The prevailing political system of Zimbabwe is a narcissist, cowardly populist calamity with no due regard for difference. This is a system built on tribalism and, for years, has been willfully backed by an ethnic Shona majority. The fact that it has turned out to be a disaster that only saves the elite interests while failing the majority of its main constituency does not mean its founding base has changed.
The Zimbabwean political system’s main objective, as set out by ZANU PF, from the onset was to advance Shona interest and suppress everybody else’s. In may have achieved its objective of suppressing, minimising and dehumanising the non-Shona population but it has extended its dehumanising agenda to ordinary ethnic Shona people and Mashonaland.
We are undoubtedly victims of the politics at play but this is not the time to play judges on Mashonaland’s political choices and actions, it detracts from the centre of our focus, ourselves. We must judge, we must choose purely for ourselves. Lack of direction, not lack of enthusiasm is the problem facing the pro-Mthwakazi agenda.
Focusing is about saying ‘no’ to something (no matter how good it sounds or looks) as long as it does not fit your plans. Tribalism and populism which is the core of Zimbabwean politics is not a good fit for a social and politically diverse Mthwakazi.
A change of tactics is required to redirect our resources, we have allowed ourselves and our agenda to be hijacked and become a mere response to the actions of Zimbabwe mainstream political parties. It is important that we emphasise and remind ourselves that our political needs are not the opposite of mainstream politics of Zimbabwe, they are different; Zimbabwean politics should never be used as a reference point.
We have to rid the project of unhelpful myths planted by the enemy through disinformation with the aim of spreading misinformation, suspicion, confusion and derailing the agenda. This is a pro-Mthwakazi not anti-Shona project; this is a pro-Mthwakazi citizens’ rights and freedoms not an Nguni restoration agenda.
Anyone who wants to deal with the Mthwakazi citizenry has to be ready to identify, empathise with our journey since 1980 and walk with us into the future. The emerging political anaesthetists trying to numb and de-emphasise Gukurahundi must be rejected. We want to keep Gukurahundi alive not because we like pain, it is because we love the truth and justice; wounds have to be assessed and treated properly to heal.
It is not the rejection of organisations unprepared to look back to move forward that will hinder political progress on the ground but lack of consistency and direction. Forgiveness comes with repentance; the let ‘bygones be bygones’ ignorance and those championing it must be consigned where they belong – the garbage site.
We reject the immoral diversion that tries to sanctify a barbaric system and present Gukurahundi as just some ‘grave mistake’ and unashamedly call it ‘a moment of madness’ when it in fact was a by-product of a system that worked as it was intended. The ZANU PF system is designed to crush Ndebeles, and the 5th Brigade and Gukurahundi operation worked to perfection, exactly as envisaged by its designers.
It is for that reason that we are calling for the change in the public psyching and saying changing the system and not the removal of ZANU PF must be a primary goal for our political future. Difficult as it is to comprehend, ZANU PF exists because it has a social constituency that backs its norms and values. ZANU PF is the body not the engine; society is the engine that decides whether the body moves or stalls. If we refuse to respond or comply with ZANU PF manoeuvres, the practices will become obsolete and so will ZANU PF in our political space.
Contrary to the belief held by some in Mthwakazi that we should engage in political activities aimed at removing ZANU PF from power, we believe to maintain our direction, we must respect our plans and planning. If our journey is planned by everything and everyone apart from us how will we know where we are going and how do we review our progress or lack thereof?
We shall not be bullied into fighting ethnic Shona feuds dressed as national issues; we shall engage only in political activities that fit in with our agenda of an empowered Mthwakazi that is not a Mashonaland appendage.
When Mashonaland is prepared for real change, we shall play our part in the politics of Zimbabwe. Replacing a set of Shona supremacists with another is not change but refreshing a failed system. We believe real change is only possible under a federal government. It is also important to us that minorities’ voices are not suppressed by the loudest yet unrepresentative voices of a majority.
Removing ZANU PF is not a solution just as the removal of Robert Mugabe was not. This is no longer a period of any change will do but a time for the right change, which will be a change that addresses our exclusive needs.