Peace will continue to elude Mthwakazi until we effectively deny space for the Zimbabwean systems and institutions based on tribalism to thrive. And the only sure way of stopping tribalism in our communities is stopping making excuses for all forms of discrimination anywhere within our social, economic and political space.
Taking control of the Mthwakazi social and political space is not beyond the realms of reality. We understand this to be a gradual process and not an event, but our situation is further complicated by the simple reason that most of the Matabele elite have been compromised by the sin of greed; they have been recruited into ZANU PF philosophy, given token posts within the system, rewarded with ill-gotten wealth for misrepresenting their constituencies all to help sustain the Zimbabwean systems and institutions in Mthwakazi. These individuals are only faithful to their paymasters in Harare and not the people of Mthwakazi.
Right now, we (the people) would like to bring to the attention of the rest of the political players, including those who form the Mthwakazi movement that we are prepared to take any steps necessary for our freedom; we stand for all rights, the only right we do not stand for is tribalism. We cannot fight tribalism within the present-day Zimbabwe only for the same ideas to go unchallenged in Mthwakazi.
We will fight to eradicate discrimination in all its forms within our territory; tribalists do not represent us and our future. We strongly disagree with discriminatory views; we will not be in partnership with individuals and groups who promote it, and would like to put as much distance between ourselves and any such individuals and groups.
I repeat, we are not tribalists and will not support organisations who seek to single out a section of our society simply due to their tribe or ethnicity or race among other descriptors. I believe such groups do not represent the Mthwakazi we seek. We do not want to recreate in Mthwakazi an economically and socially segregated state, instead we want to cultivate a diversity safe space of equal access to opportunity for all who call Mthwakazi home.
Counter tribalism is counterproductive; we are authors of our destiny and hence, are responsible for the decisions we make today; we will not be defined by Gukurahundi but will define it for what it is — a barbaric act from which lessons must be drawn of what not to do when building humane political systems. Going into Mthwakazi’s political future, this position will inform the security of our political decision-making processes.
We must call evil by its name, Gukurahundi was not an operational mistake, it was not ‘a moment of madness’; the right target was hit, Gukurahundi was a planned grotesque act of state terror motivated by deep hatred and tribalism from the Head of State and his associates. For this sin, in the absence of neutral internal political and law systems and institutions, perpetrators must face the full force of the international law.
We respectfully disagree with those Mthwakazi citizens who choose to ignore the importance of context while naively calling for forgiveness. Forgiveness is only considered on confession and a preserve of the victim; calling Gukurahundi ‘a moment of madness’ among other forms of denial does not amount to a confession but arrogance. Demanding for justice for what is precisely a crime against humanity is not tribalism but a just socio-political responsibility that we will not shy away from.
Defeating tribalism, intolerance and all forms of discrimination will free Mthwakazi and its opponents alike. We will no longer make excuses for tribalism. Even the grotesque 1980s murders of Matabeles do not qualify as justification, nothing does, of discrimination by us. Ignorance is no longer a viable excuse, and we will do our best not to accept it as some form of justification for prejudice. Education against discrimination should be central to the social and political education we give to our children.