Federalism and Mthwakazi

We must appreciate, as did our forebearers, that Mthwakazi equality lies in the very fact that we are all different and that our similarity revolves in the fact that we understand we will never be the same. What unites Mthwakazi is not uniformity but the reality that all races, tribes, ethnicity and all cultures are unique and individual.

Quantity cannot continue to enjoy a disproportionately bigger role as a decider of political matters; the implied view that the majority is right raises moral questions. A system fostered by numerical superiority and not the quality of goals is but a tyranny of the majority; it is the imposition of the majority population group’s will upon smaller groups. Larger communities only value, in smaller social groups, those characteristics of likeness to themselves and ignore their unique qualities that make them who they are.  

The 1987 Unity Accord is a fascist piece of legislation protecting supremacist ideals that extend Shona privilege. Mthwakazi has nothing to benefit from the Unity Agreement; let us not blind ourselves and pretend Shanganis are not different from Kalangas and Vendas are not different from Tongas or Nambyas. The different tribes, races and cultures are simply who they are and must be taken as such.

Factors that inspired Mzilikazi and his advisors to conjure and build a system that was to be the cornerstone of 19th Century Mthwakazi politics remain of interest to this day.

At the heart of King Mzilikazi’s politics was the prosperity, the safety and security of all citizens; he sort to give ALL of his subjects the best possible experience. We will bring back some of the old traditions and marry them with the new world order; our politics will need to be rooted in the past yet looking well into the future.  

It makes sense that in a diverse society such as Mthwakazi, division of powers will be a natural choice if we are to unite and bring people together to work for the common good. We must establish a Federal Constitution that grants a remarkable portion of sovereignty to our various nations and communities and extend an appropriate share of power to our federal government.

Ideological clarity is vital. As long as other communities continue to perceive the restoration rhetoric and Mthwakazi state as an abstraction of Nguni authority over other nations within our state, we will continue to be stuck in a political cul de sac of an unending dilemma that unfortunately leaves doors open to Zimbabwean oppression and its outcomes.

Centralised government is not only a philosophical inconsistency but ideologically wrong as much as it is an insufficient system to meet Mthwakazi’s unique political needs; for a progressive ‘many nations, one country’ principle to take root, rejecting the notion of a centralised government is fundamental to enable the right foundation for our political system to settle in.

The objective and most sensible conclusion would be that every political activity in Mthwakazi begins from what is local and immediate, and radiates and links with the rest of the communities in a network as local needs dictate and not directed by some external agency.

Federalism is not about creating recluse communities or cults but rendering respect to every community and individual within it; it must be understood not as simply about communities’ rights but as diving power to better protect individual liberty. Certainly, a man or woman in Beitbridge has little to no knowledge of what is of value to a man or woman in Binga, vice versa; smoking marijuana may be social anathema in Filabusi but normal practice in Binga; to protect individuals’ rights it only makes sense that a greater measure of power is allowed their respective communities.

In all intent and practice, federalism dictates that the Mthwakazi federal government is not to be charged with the whole power of making and administering laws. Its jurisdiction must be limited to enumerated roles that concern all the members of our country, but which are not to be attained by the separate provisions of any.  

We suggest too that the functions of the Mthwakazi federal government should essentially be limited to protecting the federal state against foreign aggressors while home governments should be tasked with protecting individual liberties. Decisions about Plumtree affairs are better made in Plumtree, not in Bulawayo.

Our children must be taught from an early age that we are all different, we are not the same and it is fine that we are different. Instead of working to suppress differences and attempting to identify and emphasise non-existent likeness between communities, let us appreciate and be comfortable in these differences; the key is to respect these differences, learn from and about these differences, and grow in and with these differences.

The beauty of Mthwakazi lies in its diversity; King Mzilikazi and King Lobengula saw, appreciated and preserved that, we have no objective reason not to. Our unity lies in our eagerness to allow, appreciate, and honour the uniqueness, and freedom of every community and individual. Federalism best meets our needs; our politics must be founded on the reality that we are not the same but unique, and appreciation and respect of those differences will be the anchor that unites us.

Published by RESEARCH HUB

a political and policy research hub with interest in Mthwakazi human rights, safety and security.

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