Quite frankly, most of our challenges and difficulties today are a clear expression of political indiscipline which has overseen the domination of the political space by individuals and groups not equipped and some unwilling to lead a genuine social and political transformation.
What Matabeleland should have learned from Zimbabwean politics – at the least – is that no viable political system can endure an atmosphere of endemic indiscipline. Principled and disciplined politics must be our target.
In the 39 years of ‘independence’, we are witnesses to the fact that weak systems and institutions do not, and never will, foster dreams into viable action. It is public knowledge that it is impossible to build disciplined systems and institutions from indiscipline.
By political indiscipline we are referring to the flagrant violation of the entrenched fundamental principles, rules and regulations guiding the conduct or behaviour of our politicians and public servants at all times.
Whether Mthwakazi achieves political success and the associated economic freedom and security in our life time or sets up structures for the next generation to build on is heavily dependent on whether our actions arise from a disciplined or undisciplined state of mind.
Indeed, without discipline all our dreams will turn into countless nightmares that induce sleepless nights and unbearable daytime flashbacks. It is the duty of all citizens interested in the genuine emancipation of Mthwakazi and its people to fight against indiscipline and corruption because these are the vices of enslavement.
The journey we are embarking on is not for the feeble and selfish minded, it is not about showing which tribe, individuals or organisations are the bosses in the region but it is about taking responsibility for the very survival of our nation – it is about pursuing the goals of this and the generations to come. We want to build a platform for Mthwakazi freedom, liberty, safety and security, and not individual legacies detached from national interests.
You may wonder why the emphasis on discipline? Discipline is key in allowing us to operate by principle rather than desire. We must learn to say no to our impulses (even when we know we may be right) and that places us in control of our appetites rather than vice versa. We start to be governed by principle and maintain our integrity over short-term benefits and long-term self-destruction.
There is the whole truth in the argument that Mthwakazi is a victim of a tribalised political system. We can choose to complain about being victimised and discriminated by ZANU PF and all those organisations that have successfully adopted its political model but we need not let those things that we can control get out of control and end up weighing us down.
One thing is certain, we will never have a greater or lesser dominion than that over ourselves. The true height of our success would be measured on the degree of our self-control; in equal measure, the depth of our failure will be defined by our lax self-control. Even more disturbing is the reality that losing self-discipline is effectively surrendering that responsibility to somebody else. Now who will that external disciplinarian be?
To add to salt to the weeping wound, without self-control we will fail to create a democratic atmosphere that sustains political inclusivity. Seeing things differently must never be the justification to fall out. Learning that others have a different view must increase our curiosity and draw us closer to understand each other’s interpretations of the prevailing politics.
Unfortunately, at present we are so ill-disciplined that we cannot make out who is friend and who is foe, we cannot pick our fights. People are spending hours on end fighting for personal or tribal supremacy or arguing over whether a local chief should honour invitations from political parties. We argue over what name our nation should adopt while the organised enemy is busy invading and apportioning our land and local jobs to immigrants.
One thing that those genuinely pursuing national interests and not personal agendas know and egoists do not is that no one person or view is right all of the time, in all situations. It takes immense discipline to consider and accept the possibility your brilliant idea may not be for the present challenge and time or that its time has passed and new ideas are required.
When we sit down each day and do our work as Mthwakazi sons and daughters, we must adopt a participatory mode – have a clear frame of the decision-making processes and work through that, listen more, talk less, listen to evidence, learn to compromise, be governed by principle not desire, disagree with respect and always have the people as your focal point whenever you are discussing matters of national interest.