Conspiracy theorists frustrating pro-Mthwakazi

You do not get to build a nation by nurturing, monetising tribal supremacy and deflecting all criticism. The growth and stability of the pro-Mthwakazi movement will be directly proportional to how representative its power structures and leadership are of local communities. Being sensitive to people’s economic, religious, social and cultural needs is essential, as is honesty, in setting up the foundation of the pro-Mthwakazi revolution.

We acknowledge the presence of local anti-Mthwakazi agitators. These are individuals who believe and share in the conspiracy that pro-Mthwakazi is not about social, political and economic freedom but power for Ndebele people secretly conspiring to take over Mthwakazi and assimilate every other tribe. 

Image adapted from ©The Conversation. Mthwakazi beware, conspiracy theories spread like wildfire

Every political movement has one time or the other been invaded and infested with reprobates with ulterior motives; but just like anything else, adversity in politics is a possibility that pro-Mthwakazi has to stay prepared for to soften the impact when we get hit. Adversity must never be allowed to destroy the movement; the best movements are those who have known defeat, suffering, and struggle yet still found their way out of the depths. They have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that envelops them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep concern for others.

The pro-Mthwakazi movement needs to invest in disaster management strategies; prepare for the unexpected so as not to be caught off guard – consider the worst possible scenario and explore a host of possible interventions. This requires the movement to be true in itself instead of being slippery and disingenuous in the analysis of its activities.

Blaming every adversity on everybody else but ourselves is pitiful indulgence in victimhood. A world in which some Mthwakazi citizens believe that the fight for an independent Mthwakazi is not a legitimate cause but an attempt by the Ndebele at assimilating other tribes is a world in which political compromise becomes an increasingly remote prospect.

We have conspiracy theorists attempting to rip life off the face of Mthwakazi nation because good men and women have chosen to sit back and hope for a solution. Everyone is worried about stopping tribalism in Mthwakazi. Our solution is simple – stop participating in it. Giving audience to self-absorbed individuals and groups holding insidious, tribally tainted views is the best way of nurturing tribalism. We do not need the presence of intolerance to teach tolerance; education on tolerance must be the base of Mthwakazi politics.

Starving all acts of terrorism of space is a duty not an option; we can ill-afford to spare time to people who seek to blame the 2020 poor academic performance of native Kalanga students on the presence of Ndebele teachers in Kalanga dominated areas.

Home groomed conspiracy natured with a bagful of uncorroborated historical narratives of our past is turning out to be our biggest problem. However, there is nothing new in that, the object of conspiracy is conspiracy; it is exactly how conspiracy theories work, they make shallow minded people feel smart because they think they are privy to secret information.

What we have gathered over the years is that the more the efforts to bring people together in an attempt to drive forward a pro-Mthwakazi agenda, the more conspiracy theorists circle the region to foster disunity and resistance.

These fundamentalists seek to bring down a great deal more than pro-Mthwakazi political agenda and specific tribes, they are against freedom of speech, a multi-party political system and accountable government. It is not stretching it to say they are the ones holding back pro-Mthwakazi, not ZANU PF or the MDC.  

Our main take from these tribalist conspiracy theorists is that they believe in their conspiracy because that is more comforting. They seek a safe route thus cannot bear the brutal reality of facing the truth and the challenge of confronting ZANU PF/ MDC regime in Mthwakazi.

The real world truth is that the alleged divisive aspect of the pro-Mthwakazi’s movement is a manifestation of social media conspirators; Mthwakazi is a multiracial, multi-tribal, multi-ethnic and multi-cultural environment and the general public have never felt threatened by diversity.

Questionable as it is, allegations of a Nguni supremacist ideal within our borders need to be taken serious, but the alleged planned Mthwakazi state capture by Ndebele people is a scarecrow. We argue that Mthwakazi tribes need each other and that interdependence will grow even bigger; there is no plausible political mechanism by which any single tribe in Mthwakazi today can turn its norms, values and creed into law for everybody else to follow.

In equal measure, there is no plausible political mechanism by which any tribal group would act in isolation and successfully gain independence and/ or freedom from the ZANU PF/ MDC regime.

Lack of unity, absence of a core authoritative body of internal political information, growth of pseudo-experts translates to multiple views but no authoritative hold on our political space; this has the most damaging effect on the pro-Mthwakazi agenda. When no one’s word is authoritative, any fool is as credible as the next person. Individuals will whisper to their gullible audiences, “Trust no one,” and in so doing they are inevitably also saying, “Trust me, but don’t ask for evidence.”

The biggest political challenge of the pro-Mthwakazi movement is to connect local tribal fundamentalists on the fight against tribalism. People need to understand that tribalism is a crime targeting our minds, it can only be resolved through work targeting our thinking; physical attacks on tribally divisive individuals may eliminate individual tribalists but effective and targeted education that demonstrates the beauty in our diversity will get rid of tribalism, empower and unite us. A system and institutions that protect every tribe and every individual is what will serve Mthwakazi better.

Published by THE RESEARCH HUB

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

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