The growing Facebook ‘likes’, ‘loves’ and ‘wows’ and open debates are welcome, but we now need to transition from those social media gestures of acknowledgement of the need for a political change into tangible action that will shake the political ground we are standing on.
Positive Facebook ’emojis’ will not of their own transform our political space. We now have the knowledge and understanding that bringing together funding, technical expertise, and tested knowledge is vital to political progress. All those who believe that the Mthwakazi perspective matters, and it is their perspective too, are called upon to help fund this noble cause.
Our commitment to transform the politics of our land to meet our specific needs is unrivalled. We want our politics to be the outcome of our thinking and not that of the MDC or ZANU PF who have proven to be not only guided by Mashonaland norms and values, but also unwilling to be inclusive in their political conduct. Accordingly, we must shift the paradigm to boast our investment to a kind of politics that reflects priorities and values of people of Matabeleland.
Our focus must be funding only a Mthwakazi agenda and the organisations openly showing a commitment to that agenda. We are committed to ensuring that the Mthwakazi socioeconomic and political agenda as we perceive it has the information and funding needed to protect it and the Mthwakazi people from both internal and external threats.
It is time-consuming and it takes a lot in human and financial resources to research and promote such a perspective as the Mthwakazi empowerment. While we appreciate and laud the work already being done by our volunteers, we need to appreciate that our volunteers may not always be able to cover the whole range of technical expertise and experience required to effectively run a revolution of our size.
Some roles will need skilled and experienced personnel to help us build accountable systems, institutions and policies. We have skilled people inside and outside of the region who may be willing to offer free consultation, but the need for paid services is inevitable. We will need to be prepared to pay for the premium services.
We must fight hard to protect our valuable voluntary service sector. Men and women who selflessly give hours of their personal and family time to help us achieve our goals deserve recognition. Our volunteers must not be taken advantage of, we need to show them respect and support them carry out the roles that make our organisations what they are today. The presence of volunteers does not mean an end to the need for money.
Funding is key to helping our voluntary sector maintain high standards of work practice. However, care will have to be taken in how our voluntary sector is funded. To reduce infiltration or corruption that risks damaging the reputation of our voluntary service sector and with it the Mthwakazi cause, the sector must be properly instituted. Clear local legislation is required to ensure transparency of funding sources and that donations are accepted only from permissible sources as defined by the law.
We are ultimately responsible for the culture pertaining within our political space, and we want to be in control of activities of all those working on our behalf, paid or unpaid. High standards need to be set and expected of this valuable sector and accountability is vital; we do not want vulnerable people to be exploited in the name of voluntary service.
Volunteers will need top class training to gain appropriate skills for them to effectively and confidently carry out their duties in a professional manner that builds confidence among the supporting public. The work our volunteers already do is hard enough and the least they need to worry about is where they are going to sleep or how they will get to where they need to perform their duties or what they are going to eat the next day.
Let us face up to the reality facing our organisations. That reality is that most of our socio-political organisations are self-funded, and poorly funded for that matter; even worse, they are inadequately marketed to exert real and sustained pressure on ZANU PF’s and the MDC’s tyrannical agenda. If we do not act, the pro-Mthwakazi groups will die a natural death, and with them the Mthwakazi freedom agenda; that will be catastrophic!
It is not unreasonable to ask the Mthwakazi public to support a fund to support the pro-Mthwakazi voluntary service sector to effectively carry out its work in a safe environment and to arm volunteers with the tools they need to do their work.
Without coordinated funding, technical expertise and appropriate experience we cannot match and counter the MDC’s and ZANU PF’s massively funded campaign that only saves to mislead the Mthwakazi public about the socioeconomic and political harm that their systems and institutions have inflicted to our liberties. The stark choice is either we fund our organisations and local institutions that help unravel State lies or we voluntarily submit to the ZANU PF/ MDC tyranny of numbers and remain captive.