A UNESCO (2016) Global Education Monitoring Report (GEM Report) argued that 40% of the global population does not access education in a language they understand. The policy paper asserted that being taught in a language other than one’s own can negatively impact children’s learning, especially for those living in poverty.
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.
Difficult times call for difficult decisions and tough measures. In the face of colonialism our fathers’ generation fought; in the face of today’s difficulties, today’s Mthwakazi generation needs to be decisive; shunning our responsibility to change things is a risk we cannot afford. Matabeleland needs a political transformation reflective of local norms and values and led by conscientious individuals and/ or groups with genuine public interest.
What we should all get to appreciate is that people are individuals and different, and equality is far from the misplaced claim that all groups of humans are interchangeable; what we must get right is that equality is the moral principle that individuals should not be judged or constrained by their ethnic or racial identity.
The ZANU PF administration has been a disaster for the whole of Zimbabwe but it has been particularly damaging to Mthwakazi citizens’ aspirations; the administration has consistently shown empathy deficit in its handling of all matters Mthwakazi.
The reservations of some pro-Mthwakazi parties over the benefits of participating in elections can best be understood from the fact Zimbabwe has been conducting elections since 1980 yet it is still not democratic. During the same period, Matabeles have been participating in elections but they are no less oppressed today than they were during the colonial regime.