Understand and accept that changing the politics in Matabeleland starts by Matabeleland leadership changing the way they see everything in Matabeleland politics; and the one thing we have control over is our performance and execution, and that is where our focus should be. To achieve that, the Matabeleland movement leadership must learn to focus its own attention; the ability to create its own agenda while filtering out distractions will be crucial.
None of ZANU PF intents of Zimbabwe’s independence is peaceful to Matabeleland; we are witnesses to a government engaged in obstructionist activities that undermine peace and development in Matabeleland. Through ZANU PF mechanisation, the region has been disabled and thus restricted from achieving its political and economic potential. We need a strong and committed local leadership.
It is time to work collectively to stop the cycle of Ndebele mammies within the Zimbabwe political space. We can no longer accept isolation, frustration, exasperation and dysfunction as a normal state.
Like all human creation, Matabeleland politics exists within a specific political context of which colonialism and the Gukurahundi/ Matabeleland genocide form a vital part; this context needs to be carefully unravelled so the public can better understand the nuisances hence the reasons for calls for change.
Destructive social, economic and political effects of a ZANU PF regime based on the philosophy of division, that purposely feeds hatred to masses and whose power base is fuelled by separating humans by tribe and race are self-evident. In a World that is already tired of unending yet avoidable wars and associated humanitarian crises, we cannot be blamed for calling for a departure from institutions that thrive on division for that can only be a good act.
ZANU PF sponsored historians have altered the past and presented this generation with a history whose purpose is to silence the Matabeleland voice, suppressing our contribution to Zimbabwe’s independence and making sure our past does not see the light of day; they have, to a great extent, succeeded in reducing our kings and queens, heroes and heroines into insignificance.
The tribally biased, exaggerated liberation war stories of Zanla forces bravery, leadership and righteous victory have become part of a collective understanding of Zimbabwean history; the Matabeleland leadership have a duty to debunk this falsification of the past.
The primary task of a Matabeleland movement leadership is to direct people’s attention to the Matabeleland consciousness and justification thereof while exposing them to other realities impacting our political space both in the past and today, and highlighting innovative ideas for a better, collective future.
There is immediate need for the movement to shift and abandon the current narrative that focuses its energies away from itself to having its eyes planted on the many variables that would make politics both exciting and relevant to people of all ages and all communities. To achieve that we need to start focusing on ourselves, focusing on others, and focusing on the wider world; we believe such an approach would help open new horizons on how we formulate and execute policy.
Lack of accountability is the cancer in African politics. We argue that self-critique and focusing constructively on others is critical for building better leadership in Matabeleland; it would help the Matabeleland leadership understand themselves and cultivate the primary elements of emotional intelligence. An extensive understanding of themselves, their communities and how they focus on the wider world can improve their ability to devise strategy, innovate, and manage organisations.
Rights, safety and security of citizens cannot continue to be undermined by political elite with impunity. A deliberate exposure of specific population groups to harm for political reasons is unacceptable; a philosophy that makes any tribe superior and others inferior must be gotten rid of and a new political approach that is truly representative of demographic diversity brought in.
Justice is our main concern; we retain unwavering interest in bringing everyone who played a part in the despicable Gukurahundi atrocities to be brought before the law. The old saying goes, ‘the wheels of justice grind slowly, but grind exceedingly fine.’
The Matabeleland movement’s goal is to protect the rule of law. But also equal justice under law. We have had a regime for at least 40 years under ZANU PF whose systems and institutions coddles ZANU PF leadership and associates and throws the rule book at enemies.
Any future Matabeleland regime would work and demonstrate to the people by word and deed that the government adheres to the rule of law, follows the facts and the law and pursues equal justice under the law. Our behaviour as movement leadership today seeks to reflect the movement’s steadfast commitment to these principles.
We are an important part of the world community, the actions of our leadership have to be exemplary. We need leaders who understand and respect local communities, and that has to show in deed through practicable strategies and policies. Our leadership have to display an unequivocal understanding of the workings of the international community and engage effectively within that space. Let us use the world stage to remind the world yet again of the butcher of Matabeleland citizens in the late 19th Century when the World chose to look away. That avoidable loss of life continues to haunt Matabeleland. We appeal to our brothers and sisters across the globe to pay attention to our political and economic plight and continue to support our efforts of rebuilding a purposeful, peaceful and successful nation of Matabeleland.