The best way of weakening our politics and ensuring our political demise is sustained and misdirected internal political division. Critical appraisal of policies is one thing, squabbling is another; the former is constructive, the latter is disruptive often with damaging outcomes.
The toxicity of division is manifest in our political space; it is a plaque and the reason we are engulfed in a damaging internal political conflict. Internal conflict weakens us further; political movements progress when united and get damaged by division.
While we rightly enjoy our social diversity, we must not ignore the inherent political divisions ostensibly brought in by this diversity. This is perhaps the best opportunity to highlight the reality that there is more that unites than divide us in Matabeleland.
Our lived reality is that Matabeleland’s political field has not yet reached a stage when difference and diversity are not sources of division and mistrust, but of strength and inspiration.
We need to display our political imagination and capacity; our biggest challenge is bringing the different Mthwakazi political players together for a common cause; the freedom and liberty for all. The period of internal division and conflict must be brought to an abrupt end through honest dialogue between Mthwakazi focused movements.
Let us collectivise our strengths to build a strong Mthwakazi lobby. Our politics needs to be relevant to the day not be merely nostalgic. We need a positive campaign, our people need to know how the Mthwakazi movement will be good for them, and more important, why they must vote for us. The populist doctrine of tribal division, the doctrine of ethnic prejudice and superiority must be done away with.
Given there are real and understandable community specific needs necessitated by environmental, social and cultural differences within Matabeleland but we share in our struggles; as Matabeleland citizens, our broader challenges remain bound together. Within Zimbabwean systems, all of Matabeleland is threatened and deprived of real freedom and liberty.
ZANU PF’s position on Matabeleland has not shifted; Matabeleland has remained a symbol of political victory right in ZANU PF’s palm. Our limits are still determined by Mashonaland, and not our ability. However, what is extremely damaging within Matabeleland movement right now is the growing division within the movement.
Unresolved division is dispiriting to many potential supporters of the Mthwakazi movement, it induces doubt and political disengagement; it empowers the oppressor thereby perpetuating Matabele suffering.
We want to emancipate ourselves from entrenched and disempowering social division and hierarchy. We are no longer prepared to be puppets or prisoners of ZANU PF and the elite.
Our biggest handicap has been the failure to sell our policies; let us show clarity in our understanding of the solution and be equally clear in our narrative; highlighting ZANU PF’s oppressive policies alone is not enough to effectively turn the Mthwakazi political space.
We must be determined to work with our people to draw policies that advance the nation and find excellent leaders prepared to serve the nation. I am talking of leaders who will be prepared to put aside self-interest to surround themselves with the best people they can find, delegate authority and avoid meddling if policy was being carried out as agreed upon.
If we are to take our destiny into our own hands, trivia must be placed in its rightful place, right at the bottom of our drawer of priorities. Having a common enemy is little consolation when people cannot agree on the destination. There is enough space for every movement to play its role in pursuing the goal of liberating Mthwakazi.
Unless the different pro-Mthwakazi political organisations unite in purpose, we will continue to be weak and subservient to ZANU PF policies of doom. We have a duty to fight the voices of division and seek the unity of purpose in our political space. Let us seek teamwork over personal ambition, then our dreams of freedom and liberty will be realised.