We need to stop pointing to the North, South, East and West and look right in Africa to understand why Africa is the richest content yet it has the poorest race. Any politician indiscriminately directing us out of Africa for the main cause of our problems is not worth our time. People have not gained adequate autonomy to shape their political space so that it serves them because of African leaders not the West, East, South or North; constant internal gridlock and partisanship is obstructing progress. Awake Mthwakazi, your brother’s tribe is not a problem, your sister’s race is not the problem; the problem is the wolf in sheep’s clothing (our leaders) and their brutal system that has condemned us to a life of poverty, begging, crime and violence.
We in Matabeleland believe in democracy; we believe in protecting freedom, fairness, protecting communities’ identities and individuals’ interests against state violence and poverty. Our reservations about Zimbabwe and our desire to be free from it are not out of a mere desire to build a fence around Matabeleland but we do believe there ought to be justice in the manner Zimbabwe operates. Zimbabwe is a grossly unfair state, this is not by accident but because of meticulous planning and action that ensures it is so. This explains why it has never been unfair in favour of Matabeleland.
Chaos and tribalism feed the system; perhaps the main concern over the years has been the complicit and silence of our Mashonaland cousins who would not even hear or see Gukurahundi or Matabeleland genocide in 1983/84.
We warned our Mashonaland cousins in the 1980s/ 90s that if they opt to be blind and deaf to the cries of women, babies and men in Matabeleland, the monster consuming the peace and happiness in Matabeleland shall one day turn up to consume theirs too. Under the veil of arrogance and a tinge of ignorance, they told us to go back to South Africa.
Our calls were simply for fairness, we were only asking our cousins to join us fight a clearly unfair system; we were asking for the system to give us what we needed – respect our life, preserve our dignity, freedom, and the right to be ourselves.
A Matabeleland departure from Zimbabwe means unlearning the country’s ideological posturing; Zimbabwe is a totalitarian state that performs poor auditions for democracy every five years. Coming out this dark valley demands total political transformation.
Restoration of respect among mankind is our primary goal. Humans are humans, full stop! We need to be prepared to defend not only our interests but the interests of those whom we have never met and never will.
Broadening of our political horizon to give voice to every household and community is fundamental to our progress; we want to be guided by an ideology of fairness over greed, good over evil, hope over fear, and power of love over love of power, virtue over vice. Matabeleland must be a political paradise where men and women can differ in opinion, and yet grasp each other’s hands as friends. A difference of opinion on any subject should never be justification for us to hate, persecute, and despise each other.
We need to understand fairness is not a concept. It is not something we should be striving for. It is a necessity. Like the earth’s gravity, fairness keeps us grounded on this earth as men and women; the tribalism and racism pervading society is not a true part of the human condition. It is a manifestation of unjust political systems and a reflection of life out of balance, and that imbalance is drawing something out of the soul of one and all leaving us spiritually vacant, devoid of Ubuntu.
We are clear in our minds and attuned to reality of fairness; in fairness we neither mean treating people equally nor treating different people the same; we believe people should be treated and rewarded accordingly, and all citizens should be protected from injustice. Access to opportunity is our primary goal. Innovation and fairness must be high in our socioeconomic agenda.
Evidence from local communities suggests an increase in violence and criminality among the youths is on the increase. We identify poor education and idleness due to economic deprivation across the territory as being the main contributing factor; once industrial buildings in Bulawayo are now empty shells or churches.
The value of high quality education cannot be understated as a foundation for a decent society. Children need to get a high quality education, and that is an education that goes beyond improving literacy levels in the classroom but goes right into each household; we believe our children deserve more; we want them to learn about fairness, caring, self-respect, family values and civic responsibilities, and hence avoid violence.
Be warned, we will fight the system as long as it brings us misery, and as long as it brings us misery we shall fight the system. This is not about tribe, not about race, not about religion but about our peace, our happiness and our freedom. Mutual respect is what we expect. Your tribe is important, so is ours; your skin tone is important, so is ours; we shall never judge you by your tribe or skin tone but by your works. If through your delusions, you convince yourself that we are inferior because of our tribe and because of our race we are less human, and you start to treat us according to such convictions, you and us shall not see eye to eye. We are people of peace but if you trouble us, you will not know what hit you; if it means we have to pick up a gun for you to put down your gun, a gun we shall pick up.