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Matabeleland Strategize to Gain and Maintain Political Power

We have no doubt that Gukurahundi – a ZANU PF-led state orchestrated tribal aggression and brutality in the post-independent Zimbabwe – has set the tone for the country’s political moral standard. The objective toward which Gukurahundi brutality was directed was to capture political power so that, using the power of the state, ZANU PF with the backing of its Shona constituency will keep Matabeleland men and women in eternal subjection. The take from that evil act was the construction of a specific conception of politics among people of Matabeleland; it planted fear; people became fearful of their political identity and have adopted a cautious, stand-offish position where they sit back, and watch Mashonaland dominate the politics of Zimbabwe.  

Reality on the ground calls for a Matabeleland social and political rejuvenation; our people must stand up together, and together fight every inch of the territory to reclaim political power and every ounce of our culture. When you cannot see yourself in a nation as does Matabeleland in Zimbabwe, it is not worth subordinating your interests for the sake of that nation. Taking a backseat will never be a viable solution to problems directly brought about by loss of power; as latest events – the ‘Gold Mafia’ bombshell – illustrate, taking a backseat from politics does not shield you from its impact.

Dominated communities do not get to decide their fate, somebody else does on their behalf. What we have for leaders at present are individuals who got into positions by being mainstream Zimbabwe politics’ fools; they represent mainstream politics interests to Matabeleland communities not community interests to mainstream politics. This explains why they do not see a problem with giving out food hampers as opposed to political and economic empowerment.

This position is untenable, and there must be no pause in the agitation for full political power and responsibility. We cannot afford to sit back in despair, we must fight and change things in the minds and on the hills and valleys of Matabeleland. The whole politics of the land must change, but we are not going to fight like reactionary gangs who run up and down the street being reactionary; we will organise and dedicate ourselves to revolutionary political power and teach ourselves the specific needs of resisting the power structure, equip ourselves with knowledge, and other resources.

Urgent correctional and transformational measures whose aim and purpose would be to gain and maintain power in Matabeleland are required. We view Zimbabwean systems not as broken and needing fixing, but as working exactly as intended and needing destroying. Those who aspire to lead us must exude a connection with the region and an understanding of its needs.

We challenge leaders of pre-existing organisations and those planning to lead future Matabeleland focused social and/ or political groups to take up steps to build back public confidence in politics because uncertainty is a threat for individuals, groups, and whole organisations, and this uncertainty has interfered with effective performance and goal attainment for many organisations.

Let us improve the vitality of the leadership of pro-Matabeleland organisations. From the viewpoint of political power, culture is vital. We argue that power cannot operate outside cultural norms and values; Zimbabwe operates within a Shona creed which explains the struggles faced by Matabeleland. Power must reflect people’s everyday habits and beliefs for it to be able to respond to public needs and adapt and adjust without breaking communities.

It is paramount that we raise the standard of moral authority and character for prospective leaders in line with the importance of the roles to be played; we are guilty of lowering moral standards and the price is there for all to see; we have leaders who boast of wilfully breaking the law; people who threaten political opponents with violence and condone violent political campaigns.

We need respectable leaders to take key positions in our communities to take over crucial political activities and initiatives. It is imperative that organisation leaders build an invaluable knowledge base. Community members and organisations they lead depend on them and their organisations for their knowledge, expertise, advice, and support, and the success of the organisations is seen as riding on these leaders.

Another area of concern in the region is the women’s political role. Women in Matabeleland play an equally important role in social and political activities, yet that is not reflected in the power structure; women have proven to be capable leaders, think of Thenjiwe Lesabe, Thokozani Khuphe, and others. We can only talk of progress when society takes proactive steps to make women count as much as men; we must have an equal standard of morals; and the only way to enforce that is through giving women political power, and that is the only way to go; evidence indicates that concentration of political power in men gives rise to legislation increases and accelerates the cycle of male dominance in powerful positions in society, and that has not been of benefit.

Gaining competitive advantage in the communication space would be an essential driver to achieving our goals; ZANU PF platforms are not an option but a hazard to be avoided. We need to take advantage of multiple communication systems at our disposal to dominate the communication in the region.

We must wrestle control of power and play a central role in the region’s politics and take responsibility for activities that are directly connected to the region’s goals so politics in Matabeleland is reflective of communities in Matabeleland. Exposure to ZANU PF politics has been very instructive to Matabeleland about the way in which the greed for political power can destroy a human mind, destroy principles and values, and transform humans into monsters. We have lived through the Gukurahundi genocide, disappearance of journalists, and so on, all with same aim, to secure political power. Focus must be on increasing moral standards, increasing knowledge base, and accelerating true representation of women in power.



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