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Only a positive campaign befits Matabeleland polity

The Mthwakazi movement needs to adopt a transformational leadership stance that will inspire our people to be what they could be. We want to put to bed a pessimist political face in the region; thus, fighting negativity within our space must be the purpose for our political engagement.

This is time to respond to our needs, and not to ZANU PF bullying. The Mthwakazi movement will not attempt to recover yesterday, for yesterday is gone but we have tomorrow to fight for. We want to create a Mthwakazi opportunity republic in which where individuals come from does not matter but only where they are going matters the most.

Within the Mthwakazi movement we have a good idea of the destination but there is a worrying fragmentation in the message delivery process. We do not need a political campaign punctuated by negativity, tribalism, denial and abject avoidance of our real problems. Let us transform and renew the Mthwakazi movement to focus on the recreation of our political institutions and system.

Is the Mthwakazi movement an equivalent of the tail wagging the dog? Should the movement be shaping the people’s needs or it should be the other way around, the interests of the people shaping the movement? I believe the lack of progress is down to the fact the movement is, to a greater degree, not aligned to the needs of our people, and not that people are cowards shying away from confronting injustice.

To be aligned to people’s needs must not be confused with ‘going with the flow’; it means being contextually efficient, relevant and effective in identifying solutions and honest to ourselves and the public about our beliefs and being creative and effective in selling our policies. We need more than just keeping those sharing our views, we need to be able to turn people’s (including those currently opposed to us) heads to the movement and away from the blinded unionists.

Let us face up to the reality that ordinary men and women are not sold to the presumption that riding the region of ethnic Shona citizens is somehow empowerment. Such nationalism is isolationist and disempowering, at best. Our people want peace, prosperity and freedom, and want to be close to decisions affecting their lives. Political leaders seem to want power at whatever cost.

It is naïve, immoral and a dangerous miscalculation for any Mthwakazi movement to attempt to achieve freedom and liberty by denying freedom and liberty to some communities amongst us simply for being different. Our campaign needs to resist the temptation to respond to ZANU PF and start rewriting rules; let us reshape our political space and devise a new way of running Mthwakazi’s internal political affairs.

The Mthwakazi movement will not partner with ZANU PF in a politics of hate. Tribalism affects national security and increases social and political fragility; we seek to be a strong, sustainable and stable face of diversity. We are working on the premise that equality is a precondition for meeting the social and political needs of the socially diverse Mthwakazi.

It is the responsibility of the Mthwakazi movement and the media to strengthen social cohesion and unity. Our political system and supporting institutions must take genuine interest in the dynamics of unity.

Empowering Mthwakazi must never be about the implementation of mischievous retaliatory policies that exclude, disempower and discriminate ethnic Shona people, but needs to be about policies that create an open society which provides opportunity, and allows for equal access to opportunity.

We will fight for what we believe in, a Mthwakazi where ability and not tribe, ethnicity, race, religion and other social determinants decide individuals’ opportunities in life. We want a Mthwakazi that is wholly safe for diversity.

We need to appreciate that optimism leads to power while pessimism leads to weakness. A strong, positive message will be the best driver for the Mthwakazi agenda. We can only achieve that by developing a sustainable positive vision and being a positive communication vehicle within the political space.


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