If the Mthwakazi public surrender their political responsibilities and shun occupancy of their legitimate position, that position will be occupied by a coalition of interest groups who will only protect their self-interests. It has to be understood that if citizens do not exercise the powers conferred by their legitimacy, politicians will do so and the repercussions will be too ghastly to bear.
It is our duty to maintain the pro-Mthwakazi politics and we need to take immediate, brave and drastic steps and cut ties with local powerful and influential yet politically inept men and women whose only constant is political inconsistencies. Surely by now we are aware the honesty of inconsistent people cannot be trusted. We cannot continue to entrust with positions of trust people who are not consistent with the truth – as it presents itself to them – to lead our revolution.
The philosophical arguments, processes and judgements that left us exposed and vulnerable to ZANU PF political mechanisation must never be the hinge on which the politics in this and the next generation hangs. In the 1960s to the 80s we ran a politics that zoned out the public from the decision-making processes but promoted and protected blind faith; it was an elitist system that failed to demand accountability from our leadership thus, failed to protect the public from poor decisions by the elite.
Astute a leader as Joshua Nkomo was, he made mammoth political blunders that continue to haunt our political existence to this day. His strong belief in a patriotic front, contrary to all evidence (ZANU’s Shona supremacist tendencies) before him had brought him to the point that he no longer saw his contradictions, no longer assessed the compatibility of his ideals with reality, logic, or even common sense, but was utterly absorbed in his delusions and convinced that the entirety of his political judgement, however incomprehensible and out of touch with the political reality of the time, became sensible, and consistent with each other only because he thought so.
Anyone who still believes in the unitary Zimbabwe politics and that the MDC Alliance is a legitimate vehicle to Mthwakazi empowerment is an illusionist only good for playing magic tricks on children, not leading Mthwakazi future. The reality is that the MDC Alliance is a representative and viable alternative for Zimbabwe’s politics, but that does not make it a good alternative for Mthwakazi. Zimbabwean politics as a whole is anti-Mthwakazi empowerment, and only focuses on its management.
We can cry victim for as long as we want in the hope it takes away the sense of responsibility, but that is only temporary relief, at best, if not a delusion. A forensic reflection of our own political behaviour shows that through our inconsistency, we have been instrumental in helping the MDC Alliance/ ZANU PF axis of oppression rest easy in their discriminatory practices. Had we been true in our pro-Mthwakazi beliefs and acted with conviction in that regard, the axis of wickedness would not have place anywhere within our territory.
Restoration as an idea sounds an honest and good political pursuit but I am often uncomfortable with the perception of Mthwakazi as a static nation of a people from particular tribes and not others. We need to adopt a progressive political approach that accepts societal dynamism and looks at our past for those things that can be usefully integrated into today’s and tomorrow’s Mthwakazi.
Credibility is key in driving the pro-Mthwakazi project forward. We have a responsibility to maintain cool heads to avoid being seen as a movement at the cusps of a nervous breakdown, displaying behaviour that goes beyond inconsistency right into the realm of extreme attitudinal fluctuations and multiple personality disorders.
We must be consistent in our worldview, we cannot complain about the decay of traditional values, yet enthusiastically support socioeconomic, political and technological progress. Reality dictates that we cannot achieve rapid, drastic changes in the politics, technology and the economy of Mthwakazi society without causing rapid changes in all other aspects of our society too, and we must accept that those rapid changes inevitably break down traditional values.
Closely connected with the above, is the argument that there needs to be philosophical agreement and consistency in the view that pro-Mthwakazi is not about the exclusion of some tribes or extending favour to certain tribes, but about equality.
The legitimacy of our politics will be measured on the following three factors: (1) the people who are asked to obey authority have to feel like they have a voice within the system, that if they speak up, they will be heard, (2) the predictability of the law. There has to be a reasonable expectation that the rules tomorrow are going to be roughly the same as the rules today, and (3) the exercise of authority has to be fair. It cannot treat one group differently from another.
When it comes to policy making, inconsistency is the only thing in which politicians are consistent, and in some cases, it is often a virtue; do note however, that I am talking not of principles here but of policy. The general public judge leaders by their deeds and abhor hypocrisy and inconsistency of conduct leads to disillusionment with politics. Inconsistency and point-scoring do not win respect. For purposes of credibility, the standard of local political debate needs to improve; our political space must not be reduced to performers trying to outdo each other. Actions from leaders must be a true reflection of the values they claim to espouse.