The problem of the ‘educated’ elite Matabele to Matabeleland politics

Image credit: Tailormade Africa. A display of the beauty of nature in Matobo National Park in Matabeleland South
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Matabeleland movement programmes need to protect society from elite capture

Divide and conquer tactics and the deception of independence is not going unnoticed in Matabeleland; we did not fight colonial rule so we could be open to oppression by a black government. The Matabele bourgeoisie promoted by Harare will neither heal nor silence the brutalised majority. Decades of damaging mental prison has left the region today further from freedom than it ever was before 1980.

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Why Gukurahundi atrocities must be remembered

Great Britain was not responsible for the Gukurahundi genocide, but it did not use its obvious influence in Zimbabwe to stop the brutality. To Matabeleland, memories of the time are essential because that is the best way of keeping the atrocities real in our minds. When the Mugabe regime authorised the use of a specially trained army unit to raze villages down and execute unarmed civilians in Matabeleland the world looked away and acted as if it was not happening. For the duration of that illegal operation, minimisation was the preferred policy among those who knew the truth, had the capacity to stop the murders and should have acted to stop the killings, but chose not to.

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Lessons from African liberation war movements

“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster…” wrote Friedrich Nietzsche (1886) in ‘Beyond Good and Evil’. What should have been independence and freedom has turned into oppression; the liberator has turned oppressor. Without adequate checks and balances in a government system citizens are left vulnerable to state abuse. Citizens must be protected from state excesses, and the security of citizens must not be subservient to state security.

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Zimbabwe’s independence: An attack on Matabeleland history, culture and liberty

Credit: Rand Daily Mail (30-Jan-1984) via Taurai Njabulo Chirandu Njekete
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Raise the moral bar to better Matabeleland political systems and institutions

Public disenchantment has become a key feature in independent Zimbabwe, particularly in Matabeleland where under the pretext of addressing insecurity in the region, thousands of Ndebele civilians were starved, tortured, raped, abducted and murdered in a state conjured military operation. Following the tribal, hate-fuelled murderous and dehumanising military activities of the 5th Brigade in an operation codenamed Gukurahundi, politicians are viewed with suspicion and distrust in Matabeleland, and apathy best defines public engagement in Zimbabwean political activities.

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Proactivity must be core to Matabeleland’s approach

UNSPECIFIED – CIRCA 1800: Map of Matabeleland in the late 19th century. From the book South Africa and the Transvaal War, Volume 1 by Louis Creswicke, published 1900. (Photo by Universal History Archive/Getty Images)
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Invest in social capital and build political capital

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Photo credit: MRP Twitter feed @mthwakazi_mrp (2018) As part of MRP’s Bulawayo Central Parliamentary candidate Ms Sehliselo Ndebele’s campaign, MRP members took it upon themselves to tidy litter in the Bulawayo city centre
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Matabeleland leadership must focus its own attention

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.

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No moral duty to entertain destructive criticism

The sustained destructive campaign of punching down on every effort of the Matabeleland movement and the ridicule directed at it by a section of Matabeleland Zimbabwe conservatives and/ or lobbyists who would rather preserve the status quo whatever the cost of doing so cannot be called a critique of the Matabeleland movement but deplorable destructive criticism. While constructive critics punch across lines, identify specific areas and more important, give specific, actionable suggestions, destructive critics target the whole organisation in an attempt to tear it down.

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