To blame Joshua Nkomo is to lose focus of our times

Do not raise fingers, raise your responsibilities; own your challenges you will take charge of solutions. This is time to rid Matabeleland of pretence brave men and women – the authors of acts of cowardice that overwhelm the political space of today. We have naïve, disconnected men and women clearly letting the public down through lack of ideological creativity. To ease their conscious, they employ distraction techniques which focus blame on the late Joshua Nkomo’s political actions because they do not want to be accountable for their actions. In their deep delusional state playing the blame game is creativity or a solution.

We are in a war to save Matabeleland’s future, but to be a nation of the free, we will need to be home to the brave. We are clear that defending the nation’s political, social and economic future is not for the fainthearted, but it requires brave and principled men and women who will stop hunting down and finding Nkomo’s witches and start fighting the right battles to win the war.

It is a political calamity that Joshua Nkomo has been turned into a shield of convenience by the younger generation of Matabeleland political activists struggling to push their narrative through the defensive trenches of mainstream Zimbabwe politics. There are reasons why Matabeleland and its inhabitants find themselves oppressed and marginalised, and it may sound clever to blame Nkomo’s contribution for the political state the region is in, but the political capital of this blame game is a delusion that, for at least two decades, continues to comfort men and women of our time who have run out of ideas on how to alter the downward political trajectory.

An important decision that will have to be taken by this generation is to resist blame avoidance and playing the Blame Game. The day we accept that Nkomo is not our problem and ethnic Shona tribalism is, and that we are responsible for how we approach the political problems in Matabeleland, and that things will turn out better or worse because of us and nobody else would be the day we fight to build institutions that truly reflect who we are.

Like every living being Nkomo was not perfect, but to lay the blame entirely on him for the floundering Matabeleland politics of today is not perceiving reality but attempting to make reality fit your emotions. Within a specific context, Nkomo did the best he could, the impact of his actions remains subject to interpretation, yet the reality of our times will not just be reversed by the analyses of Nkomo’s actions but by how this generation assumes control of the present and walks in the future.

Some interventions are neither wise nor brave, we cannot lie down on the tracks of history to wait for the train of the future to run over us. Common sense tells us that we need to shift our focus away from Nkomo who has been gone from this earth for over 20 years and take full responsibility for our own actions. It is only cowards who find pleasure and comfort in spitting at a grave, but a real man, a real woman knows when it is time to take the blame and when to take responsibility for their own actions.

No one doubts our potential to drag Matabeleland out of the present political mire whose construction and base is ethnic Shona people and ZANU PF, but we need to realise we are responsible for the change we want, the sooner we accept that and integrate that into our political work ethic, we will start making progress.

A valuable lesson extracted from the blame game politics playing out in Matabeleland is that blaming and chiding the late Nkomo for the situation in Matabeleland just does not sit well with the public, it is controversial as it acts contrary to our cultural norms and values of respecting the dead and it will never be a political winner.

We must resist toxic intellectualism used to abdicate our national duty of protecting Matabeleland’s future. Matabeleland was not created in order to disappear. It will not be broken by adversity. We have a duty to protect our nation; let us stop trying to fix the past and accept our responsibility for the future. Taking focus away from ourselves by bringing the late Nkomo to the foreground and disrepute of our day’s political challenges is not a solution. We are at a stage where we need to decide todays’ problems are our own. By so doing we will realise that our destiny is firmly in our own hands.

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