Mthwakazi movements must raise their game on policy

We shall not stop dreaming; every innovation starts off as a dream from a great daydreamer; however, a good dream gets its life from perseverance. Political change is possible and achievable in Mthwakazi, but only if we are willing to work hard.

We need a cultural shift, and a disciplined and mature political approach is necessary. A significant change will be to professionalise activities at all operational levels of our organisations. If we expect our people to walk along with us, it is imperative that we identify with their challenges, demonstrate our comprehension of their challenges, we respect communities and we show genuine empathy.

Tragically, the Mthwakazi movement policymakers appear not in kilt with the social and political changes in the region. While there is unity on the destination, it is the route that is a cause of great contestation. There is a bourgeoning gap between the movement group’s ideologies and the Mthwakazi public opinion, we need to bridge that gap as fast as possible.

A mutual and effective relationship between the public and socio-political organisations is required. There should be no solution to people’s problems without the people’s involvement; let us believe in our people and start consulting widely to find solutions to our challenges. This leads me to policy deliberations. The Mthwakazi movement must be open about its policies, if it has any, and avoid undue secrecy.

Significant as much as it is controversial, we are consistently hearing the vitriol directed at ethnic Shona people, name calling between different Mthwakazi groups and individuals, but nothing concrete on how the movement intends to deliver freedom and liberties of Mthwakazi people.

Politics without principle is a good base for chaos; our political existence must be based on the fact humans are created equal. We want the visibility of the growth of our political influence in Matabeleland and we will stand like a rock to protect an inclusive Matabeleland. The movement must demonstrate its interest in the livelihoods of the people and people will give it power.

What are the goals of the movement? How is the movement intending to use the mandate that it is requesting from the public? For its merit, the movement needs to address these issues urgently. We need to assess if our organisations are fit and proper to represent us.

Delays in drawing and publishing manifestos have led to uncertainty and left political space that has often been filled up by extreme right opportunists pursuing personal agendas. Calling for the removal of ethnic Shona people from Matabeleland for crimes committed by some, and not all, ethnic Shona people is unlikely to be considered by the diverse Mthwakazi public as reasonable evidence of any organisation or leader’s suitability to lead Mthwakazi.

The Mthwakazi movement must now show political depth, provide clarity in its basic policies and foundations thereof. By keeping its policies secret from the public, the movement risks being perceived as aloof. Such a political approach is no longer sustainable in modern-day politics; significantly, it is not compatible with our goal of building a progressive and transparent political environment.

As alluded to earlier, we need the Mthwakazi movement to be aligned with the social and political landscape of the region. To achieve that, our movement must take the freedom of Matabeleland serious; it must seriously invest, emotionally and physically, in research work to grasp the social changes sweeping across the region and measure how these impact local political choices. We must be asking ourselves if tribal scaremongering is still a valid political policy or just a naïve, misplaced political stunt?

The political immaturity within the Mthwakazi movement is shocking. Those groups calling for an ethnic Shona purge in Matabeleland are not only depraved but lack foresight. They reside a parallel world and bear little consideration of the safety of Mthwakazi born individuals living in Mashonaland.

Adopting a tribal, and triumphalist exceptionalism without substance is counterproductive. Judging human value and nationality based on people’s last names is out of kilt with the reality of the social diversity within Mthwakazi’s population.

The Mthwakazi movement must comprehend the social and political changes in the region. Putting up a manifesto whose only visible policy is how much you ‘hate’ ethnic Shona people is not a masterstroke. The question the public asks itself is how that promotes individual freedom and liberty.


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