Strategic coherence vital for Matabeleland

Stepping into a new political realm means a total renunciation of past politics that sold tribal and racial bigotry as credible policies. If we want change, we must reject the use of tribalism as a political strategy. There is no justification in allowing confusion to define our political goals. We must define what we want; identify goals and prioritise our strategies.

Just as important will be the protection and safety of dissenting voices; those who disagree with the establishment must be free and safe and feel safe to do so.

We are not slaves to emotions; let us reduce the influence of negative emotions in our strategic planning and promote the dominance of objectivity. Emotions are natural, that is undeniable, but we have control and must be ready to take responsibility for our actions in response to emotions. We must create a culture of political decency and tolerance that allows for an honest and robust political debate; we need to rid our environment of unhelpful stereotypes and associated attitudes.

Control the tongue Mthwakazi; the language people use reveals a lot about their character and attitude; a man who cannot control his tongue has no control of his emotions and must never be trusted with authority. Using discriminatory language that despises communities who hold different value systems from ours is contrary to the spirit of humanity.

Inclusive politics must be at the centre of what we do; that is the only approach that will earn us a respectable, meaningful and sustainable political existence. Forget not that our strength comes from working together in good faith. Creating a better future will require partnerships, teamwork and collaboration. Tribe is not the issue here, but a shared vision of a better world must be enough.

We are clear about our political goals, we are not swapping positions with ZANU PF or any Zimbabwe focused political party; we are not advancing tribal supremacy in the guise of democracy. We want a wholly different politics because that change is necessary; we immediately need to extricate ourselves from the politics whose base is a ZANU PF design.

Over the years, Zimbabwean opposition parties have only obsessed with changing room designs and played deaf and blind whenever the expectation of undoing the faulty political foundation that pays a casual disregard for Matabeleland needs has been raised by our people.

Zimbabwean systems and institutions as they stand today are wholly inadequate to objectively deal with Matabeleland’s unique needs. The systems cannot empower Matabeleland hence, voting any political organisation whose focus is the protection of the Zimbabwean status quo will not alter Matabeleland’s fate but merely shift the handlers of the levers of the tools that keep us prisoner.

Years of experience have taught us that politics anchored on a ZANU PF template does not and will not meet Matabeleland needs because it was never meant to. We want to be free to determine our social, economic and political circumstances without undue interference from Harare. We want to be able to decide who we partner with socially, economically and politically. Principally, we want a kind of socioeconomic and political environment in which we are comfortable with excellency being expected of us.

Targeting any ethnic group for hate and abuse is not a strategy that will sustain peace in our own background; hatred has never been a competent tool for maintaining peace. Human beings are not good at managing and maintaining boundaries of hatred and indiscipline; allowing ourselves a ‘bit’ of collective hatred towards ethnic Shona people will immediately escalate to a generic politics of hatred to any dissenting voices within our communities; that is a chaotic and an unstable environment that none of us would want to leave as inheritance to our children.

I accept Gukurahundi was planned by an ethnic Shona dominated government and executed by an exclusively ethnic Shona army. That was an inexcusable crime and one not to be reduced into ‘a moment of madness’ but a serious crime to be dealt with through competent courts.

When we say Gukurahundi was evil, we truly believe it to be an evil act against humanity, not just against ethnic Ndebeles. We hate it, not only because we were direct victims of it but because we truly believe any unprovoked military butcher of other human beings based on tribe or race or any other difference is inhuman and inexcusable.

Politics of tribalism is a strategy from the past never to take us to a progressive future. It is imperative that we have clear mutual goals within Mthwakazi. If we hate Zimbabwean politics, let us not be seen to be employing it in our strategies. Dangerous nationalism must go. Remember we are not reacting to ZANU PF and its supporters but to our needs; we are not slaves to ZANU PF philosophy; our needs are the ones making political change necessary. Our children will not be left to inherit bigotry marketed as empowerment.

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