It’s public’s time to move the Mthwakazi cause

Resisting bad laws is public responsibility, and it is the highest form of patriotism. You know it’s the public’s time to serve itself when the system and supporting institutions are habitually acting from a place of deep ignorance; when the gap between public minimum expectations and institutional performance widens, typically with delivery dropping way below all expectations; when your leaders no longer see the need to be discrete with their arrogance; when your representatives have the cheek to mock your suffering and poverty.

No human being should endure a lifetime of indignity in any form for whatever reason. The targeting and bullying of Matabeleland by an ethnic Shona dominated government put paid to the dream of freedom and liberty, and sacrifices of the liberation struggle.

Society lost that very second when bullying, harassment and tribal attacks of Matabeleland became a substitute for genuine political conversation and principled disagreement in Zimbabwe. Accommodation was replaced by hatred; tribes pitted against tribes because the insecure ZANU figured that would be its most effective way of maintaining control over the political space.

While tribalism within ZANU existed long before April 1983, the dislike for Ndebele people and Matabeleland customs and values became more deliberately weaponised in the execution and justification of Matabeleland genocide in 1983/4 and exclusionary politics thereafter.

In me is stubbornness personified, I will never be frightened at the will of others. No amount of intimidation shall silence my resolve to fight for true freedom. I make the point that one’s dignity may be assaulted, vandalised, brutalised and mocked, but it can never be taken away unless it is surrendered. I will steadfastly retain mine.

I will not try and believe ZANU PF ever felt remorse for the Matabeleland genocide, so on the 1987 Unity Accord count me out; it is a vile instrument of political deception used to extend my torture. I did not make decisions of my free will back then, the content of the document and my decision to sign are not reflective of my true feelings. I tried to avoid more torture. 

Even the dumbest of creations knows my tormentor can neither be my liberator nor my mentor nor my advocate nor the judge of my emotions. No one should or can walk my journey on my behalf because nobody can ever comprehend it better than me. Only I bear the bruises, the heat and the pain from my tight shoes. I make it clear to all that I have total responsibility for my safety, and my right to self-defence never ceases. It is only I who can fully understand and define that path to my freedom.  

No matter how positively Zimbabwean mainstream politics markets itself; no matter how it glorifies itself through the various political conduits, and irrespective of how many individual Matabeles it successfully co-opts, its goals never change, and it does not provide solutions for Matabeleland’s challenges because its creators never intended it to address them, it just does not have that capacity within itself.   

It is invariably obvious to all in Mthwakazi that the idea of Matabele independence in Zimbabwe is a fairytale, it is a superstition artificially created and maintained through a network of lies and falsehoods; a superstition that deprives our people of self-respect and dignity.

Just stop trying to be my saviour, invest in understanding me. If you do not identify with me you cannot represent me; you cannot identify with me when you have no time to listen to me; you cannot begin to represent me when you cannot comprehend the depth of my wounds; when your perceived solutions deliberately marginalise me and my interests, you are a bully. There is absolutely no way you can lead me when understanding how to reach me and how to catch up with me has never been a priority in your operations, and when you have no respect for my efforts, my forbearers’ achievements and my offspring’s dreams.

Rules of engagement are: Do not try and impose yourself and your solutions upon me, do not try and serve me from imaginary problems of your making. I do not have an impulse to be led. I care for myself. The more solitary I am, the more I will respect myself. I would rather safely adjust to your absence than turn away from myself into what you want me to be.

It is an act of unforgiveable human cruelty to weaponise tribe and race; I will not surrender my being to be accepted; my true freedom is more important than fake peace. At the end of it all, if my freedom, safety and security are threatened, so are yours. When you are serious about working with me then you need to recognise that you are my equal and not my boss and you never will be. Just like you, I have the right to be my own boss, and I am. You and I need an honest, broad, strategic discussion in which would be discussed areas where interests converge, and areas where interests, values, and perspectives diverge.

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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