Good leadership is the driver of progress, while coincidence happens, it must not be permitted to dominate strategy in Mthwakazi’s political space. Leadership is everything; it is not just the weapons an army is in possession of, but the quality of the leadership that matters. No matter how large the human support behind the pro-Mthwakazi agenda may be, it means very little if people do not know where they are heading to, have no idea what needs to be done and how to think to remove Mthwakazi from Zimbabwe’s political penitentiary.
A lot of factors can be hidden but not an absence of leadership within a political space; nothing can cover up leadership poverty; it can be seen in the abject chaos and lack of political progress in a society. Matabeleland has highly talented groups and individuals, but we need good leadership. Let us be clear from the onset, leadership is not ordering people around, it is neither doing things for people nor telling people what to think but helping educate people how to think; it is being clear in your goals, knowing your way, showing that way with clarity, convincing people to change from within and allowing them space to be the best they can be.
What people can do must now be our central focus as opposed to what they cannot do; mind you, every human innovation has its benefits and costs. Our thinking must be, “How do we obtain optimal benefits and how can we reduce risk from this situation?” or “Let’s improve things further by reducing costs” and not, “Oh! This is too risky to undertake; let’s forget it”. Avoiding challenge must never be allowed to define our political character.
Leadership culture within the pro-Mthwakazi agenda must swiftly shift away from fault-finding and be redirected into the remedy identification mode. Our growth is indeed not determined by how many mistakes we identify within the system but how many remedies we find.
Modern-day Mthwakazians are stereotypically described as slow to act, if they act at all. We have become known as an overly cautious nation, but that should not preclude us from active intervention. Words may be sweet to the ear, but they alone do not define our leadership quality, rather attitude and action do.
A word of warning to those leaders still wanting to cling onto their comfort zone; it is not possible. For change to happen, people will need to be prepared to make sacrifices and be prepared to forego and surrender some illusionary privileges all in the name of the revolution. People must move out of their comfort zones; they must be prepared to learn new things, for leadership and learning are indispensable.
Doing things right is vital in following and keeping within set standards, but it will often not take you beyond your comfort zone; leadership goes beyond what is essentially management territory; leadership is doing the right things, this may involve ruffling features. As Mthwakazi, we need both management and leadership to forge ahead with our socio-political dream.
Our political dream is decent politics that recognises that all humans are created equal; we want to create a socio-political space that sustains that fact. We want to rid Mthwakazi of tribalism but not tribes; we are a multi-ethnic nation and need to stop the flagrant disregard for that truth, and that is where our future lies; stop the reckless provocation of individuals whom nature has placed into certain tribes or race.
Leadership is about being brave enough to do the right things even in the face of fierce opposition; that may (in the short-term) upset some or shake some people from their false sense of comfort or lead to semi-permanent, if not permanent political divorces within our space. We need to feel safe to disagree.
It may not always be right to criticise our own people, but it is a matter of duty that we raise fundamental questions of each other’s political motives. Targeting some ethnic groups for abuse is wrong, it may draw an audience, but governments based on tribalism fail. Our leadership needs to stop regarding as normal the regular and casual assault on other people’s rights because of their ethnicity or race.
The standards our pro-Mthwakazi political leadership sets itself will reflect its quality. We accept that there are signs of progress within the Mthwakazi political space but more still needs to be done to extend and sustain the positive changes. Leadership must improve; shifting people’s views must be our political emergency. We have children and grandchildren to answer to, and so we must not be complicit in any form of discrimination.