Do not surrender pro-Mthwakazi project to pseudo saviours

The greatest risk to the pro-Mthwakazi or Matabeleland agenda is not the ZANU PF political decadence but it lies within the territory; we are our own worst enemy and infighting is the major problem. Curiously, we are replicating the very politics that is the source of our troubles within Zimbabwe. The problem is that we have made our politics into a dangerous tribal supremacy game. There is more finger-pointing as different socio-political groups root for the pride of a tribe rather than the good of the nation.

Lesson to Mthwakazi: power surrendered to professional politicians will never be willingly returned to the public. Politicians need power for personal use not to empower the general population. They need power to formulate legislative powers that permit them to extract national resources with impunity and generate valuable income which is used for power-preservation.

Politicians are interested in their tribes primarily not out of genuine concern for people’s livelihoods but because in people they see a valuable source for raw power to be drawn. They often talk about their tribes as though they were a homogenous body yet there are social classes to be considered separately and fairly as challenges and needs are not uniform. It is equally worrying that missing in the discourse are other races whose rights need to be protected too.

Now the public needs to reacquaint itself with sanity and reclaim control and authority of the political narrative. We cannot be held hostage by out of control elitists, individuals and/ or organisations that want to lead us but are not prepared to be who we want them to be for us. We cannot be led by individuals who are comfortable to operate outside the bounds of democracy and have no problem with acting outside any realm of legality. These are individuals and/or groups so consumed by tribal pride and power and so stuck in their history – some of it engineered for political purposes or personal gain – that they cannot bring themselves to the awareness of today’s challenges and our evolving needs.

Extremists need be aware that it is time to stop listening to themselves and start consulting the people; the Kalanga versus Nguni battle of supremacy is nothing short, in our view, of irresponsibility and needs to be put to bed. Allegations – some farfetched – are thrown back and forth with each group wanting to have the final word over the narrative; in the process, they have atrophied or marginalised other population groups when they should be opening the platform for full access to a wider conversation that includes everybody.

While we respect the concerns being raised and do believe they should be taken with the seriousness they deserve, we question the motives of people who cannot even begin to agree on what to call their territory or country. The trivial nature of the argument raises real worries over the seriousness of the groups to address Matabeleland’s problems. It appears we have individuals and/ or groups who would rather everybody continued to suffer under ethnic Shona majority tyranny just to protect their egos.

Image Copyright @Intelligence Squared. Identity politics will tear Mthwakazi apart

Those who trivialise a united approach in the region’s issues do so because they do not know its value; like it or not, our history and destiny is too intertwined to ignore; it cannot be undone without causing disproportionate, severe and irreparable damage to each other’s dreams; any attempt at a future completely apart is fraught with difficulty and is quite honestly unrealistic now and were it to happen, it would have only one certain beneficiary – the oppressor in Harare. 

Image copyright @Workday.com. We need participation of ALL not some for Mthwakazi to progress

If we do not counter the onslaught of the insidious triviality of narcissism in our pro-Matabeleland movement and if we gradually lose grip on the pervading taint of supremacism and disrespect we will certainly lose direction; we need to irrevocably restructure our thinking and adjust the mechanism of our action. Taking each other for granted will generate disjunction, empower the oppressor and our lives as a nation will continue to be a scourge under the sick ZANU PF/ MDC regime.

Let our actions be exemplary, you cannot complain of your tribe being marginalised or taken for granted only to go and make assumptions about what other population groups need and want. We need to be building a longer table to engage all interested parties in an honest discussion about the future and stop building taller and thicker walls that enclose the elite or specific tribes and individuals who think it is their duty to make decisions on behalf of everybody else. Nothing about any community without that community!

Guarding against hypocrisy and narcissists would be fundamental in the sustenance of the pro-Mthwakazi momentum. If the project is for all, it must actively invite and involve ALL, not some tribes and/ or some races. The ZANU PF/ MDC threat is what many understandably focus on yet the biggest risk to the pro-Mthwakazi politics is that of salient tribal supremacy and public disenfranchisement. Internal conflict, disorderliness and fallibility caused by the capture of the territory’s political narrative by opportunistic pseudo saviours preying on public desperation increases national vulnerability. General public, specific tribes, communities and races have been atrophied and side-lined by unaccountable politicians granting themselves unrestricted access to the political space to freely package personal agendas and vendettas and pass them for issues of national concern.

Published by THE RESEARCH HUB

a progressive politics and policy researcher and author with an interest in Matabeleland human rights, liberties, safety and security.

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