required by July 2017 to avert a catastrophe.

The UN describes a famine is a rare and specific state. Three specific criteria must be met before a famine is declared: (a) when one in five households in a certain area face extreme food shortages, (b) more than 30 percent of the population is acutely malnourished and (c) at least two people for every 10,000 die each day.

We cannot confidently promise the Mthwakazi vulnerable population that they will be adequately shielded from the same fate if armed conflict were to be our chosen route. I accept the Zimbabwean government’s attitude towards Mthwakazi has been manifestly and profoundly destructive of the concept of impartiality, integrity and state role to an extent that our confidence is sufficiently undermined to render this ZANU PF led State illegitimate within our territory, but cool heads are essential.

Let us resist playing the role of saviour and respectfully settle within and work with our communities. If we see the need for political change and, we want to persuade the nation to come along, we are obligated to provide enough information that gives the greatest chance to make informed decisions. An informed public will be crucial in what promises to be a long bumpy trip to attaining freedom and liberty.

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