The strength of the pro-Mthwakazi agenda lies not in political parties but the foundation – the people of Mthwakazi. How people see through the formations and organisations is vital; it is for this reason that inspiring trust with transparency will be the keystone to the future and growth of the pro-Mthwakazi politics.
It is through clarity of goals and not just confidence that the pro-Mthwakazi agenda will succeed. It does not matter how confident you are in your project, if its objectives are hidden in your mind, there it shall remain – nothing but an object of your own delusions. On the other hand, when the public understands what your policies are they are more likely to give you the chance to put them into practice.
We appreciate that every household has its secrets, these are the truths that necessity dictates should be safely locked away to maintain the household’s stability; in view of that, we accept that our pro-Mthwakazi groups will – for various reasons – not be able to publicly share some of the intricate details of their operations for the good of the broader project.
However, blanket secrecy is not progressive. Not taking risks maybe the best risk management strategy, but what will be the point of a political party if it will never be at the service of the public? Our risk management strategy needs to shift from risk control to risk intelligence (a collation of data and organisation) which will allow groups to identify potential growth opportunities.
We call upon our movements and groups to set up good structures and continue reviewing their operations so as to maintain a good balance between maintaining genuine internal security and discipline and adopting a wholly secretive culture for the sake of it.
Any actions taken must be proportionate and justifiable or we risk losing credibility. Days of politics that consigned the public to only marginal roles are numbered. We must not forget our political context – in Zimbabwe we live in a political culture of secrecy, where hiding and lying have become the norm, and this is the norm that the public wants rid of.
The political trajectory must change, there is no point creating another ZANU PF or MDC Alliance only to name it differently, and wait and hope people will be lured. People are fed up of lies, they want honesty, transparency, and authenticity in their leadership, formations, movements and organisations.
Adopting a blanket of secrecy is a political risk we cannot afford when dealing with a population gradually and intentionally opening holes in the blanket pulled over them by ZANU PF and the MDC Alliance for decades. The risk of being totally secretive is that it raises more questions than it answers and will hinder than promote the pro-Mthwakazi evolution.
Groups and movements that purposely withhold information, actually communicate all sorts of information to the public. Basically, as a group you are telling your constituency that you do not trust them to understand you yet you expect them to trust you.
Many of our groups have inadvertently shielded themselves from the public they purport to represent; they have not been open enough about what they stand for and what they are against and have found themselves being accused of standing for or against things they are actually against or prescribe to.
It stands to reason that it is in the demystification of our goals and programmes that we will begin to build our local influence. Let us build our organisations upon a culture of transparency so that we no longer cast a shadow over our identity but people can see through us.
Accountability is increasingly becoming an essential aspect of contemporary world politics. The public reserve the right to know what organisations are doing in their name. Let us give our people as much information as they need to understand what we stand for. There should never be deliberate confusion on the objectives of our initiatives.
Funding is vital in the sustenance of political parties or movements but fundraising activities need better oversight; there must be transparency as to what the funds are for, who will benefit, how much money is required and why, and contact details must be readily available for further information.
Comprehensive disclosure of funding is crucial in building trust in politics. As such, transparency and accountability in our finances should now be standard practice; political parties and candidates should be prepared to disclose information about how they raise and spend money. The public needs such information to make informed decisions; this also ensures effective oversight of political party finances. Remember the saying, ‘He who pays the piper calls the tune’, disclosure of sources of income by both the organisation and individuals within it helps to better guard against undue influence on policy, etc.
If we genuinely believe the Zimbabwean political system and its institutions are crooked, it cannot be business as usual; we must be prepared to abandon old practices. The keystone to Mthwakazi’s politics is transparency and accountability; we want a trickle up politics and must not fear scrutiny from the public that lends us power. People reserve the right to know what we are doing and why. Who controls our policies is an essential question to be answered if we are to win public trust. Our parties are prepared to make disclosures of our expenditure as well as books and our accounts and affiliated entities. This, we believe, will enable public oversight institutions to oversee our books and accounts, candidates and donors to verify compliance with the law.