The Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC Alliance is nowhere near a solution for Mthwakazi’s political problems; it is another organised deceit, a repugnant, filthy and grossly hypocritical institution whose only focus is replacing ZANU PF in government; the alliance is nothing but a continuation of a dictatorial political regime that exclusively protects the majority ethnic Shona population while alienating ethnic minorities and Mthwakazi.
We are tired of the Zimbabwean journey of segregation; whether built on racial or tribal bricks, barriers to access to opportunity remain barriers. Abuse is abuse whether committed by Harare or Salisbury. Tribalism is not better than racism; being segregated by a black Zimbabwean government on the basis of one’s ethnicity is no lesser evil or less embarrassing and no less disempowering as being segregated by the Rhodesian government based on one’s skin colour.
Gukurahundi illustrates the consequences of unchecked power, prejudice, tribalism and stereotypes; for Matabeleland, it calls out for political reforms and points at the need for confronting political indifference and inaction. Matabeleland has to concede that silence as a negotiation tool has not only failed to chip away at the overbearing authority of Harare but has not empowered the region and its people.
We are witnesses of the 35 years of Zimbabwe’s tyranny, brutality and abuse of territorial and political independence. Matabeleland is further from independence today than it was before 1980. To be free is not merely a reference to being rid of chains but having the freedom to be ourselves and freely enhancing the freedoms of others.
My starting point is to proudly reiterate the fact that Mthwakazi is a diverse socio-cultural space. For that reason we must not aspire to political systems that seek to build a singular national identity; the only progressive political system and one we should all aspire to will be one that recognises, accepts, respects, celebrates diversity and jealously guards against compromising that reality.
The politics of Matabeleland needs to shift from a position that sees us continually making apologies for Harare’s impact in Matabeleland to one seeking solutions to problems for which Harare is central. Our aim should be the preservation of our dignity now and for generations to come; that calls for a disciplined stance on matters of principle irrespective of what the majority think and say.