Matabeleland must keep the focus

The greatest deception Matabeleland has suffered has been our belief we were independent; the reality is that we are not walking down the right path; we are going nowhere within the Zimbabwean political system. Surprising…Not! The ZANU PF system is not meant to empower Matabeleland.

ZANU PF effectively heads a structured socio-political system that has blocked the flow of social and economic progress in Matabeleland. The truth is that the Zimbabwe system does not identify with Matabeleland values, and therein lies our problem.

The undeniable reality is that within the independent Zimbabwe, instead of uniting Mashonaland and Matabeleland within a successful union, ZANU PF has created a country more divided economically and even more socially polarised.

Almost the entire politics of Matabeleland is affected by the Gukurahundi genocide; our world perception, our feelings about our ethnicity and our role within the Zimbabwe union. We have normalised the Second Vice President role and accommodated the notion that a Head of State should be from Mashonaland! Crazy as it sounds, we live that reality today, not out of faith in the system and its supporting institutions but for the fear of another wave of Gukurahundi. We have embraced unbelievable cowardice for temporary safety.

We are suffering a collective crisis of identity after periods of allowing seeds of doubt and division to shape our worldview; things need to change, and do so quickly. The reality remains that the constraints in our minds and barriers to our progress are self-inflicted. We have stood watch and merely hoped for the best. The helplessness we perceive should now trigger our empowerment creativity.

Word of warning! Matabeleland empowerment will not spring up from the recycled elite that has benefitted immeasurably from its direct and indirect connections with the Zimbabwean establishment. Here, I am talking of a minority of Matabeleland men and women who have played their role of keeping most Matabeles as defenceless accessories of what has effectively become a ZANU PF kingdom.

These individuals have made significant personal progress but communities they supposedly lead have not seen any benefits. This has happened because the progress of the former has been on the back of narrow objectives that exclude the aspirations and needs of the latter. The Matabeleland elite in ZANU PF have not attempted to transform the party and have done nothing to re-shape the politics of Matabeleland hence, ZANU PF has continued to suffocate the region with impunity.

Let us optimise our capabilities; political creativity is necessary for us to take control of our lives. My idea of Mthwakazi empowerment is an honest process that correctly identifies the ZANU PF threat and refuses to obey it. We are prepared to go all the way to advance equal opportunity and economic empowerment within our nation as this is not only morally right but lifts the veil of discrimination, poverty and ignorance that restricts growth.

Our target is to create a country whose institutions will have good checks and balance to ensure there is no bypassing of the judicial process to favour those individuals with influential friends in authority. The big question is whether that would be possible within a Zimbabwe union headed by ZANU PF that has guarded its bias towards Mashonaland for 37 years?

The ordinary man and woman must wait no more but take a firm stand to protect the founding principles of our great nation of Mthwakazi. We are a diverse nation, Mthwakazi empowerment must never be about any ethnic group or race being more powerful than any other ethnic group or nation but it should be about having equal rights with protection, equal access to opportunity and justice for all.

Looking ahead, let us look not at the various elements of independence in isolation but creatively join them together to form a successful Matabeleland nation. Will that ever happen within the current Zimbabwe union founded on biased systems run by ZANU PF? In short, is ZANU PF prepared to see Matabeleland and Mashonaland as equal political partners? That is a question Matabeleland politicians need to start finding answers to.

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