Unprincipled political ideals punctuated by tantrum-driven, hate-filled policies are the bedrock for failure; they will not free us but risk killing the Mthwakazi dream before its maturation. Attempting to run a Mthwakazi exclusive club under the veil of a rights and freedom movement is political perversion and not progressive. Our freedom and liberty must never be perceived as (and is not) directly proportional to the lack of the same by any other group of people.
If our politics is shaped by a desire to retaliate against ZANU PF actions in Mthwakazi, we are not free and are most certainly not in control of it; not only that, we are not ready to draw our own path to the future we deserve. Our political decisions need to reflect our values and not be merely an emotional outpouring in response to the abuse thrown at us by a ZANU PF/ MDC- controlled political system.
Ideological constructions that expressly and principally promote, advocate or incite hatred or violence against a group of people based on characteristics including race, tribe, religion, etc. can never be the saviour of our day. It is both alarming and disturbing that in the 21st Century we still have Mthwakazi political organisations who believe and propose that our rights would be guaranteed by the denial of the same rights to other population groups.
We want to create and leave a better Mthwakazi than one we found. We need to remind ourselves that serving the region is a public trust, it is a privilege; if we spoil the political space with misdeeds for short-term political benefits, the dirt will stay behind when we leave office, and history will judge us accordingly. While we have that privilege to influence things on the ground, let us move the pro-Mthwakazi agenda forward and leave it in a better place for the next generation.
Arrogance is the most effective self-destruct button; let us keep it at the back of our minds that no political entity is irreplaceable. Let us guard against being the victims of our own popularity. Politics is riddled with “career tombstones” of groups and individuals who thought they were indispensable; no matter our status and/ or perceived influence, let us learn to stay humble and focused on the task at hand.
Self-introspection, and not searching for imaginary enemies, is the best way of evaluating our true value to the institutions we head; at the end of each working day, let us ask ourselves if we have been part of the problem or the solution. Whatever honest answer we give to the question should be used to improve ourselves and our organisations; if the answer is negative too many days in a row, we need to review what we are doing.
We have the responsibility to keep our organisations effective today and ready for the next generation of challenges. A clearly drawn transitional path will help prepare our organisations’ readiness for the move from one generation of challenges to the future. Many a project have collapsed because of an absence of a clear succession path thus, transfer of authority from one leader to the next has been overshadowed by internal squabbles and chaos.
Fundamental to progress is the seamless transition from one period to the next. We must acknowledge that we are not the only or last generation to front the pro-Mthwakazi agenda, let us start developing successors now. Contextual relevance is essential, speed will not replace planning, let us not lose sight of our goals and overlook the planning necessary to reach our destination. The reality is that change takes time, the stability and relevance of our efforts will depend on the readiness of the next generation to step into our shoes when it is time for us to move along.
Communicating our ideas will be central to the growth and failure of our institutions. The social media is perhaps the most valuable communication tool at our disposal, one that many of our people have easy access to and one that can easily evade state censure. But, we need to exercise caution in our use of the social media because even the tiniest, misplaced and seemingly harmless online comment can become a national, if not international news item in seconds with serious repercussions for the whole pro-Mthwakazi agenda.
Successful communication will require people to be privy to the contextual demands of our time and the socio-political sensitivities of the day; let us avoid carelessness and not do or say things we would not want to see go viral on social media. We have the responsibility to be thoughtful about the impact of what we say, write, and share on the social media space.
We are a by-product of multi-ethnicity and multi-culturalism; Mthwakazi is an inclusive nation; it is preposterous to argue otherwise and suggest that our freedom and liberty will be secured through the murder or indiscriminate expulsion of ethnic Shona people. If we dare do that, history will have us down as gutless murderers and human rights abusers. True freedom and liberty will be achieved through a fair system that protects the rights of everyone in our territory irrespective of their ethnic background.