There often is no difference between the right thing to do and the hard thing to do. The right thing to do for Mthwakazi right now is to behave maturely to protect our norms and values and the hard thing is to stop ourselves from acting like loose cannons.
Together we will prevail, but we need direct investment into our dreams for them to translate into lived reality. Courageous decisions need to be made; if we fail to make the unconscious conscious in our political journey, it will direct our destiny and we will continue to blame fate for our circumstances.
We need to take the responsibility to ourselves seriously, for we are the only people who can stop us from achieving our freedom and in equal measure, we are the only ones who can free us. It is essential that we set boundaries of acceptable behaviour and hold all organisations and individuals claiming to represent us accountable or risk our Zimbabwean experience being misappropriated for self indulgence.
Let us acknowledge that the space that the Mthwakazi public has left unoccupied has at times been taken up by social and political formations whose accountability to the public is non-existent. They pronounce ‘Mthwakazi dreams’ on social media but some of these views have not only been pies in the sky or absurd but are also nowhere near representative of Mthwakazi dreams. Some of the extreme views have threatened to divide than unite the region.
Lack of consultation is causing restlessness and internal political instability that threatens progress. For understandable reasons, calls for Mthwakazi restoration by some organisations have drawn strong opposing voices from some ethnic groups who object to what they perceive to be a Nguni agenda.
To some communities, Mthwakazi restoration is a political illusion; it is seen more as a backdoor attempt to re-establish Nguni authority over all other social groups within the territory; and that poses massive problems for a unified approach in our fight against debilitating ZANU PF/ MDC sponsored policies in Mthwakazi.
Removing perceptual barriers will be fundamental and the starting point is self-discovery. Go back to our roots, we are a creation of diversity; a society never threatened but enriched by difference. Diversity only becomes a problem when people pretend it is not there.
The loudest voices must not be misconstrued for the cleverest, let us listen to even the quietest voices – the young and the old. We need to embrace the reality that we are a diverse society and there is need to be sensitive to all communities’ needs in all engagements. No community should be left feeling marginalised.
Popular policies are not always the right ones; populism is no substitute for discipline. Let us avoid creating systems, institutions and policies that inadvertently promote bullying tactics and protect bullies that insulate organisations and influential individuals from proper public scrutiny and valid criticism. The people we dream of serving have the right to access and scrutinise what we stand for.
Organisations that hold themselves accountable to nobody ought not to be trusted by anybody. If any organisation or individual decides to pitch themselves uphill and then start raining orders downhill, they and their orders must be rejected with the contempt they deserve.
Sadly, we already have formations that are intolerant to views other than their subjective worldview. Deliverance from oppression cannot be expected from nationalists who use deception to build barriers that insulate them from accountability. Fighting against ill-conceived protectionist tendencies and internal ill-discipline is not only good for Mthwakazi politics, it is patriotism.
We have got to that point in our political journey where we have realised that we are the drivers of our destiny, and we must drive. No organisation should be getting away with telling us what is or is not good for us without reasonable public consultation.
Our immediate challenge is to fight and overcome the creeping and crippling narcissist innuendos from infiltrating the Mthwakazi agenda. Our systems must seek to stop a misplaced, discriminatory and dangerous inward orientation; let us not orient our communities in such a way that they only have respect for themselves and forget their responsibilities to those communities external to us.
Communities other than ours should not be only perceived as being useful or dangerous to us. Let us be objective and view those communities which are outside of ours for what they really are, objectively, and be able to discern this objective picture from the picture constructed by our desires and fears.
Emotional politics is dead politics that wears you out and sucks away all credibility and strength from systems. Strictly speaking, the expulsion of ethnic Shona people from Mthwakazi is a narcissist idea being wrongly taunted as a credible political policy for Mthwakazi liberty.
Forging ahead, let us objectively breakdown things and place them in their rightful categories. Gukurahundi was a genocidal action that should be dealt with through already available legal avenues; it cannot be addressed by reprisal expulsions of ethnic Shona people from Matabeleland and parts of the Midlands. Tribalism is unhelpful, irrelevant and irresponsible politics founded on dangerous subjective views of supremacy. Apportioning collective blame on whole communities for crimes of the few is just lazy politics. Our liberty is not the derivative of the expulsion or banning of any ethnic or racial group from Mthwakazi; liberty will be achieved through systems and institutions that provide a safe and secure political environment protecting rights of all, including those we despise.