You will only inspire people when you stand up for something, when you are brave to take responsible risks, when you do what is right, not what is easy nor popular, when instead of being intimidated by the size of the load, you are inspired to figure out how to safely carry it. Let us create new things, transform systems and local institutions to reflect people and communities they represent. We want to inspire people, we want the next generation of Matabeles to look back at us and say, ‘Because of you, we did not give up!’
Chains of oppression cannot be undone by simply renaming them bracelets but by violently breaking them, if negotiation for their removal is not yielding the desired result. Our eyes are open to reality: occasional and politically motivated elevation of Mthwakazi individuals to positions of power within the ZANU PF regime are neither signs of the weakening grip of State tribalism nor the pending freedom of Mthwakazi. A single bright day in a slave’s life does not mark the end of slavery; a slave who has lost insight of his status is not necessarily free. True freedom means the removal of every obstacle in the way of communities living how they choose.
For the entirety of Zimbabwean independence the hard rock has been our pillow; we have been lied to, misled and mislaid; a coordinated infiltration of our communities has overseen the planting of seeds of hatred; trust between tribes is rapidly being eroded, pettiness is the order of day; communities are fighting among themselves. The good thing however, is that things need not necessarily remain the same, we can change course and stop taking counsel from outsiders. We cannot afford the legacy of being the generation largely to blame for inspiring a heart-breaking chaotic Mthwakazi political dispensation in modern history.
Judging others is not to claim perfection but the belief it is right that bad behaviour is strongly called out, and called early no matter who the perpetrator is. Here we make it clear that those who choose to use their right to do nothing in the face of ZANU PF oppression must understand that theirs is not a neutral stance but craven cowardice, they are conscious enablers of the oppressor and deserve an impressive share of the blame for the continued suffering of our people.
History will rightly remember the enablers of a system conjured by tribal supremacists who have continued to baselessly lie about us to justify the illegal deprivation and butcher of unarmed men, women and children, including the unborn in the 1980s, as spineless imbeciles, a dishonour and shame to our nation. But we are not naïve to treat such behaviour as a total surprise.
We have been brutalised and taken for dead but we are still living; we move forward, we will not live as victims but brave warriors that we are. That path to change involves the painful acceptance that we are presently down on a path of self-destruction that sees some shamelessly undermining other movements’ efforts just because of ideological differences. Instead of celebrating failure, we shall devote ourselves to working at stabilising the movement as a whole; let us find the right combinations and balance in our organisations, find right characters – men and women of integrity, people who have foregone personal safety for the greater good of their nation.
First the movement must be rid of elitism; formal education is important but it cannot be used as a measure of commitment to our cause, and must not replace it. In the above paragraph we talk of the right people, these are the people closest to the impact of the decisions being made by the movement and the people who have shown unwavering commitment to the Mthwakazi cause. They come from all backgrounds; the materially poor men and women who are but emotionally resilient deserve their place in the executive positions of the Mthwakazi movement.
A truly representative organisation reflects that in its spine; the leadership structure need be fully inclusive. No group should only exist as an enabler of another’s power grab; groups need be equal, power shared fairly and checks and balance in place to protect all. A movement that cannot listen to the poor people cannot understand the causes of poverty and cannot represent the challenges and needs of the poor, it cannot address poverty. Unfortunately, thanks to ZANU PF’s tribal supremacist politics of hate that has politicised the distribution of resources, poor people now form the largest constituency in Mthwakazi.
It is for this reason that this blog, which has long advocated for a federated Mthwakazi state, welcomes the increasing internal voices and practical efforts in that direction. We welcome too the practical steps taken by some citizens in writing draft constitutions. It is our hope such work starts a broader and constructive conversation where compromise will be expected from all if Mthwakazi statehood is to be achieved. First, let us agree on a name for our country.
We are very clear that our political situation within the independent Zimbabwe is untenable. Doing nothing about it has not changed anything in 40 years and counting; if anything it has brought about self-doubt that has reproduced itself by crippling our willingness to act; that cycle needs to be broken for us to be an inspiration to the next generation.