While it is essential that we keep an eagle’s eye on the manoeuvres of the enemy, let us not forget it is not inessential not to be distracted from tyrannical attitudes of some of those who purport to be fighting our battles. Any Mthwakazi organisation or formation hoping to stand for us must be prepared to be judged by us for us, and none shall escape the scrutiny of our people.

There are things about our fate that are outside our sphere of control, but a lot is within our jurisdiction, we can change it. We can change the political journey of our great nation, but that will mean getting out of our comfort zones, not folding our arms and watching politicians play politics with our lives.

To be capable judges and authors of our destiny we, the public, must be informed and be prepared to put our necks on the line to turn dreams to reality for the good of our nation. We will judge every group’s presentation against Mthwakazi norms and values; no socio-political entity operating in our territory shall be spared.

All things are ready, if our minds are. We do not doubt the passion among many socio-political groups for Mthwakazi to have a choice over her future, but we have a responsibility to take that passion and blend it with pragmatism, perseverance and patience to persuade those not yet persuaded.

There must be an understanding that we are not fighting Zimbabwean systems so that we may be better slaves under new masters but to be free from all forms and sources of tyranny. Our actions shall not be driven by fear but principle and integrity; we will not let fear paralyse our society, for fear has always been the driving force behind all dictators’ repression. We will not stop doing thorough basic background checks of all those brave souls acting ‘on our behalf’ to ‘save’ us.

We appreciate all individuals and groups who have shown bravery and continue to sacrifice their safety in pursuit of Mthwakazi freedom, but people must not be under the illusion that consenting to take practical risks and to adopt certain political stances in our name entitles them to immunity from valid critique and criticism from us. It is when organisations and individuals start to think that they are automatically entitled to something, that they start walking all over everyone to get it. We need to nip that attitude in the bud.

We shall retain all sense of analysis and reflection; we will put every policy under the spotlight no matter what that may mean in the short term – better to be hated for the wrong reasons than to be loved for the wrong reasons. Let us be clear that anyone dreaming of ‘saving us’ must be prepared to meet our set standards. We have always been a beacon for credibility and integrity. One cannot purposely or otherwise undercut our standards and claim to represent us; that is dictatorship and dictators only work for their interests first and only invite the public to help maintain their dictatorship.

We will constructively resist any methodology that threatens to normalise servitude, and produce dictatorship without regret, embrace the turning of entire communities into political prisons through which people’s liberties are taken away from under their noses with little to no resistance as they would find themselves enjoying it, because they will be distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda that feeds them the lie that our problem is ethnic Shona people when in fact it is the systems and institutions that are threatening our existence.

It is time Mthwakazi political organisations and formations consulted the public and sort to identify mutual interests and goals. If current groups consulted the public, they would by now be fully aware of the evidence that indicates that as some form of political strategy, the constant bashing of ethnic Shona citizens by some organisations or formations in Matabeleland has no genuine local constituency and lacks political capital in a diverse Mthwakazi nation.

Let no one fool you into forgetting that for over a century, we have been comfortable with socio-cultural difference; there is nothing in the history of Mthwakazi’s existence that points to socio-cultural difference being a problem for our nation; none of our current problems stem from multiculturalism. Matabeleland has always respected difference, trying to present difference as a threat in a society whose foundation is difference will not work. The focus of our politics must be those Matabeleland founding values and principles that recognised, embraced and protected difference.

Groups operating within Mthwakazi need to remember that their responsibility is to deliver our mandate. We will not be forced into subscribing to alien principles that we do not want merely because politicians think that would be good for us.

As we have gradually matured and adapted into Zimbabwean independence, we have finally reached that point of maturity where we realise we are outcasts not because there is something wrong with us, but there is a lot wrong with Zimbabwean systems and institutions. We now have no question on the need for change and as we ponder the way forward, we shall stay vigilant and take care of ourselves and not rely on the whims of politicians to decide our destiny, for that is when we will be deceived—not with threats, but with treats.

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