Ethno-nationalism remains a huge problem in Zimbabwean society with particularly devastating outcomes for Mthwakazi and ethnic Ndebele people yet many ethnic Shona people are quick to dismiss it, even going to the extent of accusing victims of being tribalists themselves.
As the relevance of protest has grown in Mthwakazi while PF ZAPU’s functional political influence has faded and MDC’s policy credibility and relevance to Mthwakazi has been questioned in recent years, citizen movements have become more important to Mthwakazi’s political landscape.
How Mthwakazi has been dealing with the problems of being subservient to the Zimbabwean system and institutions is the major problem. Problems do not cease because we choose to ignore their presence, but by people facing up to them, standing up together and taking responsible action to find solutions.
Restoration is a word frequently used in the pro-Mthwakazi political vocabulary, but we have yet to fully understand its meaning within the contemporary politics. What restoration would mean in practice should be at the core of its proponents’ discussions.
For years pro-Mthwakazi politics has had great speakers making great speeches, turning people’s heads, but these great speeches have not changed anything. Words express our beliefs, and our beliefs are essential for they shape who we are, but our identity is revealed not through our beliefs or words but through our actions.
There is a special place in the political dumpsite for political organisations who instead of empowering their constituents take people’s unfettered trust and apparent vulnerabilities and abuse them for political gain.