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Tsvangirai’s attempts to ‘destroy’ ethnic identification is political futility

The Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC Alliance is nowhere near a solution for Mthwakazi’s political problems; it is another organised deceit, a repugnant, filthy and grossly hypocritical institution whose only focus is replacing ZANU PF in government; the alliance is nothing but a continuation of a dictatorial political regime that exclusively protects the majority ethnic Shona population while alienating ethnic minorities and Mthwakazi.

This Alliance is built on faulty ground and will turn out to be another pyrrhic victory for Mthwakazi politicians and politics; we have experience of the 1987 Unity Agreement. Quite frankly, as things stand in this newly formed alliance, Mthwakazi will once again be losing more than it is gaining from what is effectively an opportunistic unity built on the back of Tsvangirai’s self-preserving terms.

Mthwakazi focused political entities must be loud and clear in their rejection of the MDC Alliance and everything it stands for. To pursue a merger with a man who equates our pride in our identity, our heritage, culture and tribe as a hegemonic act is absurd at the best of times. We are not blind to the fact that in his speech at White City, Tsvangirai avoids the use of such a negatively coded descriptor for Manyika people who are similarly enthusiastic about their identity.

Tsvangirai talks of a ‘Ndebele hegemony’ and just a ‘Manyika grouping’; interesting choice of words to describe identical behaviour from two different ethnic groups. Was it accidental or deliberate? I will go for the latter, in the heart of his hearts, Ndebeles are the problem that he, as part of the broader ethnic Shona group will need to put a lid on. He continues with the hypocrisy that when ethnic Shona people express their needs they have a democratic right to their opinion, but when Ndebeles do the same they are tribalists.

An objective scrutiny of the MDC Alliance’s agenda is impossible without wider access to the Alliance’s pronouncements of its policies. However, from the little we have had access to, there is no evidence of a political interest in shifting the centre of political power from the ethnic majority Shona in Mashonaland and share it proportionately across the current Zimbabwean state.

Deceit sold as truth will damage trust in the opposition and hinder political progress; the MDC Alliance is trying to sell us a Zimbabwean identity delusion on one hand yet attempting to strip us of our individual identity on the other. Any attempt to deprive us of our identity is political futility. When individuals’ rights to self-determination and identification with their culture and their identity is threatened, no community is safe.

The MDC Alliance is obsessed with power and not the people, the very people from whom this alliance expects to draw its power. There is no material change in the political narrative of the MDC Alliance to make the opposition better and not just less bad compared to ZANU PF. Creating a Zimbabwean identity may not necessarily be wrong but attempting to discourage individuals from actively identifying with their ethnic groups sounds rather desperate.

People listen to what politicians say in full expectation of them to act according to the morals they claim to espouse; hypocrisy puts people off active political participation. Hypocrisy appears to be the value embraced by the MDC and its newly formed Alliance; at every opportunity Tsvangirai and his colleagues lecture us about democracy yet their own democratic shortcomings are in full view for all to see. Tsvangirai and his allies must come clean with their idea of a collective Zimbabwean identity and let us debate it.

The MDC Alliance is merely a conglomeration of political entities whose only ambition is to displace ZANU PF, and nothing more. If Tsvangirai’s narrative at White City is anything to go by, Mthwakazi is in trouble; the Alliance neither represents a political revamp nor shows an interest in equality; there is no attempt at rebuilding Zimbabwe’s politics on shared values and an efficient political framework that redistributes political and economic resources and authority across the current Zimbabwe boundaries.


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