We have come a long way to understand that Zimbabwe’s independence is all but a political illusion in which the MDC and ZANU PF are mere competitors for power and not philosophical opponents; both would openly use tribalism for personal and political gain.
Zimbabwe is a highly divided country where stereotypes, tribe and class determine access or restriction to privilege. As Mthwakazi, we have not known the rule of law where there is one set of rules for everyone, and the one constant is that Zimbabwean politics has never been unfair in Mthwakazi’s favour.
Since 1980 there has been a shocking pattern of illegality involving ZANU PF including the unlawful co-ordination of State resources to murder innocent unarmed people of Mthwakazi and much more.
No one, but only us will break the shackles of political enslavement. It is important that we commit ourselves to transforming our political space, open the space to fair political debate; a fair political debate is one in which there is honesty and tolerance beyond our comfort zone.
At this political stage, we need good leaders of people, leaders that unite people, not just ideological gurus serving personal interests; we want leaders to whom ideological differences are not a source of conflict but political enrichment and growth; ideological differences will not be allowed to be the cause of a deviation from our main purpose of serving Mthwakazi communities.
Our Mthwakazi agenda will form from the dialogue we will engage in. We need to start to listen to each other to create the reality we will be comfortable to inhabit. There are no big or small communities, but there are communities of humans that are created equal – we are a society of equals, all voices must be heard.
“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression;
this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek,
receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of
― United Nations, Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
How we communicate with each other will become the inner voice that shapes the Mthwakazi agenda. It is the reality that will bring us closer together or further apart; bring us closer to turning our imagined world to reality or push us further away from reality and deeper into an imagined life without hope.
It is right to disagree with each other but that must never be at the expense of dignity and respect for each other. Let us disagree with thoughts or opinions raised not the person or their tribe or their race or their religion.
While we have every right to object to views and actions that target for discrimination and abuse individuals and communities for who they are, we have no right to deny the value of any opinion based simply on the social or racial background of any person or organisation. We have no right to undermine others’ contributions or deny them the right to express – in their own way – their beliefs just because we do not share in them.
Debates need be constructive in nature and form; let us be careful with our choice of words, language must not interfere with communication; people must speak to be heard and understood.
The recent political engagement and debate between proponents of the Mthwakazi patriotic movement has been punctuated by a lack of civility; there is shocking pattern of unprofessionalism and lack of diplomacy involving the pro-Mthwakazi proponents – including repeated and wilful discourteous engagement with our support base that has had to put up with half-baked, if not foolish policy statements.
I repeat, a civil debate is one in which we recognise good opinions when we hear them even when we do not belong in the same social circle with the speaker; we must appreciate good ideas even if it means overcoming our pride and opening our mind beyond what is comfortable.
There is unease among some Mthwakazi communities about the restoration idea, the Bukalanga revival and the revival of the Nguni monarch. We cannot deal with this curiosity by pretending it did not exist. Communities that feel marginalised from these ideological locations are curious about the intricate details of the agenda. Suffice to say, these issues threaten to divide our society at a time when we need to unite.
Extreme caution and sensitivity must be taken in addressing any concerns being raised to ease tension and avert the potential collapse of the pro-Mthwakazi agenda that would leave everybody exposed to the vices of the MDC and ZANU PF.
Perhaps the biggest threat comes from the deep-seated rivalry between the Bakalanga and the Nguni communities. We need to grow up and face up to the fact this is a no winner situation; the only beneficiaries of this chaos would be the MDC/ ZANU PF.
We need our community leaders to show real leadership and de-escalate the growing tension. Communities will need to give in to take out, surrender to be empowered; in brief, compromises will need to be made for the benefit of all.
Build foundations and stop being obstacles to our progress; we need to call time on unproductive interventions. Some of the behaviour has amounted to some organisations functioning as little more than satellites that only serve individuals’ political interests. We have a responsibility to our people; we need to move forward, open up new doors and do new things; Mthwakazi communities cannot afford to look backwards for very long.