Saving our region, saving our values, lifting the Mthwakazi people out of poverty and advancing economic growth is our primary concern. This a primary concern the Zimbabwean executive took its eyes off in April 1980. This is the reason why a political realignment is necessary.
If we step back to the 1987 Unity Accord, we easily realise our misplaced priorities; that period was nothing but a surrender of our values and rights, it confirmed and authorised the dehumanisation of our people and their declassification to second-rate citizens in the independent Zimbabwe state; in that 1987 process, we effectively destroyed our long-term future in exchange for convenience and false security.
For a long time, Mthwakazi has endured a sad set of economic and political circumstances engineered in and by Harare and yet we have not taken the initiative to change the situation because we have been conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservation. This state has given us nothing apart from a false peace of mind that has consigned us to a damaging loss of desire and crippling hopelessness.
Change is possible, but we need to take responsibility, accept the failure to change has primarily been our making. We are victims of complacency which has seen us willingly transfer our future onto the hands of career politicians when the driving force of our future is within us; career politicians own political parties and their policies, we own our future, and socio-political system changes should be coming from us, not politicians.
We have foolishly placed our trust and hopes on individuals with little to no interest in change because the change we want triggers conflict with their personal interests; this is a significant and powerful minority within Mthwakazi who are benefitting from the status quo. They fear the future, mistrust the motives of the pro-Mthwakazi agenda, and thus, invoke the security of a comfortable 1987 Unity Accord which, in fact, never existed.
I am afraid, but I remain unconvinced by all MDC formations, ZANU PF, etc, they do not even remotely begin to address Mthwakazi’s needs. Their policies, in practice, place less emphasis on our priorities because our basic interests of equal access to opportunity are a threat to their core values and very existence. These are organisations founded on tribal supremacy; they thrive on the separation of people into tribes and clans.
It is no exaggeration that when it comes to the political realignment and strengthening of Mthwakazi’s internal safety, security and unique socio-political circumstances, no external institution can or ever will compare with, or effectively substitute for, the Mthwakazi people’s potential for positive influence.
A call for Mthwakazi empowerment is not synonymous with a call for the exclusion and suppression of ethnic Shona people’s rights in Mthwakazi. Mthwakazi is comfortable with its diverse identity and ethnic Shona people – like all other ethnic groups – are a vital part of that socio-political landscape; our primary concern is the safety and security of all who live and/ or work in Mthwakazi and all who call Mthwakazi home. We want the same rights we proclaimed when we began our liberation struggle of the 20th Century, in addition to those which emerge from our dreams of justice and equality for all inhabitants of our land to be upheld.
The ZANU PF government has failed to create jobs for Mthwakazi people, it has failed to create accountable systems and institutions that protect the public from corruption; the current system does not provide the public with the necessary financial protection from the consequences of poverty neither does it protect Mthwakazi citizens from tribalism nor discrimination nor abuse of power by the incompetent executive.
Zimbabwean politics remains unsafe for Mthwakazi and anyone who disagrees with the majority. Mthwakazi’s political future lies outside Zimbabwe if not only inside a completely transformed Zimbabwean politics yet mainstream Zimbabwean politics shows no interest in genuine systematic and institutional changes that would bring Mthwakazi interests at par with Mashonaland interests. The politics remain obsessed with changes on who takes the executive roles while ignoring justice and the importance of reviewing and transforming the role of the executive.
Our political future lies in the acquisition and intelligent use of power. We must strive to use every possible tool and partner to advance peace and security within Mthwakazi and between Mthwakazi and her neighbours. For a fairer future no one should be deliberately left on the side-lines and no one should feel left out. We need to create a safe environment for those who disagree with us to express their views. Our responsibility is not to silence those opposing voices but to try to understand them and in as much as possible, empathise with our opponents’ perspective and point of view. This is the only way in which we can comprehensively define problems and determine solutions thereof.