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.
There often is no difference between the right thing to do and the hard thing to do. The right thing to do for Mthwakazi right now is to behave maturely to protect our norms and values and the hard thing is to stop ourselves from acting like loose cannons.
No sane person should wake up and be happy with the present state of things in Zimbabwe. We cannot accept the country as it is and lay claim to sanity. Each day we should wake up with a feeling of revulsion because of the injustice of things. First, victims and beneficiaries must reject tribalism and stop making excuses for systems, institutions and policies that dehumanise other people because of their social background.
We will always pride ourselves in being a tolerant nation that fully embraces multi-ethnicity, multiculturalism and difference. We have never been threatened by difference, we have always understood the fact that difference is not inequality. What unites and makes us a truly great nation is the recognition of the reality that all tribes and all cultures are distinct and individual, and we fully embrace that.
Huge and serious differences remain between Matabeleland and Mashonaland’s perceptions of independence; there is a wide gap between what Mthwakazi believes independence entitles her and what the State – dominated by Mashonaland – is prepared to deliver.
Institutional tribalism and Shona privilege is invisible to ethnic Shona people to whom privilege is granted yet very visible to demographic groups who suffer its consequences. Being Shona means being born with access to power and resources; the assumption is that you are the heir and all other demographic groups must settle for secondary roles.