Citizen doubts over the benefits of an independent Mthwakazi state are legitimate worries seeing what an independent Africa has become. A precedent has been set – in the independent Africa power does not trickle down, it is pumped up. True independence is the preserve for the political elite who extract power from citizens. Far from being a source of freedom, independence has become a source of suffering for ordinary citizens who endure the brutality of power obsessed black masters.
African citizens are witnessing ‘independent’ African states growing weaker and poorer with every second added to their ‘independence’. Poor safety and security, social, political and economic indicators define independence. In many ways, independent Africa has become a gigantic human rights abuse factory run by black political elite. And we continue down that slippery route because we have resorted to enabling rather than averting divisive politics – tribal, religious and racial discrimination.
Blaming colonialism is now a tired excuse, and the colonial past cannot explain all of our current problems whose identity has mutated; colonialism certainly cannot account for the continued suffering of ordinary citizens in the African continent while leaders enjoy luxurious lifestyles. Like many sons and daughters of the continent, Mthwakazi’s problem today runs deeper than colonialism; it is a creation of the independent Zimbabwe regime, and natured and secured by the tyranny of tribal majority. Africa is clearly facing a crisis of leadership, and citizens need to take bold steps and stand up and combat the collapse of governance, the unequalled rise of violence and the spread of chaos and fear in the continent.
A better Mthwakazi will be a by-product of an attentive, ready and responsive politics; we need to learn, and Africa is our prime source of education and experience of leadership. Tribalism is a type of political jurisprudence more specific to Africa. This is a politics that disregards objectivity and pays its allegiance to tribe more than policy, integrity and constitutionalism.
The substance to the charge of a link between tribalism and poor governance and related outcomes in Africa is not in dispute. Africa is running a dangerous, fear and conspiracy-driven, opportunities-led regime as opposed to a principled, ethics driven one. Accountability is least in our agenda, science and scientific consideration is not central but an option in our decision making process.
Marginalising rational, scientific processes has led to a haphazard approach to governance that has left a political space bereft of ideas, low in evidence, short of confidence and unable to solve local problems in an objective manner but quick to draw from its emotive reserves. We continue to hang onto the old victimhood narrative at a loss for the future.
Justice is not about fixing the past; it is about healing the past’s future. The first requirement of a sound body of politics will be that it should correspond with the actual feelings and demands of the Mthwakazi community, whether right or wrong.
Our immediate concern is addressing the disenfranchisement of local communities from corridors of power; we also need to address inherent tribal disputes and conflict which is literally leaving local leadership and influential individuals increasingly open to being purchased by the Zimbabwe state to further divide communities, and exploit our resources.
The erosion of Mthwakazi’s ethics of tolerance is concerning, we are worried about the readiness of some community members to condone divisive, tribalist norms. We note with growing disappointment the continued Ndebele/ Khalanga dichotomy. These groups seem to take joy in public disputes of personal pride with no medium to long-term political benefits; there are individuals and/ or loose groups fighting what is clearly a pointless war; the reality is that the ZANU PF/ MDC oppressive regime does not separate the various Mthwakazi population groups but treats them with disdain as a whole.
None of the Mthwakazi communities are safe from ZANU PF/ MDC oppression hence working together for the common good will protect everybody. We have to be bold in our national building ambitions. Let us focus on four primary measures: victory against poverty, eliminate tribal and racial discrimination, raise the morality standards bar in government and society to provide a strong foundation for good governance and last, transform the character of our politics to promote fertile ground for reforms.
We believe to build a strong and resilient Mthwakazi nation, we need to breakdown all internal barriers to working together; we will need to build a system ably supported by institutions that will seal off escape hatches for tribalism and racism. The idea of a federal state has been mooted; details of that idea need to be scrutinised for checks and balance.
Fighting tribalism and/ or ethnically divisive narratives is not only good politics, it is self-defence; it is patriotism. One would hope Mthwakazi has now learnt that if you want to build a strong nation, it is always country before tribe; tie down leaders to constitutions, craft good systems, strong institutions and fair policies. Targeting specific communities for abuse is not demonstrating courage or commendable ethics. It is instead a display of opportunistic cowardice. Good governance should be an expectation, not an exception; systems and institutions must reflect every community in our country; Mthwakazi must be built on ethics and principle not opportunity. We call upon all communities and individuals to start thinking about the country first before their egos or tribes. We need each other and we can live with each other, after all we have done so for over a century.