Reign of two perverse governments. Rhodesia was governed by white racial supremacist fanatics, to guard the welfare of white people, they created a biased system that worked brilliantly for the white man and woman, but it also protected the country’s broader economic interests. Then came independence in 1980, ZANU black tribal supremacist fanatics took over the reins, they oversaw a tribally biased system that however, sacrificed the welfare of their tribesmen and women and adopted policies that neither worked for the ordinary black citizen nor protected the country’s economic interests, but enabled the elite to extract resources for personal benefit.
Zimbabwe is ruled by ZANU PF tribal supremacist fanatics who long lost contact with reality; the party lacks humility, it does not accept that one party does not have all the answers; it has failed to recognise that working in partnership is progress not treachery. On acquiring power these paranoid zealots immediately turned political, racial, ethnic and tribal diversity into some security threat and then tortured and killed ethnic Matabeles in an attempt to eliminate difference; from that point a toxic tribal schism was cultivated, and continues to be natured.
Because ZANU PF serves ZANU PF interests not national interests, addressing tribal tensions is not politically convenient; tribalism and ethnic division have proved too valuable to the party’s existence that not addressing them is the best intervention.
To the ZANU PF elite, the black population in general and ethnic Shona constituency in particular exists as a vital reservoir for political power, nothing more. They only draw power from the ordinary man/ woman to accomplish personal goals. The ordinary Shona person is fed with words of hope that she/ he is the rightful owner of the country and its resources yet only the elite literally feed on the country’s resources, including land.
Despite all evidence of ZANU PF deception, the party still retains a lot of public support among ethnic Shona people. Typical of a people who have been deceived long enough, ethnic Shona people have tended to reject any evidence of the deception; people are no longer interested in finding out the truth but prepared to look at wherever the ZANU PF finger of blame is pointing. The deception has captured their very being, they cannot emotionally detach themselves from the ZANU PF lies. It would appear it is simply too painful to acknowledge, even to themselves, that they have been tricked. It takes a lot of ignorance to believe in such absurdities as the Western sanctions being the reason for economic failure when senior party officials are clearly not impacted.
For this and the benefit of future generations, things need to change, and ethnic Shona people are central to that. First, an acknowledgement of Shona privilege is essential, and second, the supremacist mentality created by ZANU PF must be wiped away and people start to see each other as mutual partners whose purpose is to live a fulfilling life, and need each other to shine.
When Mashonaland and ethnic Shona people understand and accept that the system in place is unfair but always unfair in favour of Mashonaland and ethnic Shona people, they will be ready to work with everyone to actively examine the systemic flaws that cause it to always extend favours to certain population groups and not others.
By their sheer numbers, ethnic Shona people have the greatest chance to alter the political direction, however, it is clear defeating ZANU PF and what it stands for will take more than one tribe but all people; each one of us can play our part to change the political discourse; it is through diverse acts of courage and belief that political systems are shaped.
We are all affected by ZANU PF rule but the impact is different for every community; it is true that what different communities in Matabeleland need and want from an independent Zimbabwe is not necessarily the same as what Mashonaland communities need and want yet the diversity of political views must not create a wedge that stops us from breaking down a bad system that has only ever served the ZANU PF elite.
Let us celebrate our diversity and debate differences without fracturing communities. It is only ideas not tribe nor race nor sex that should inform our political actions. Each time a person stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the ordinary man/ woman or strikes out against injustice, they generate tiny ripples of hope, and the more people join in from all directions, the more ripples build and the greater the chance of generating waves that will sweep down the mighty walls of ZANU PF oppression and resistance.
We have seen that ZANU PF knows no limits when it comes to protecting its interests, let us show equal zeal in protecting our rights. We can break the chains of enslavement by working together with purpose; the goal is not just be to replace ZANU PF but to build political systems that make its policies obsolete, making it irrelevant to this generation and the future. While independence under ZANU PF has caused us to withdraw into our tribes and maintain irrational fear of anyone different from us, let the future see us comfortable in our diversity and constructive in our debates over our differences. Respecting individual liberties and communities is what will sustain independence.