Why election boycott is a weak tool

Questioning the credibility of the election institutions in Zimbabwe has become part and parcel of the election process. The electoral process is seriously flawed and no one has shown serious intention to fix the situation which is no wonder some Matabeleland movements are now convinced boycotting elections is our strongest tool.

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Social protection in Mthwakazi

Until the last Mthwakazi citizen has access to clean water, decent accommodation, clothes, literacy, affordable healthcare, sufficient and ongoing steady state support to protect them from hunger, malnutrition and poverty, we cannot consider ourselves a just society, let alone free. There is a growing sense in Mthwakazi that the ZANU PF led government has not found the right balance in the distribution of economic and political power, we see an ongoing febrile political climate – protests and regrettable instances of use of tribally inflammatory language.

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Partisanship diminishes the Matabeleland movement

Fanatics at the core of the Matabeleland (Mthwakazi) politics are becoming burdensome and detrimental to the social and political capital growth of the Matabeleland movement. Different groups that collectively form the Matabeleland movement political space have grown exceptionally polarised, a scenario that generates a rapid race to becoming a dysfunctional movement.  

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Identity is an important factor in building Matabeleland

To recreate communities and heal Matabeleland society, all citizens must be given a sense of belonging. Three things will form the bedrock of Matabeleland (Mthwakazi) society — multi-nationality, freedom of expression and rule of law. It must be appreciated by all who call Matabeleland home that if any one of these things is lost, you do not have Matabeleland.

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Diversionary tactics in Matabeleland politics

Diversionary tactics are as old as politics itself but a rapidly growing phenomenon within the Matabeleland/ Mthwakazi political space. In this manipulation strategy Noam Chomsky aptly describes as: “Keep the adult public attention diverted away from the real social issues, and captivated by matters of no real importance”, delicate, deliberate and at times desperate manoeuvres are orchestrated with the sole purpose of detracting the public from real issues on the ground.

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How does the Mthwakazi movement build political capital?

Building political capital is central to framing the Mthwakazi/ Matabeleland movement influencing and shaping the local political landscape. Great movements do not only exude talent but have exceptional ability to attract followers; they do not only convince, they motivate the public to act in ways they would otherwise not act. The movement needs to take us not where we want to go but where we need to be.

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Federal Matabeleland requires decentralisation for good local governance

Creative politics is required so cultural differences in Mthwakazi/ Matabeleland do not become a source of division but a valuable base for social enrichment. Prejudice against other people is the one factor turning humans against each other; political opportunism appropriates differences, creates privileges for some population groups over others and implants perceptions of supremacy and entitlement in some humans. The Mthwakazi goal is of identity federalism in which our culturally diverse people will be treated different but equal.

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Counter injustice is no form of justice

Voicing our concerns about a vengeance based political doctrine and advocating against retaliatory strategies should not be misconstrued for cowardice; we are not cowards for not having faith in emotionally charged strategies that target specific population groups for abuse, and attempt to create a moral code that celebrates hatred against other humans. An ethnic Shona dominated government committed crimes against Matabeles but mob justice is neither safe nor just. Violent movements attract mobsters and firebrands who enjoy the mayhem with little interest in genuine justice, and forming democratic systems and institutions is never in their agenda.

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Matabeleland: the politics of fault finding

Experience is a good teacher, Matabeleland’s political stagnation requires us to take more responsibility to find solutions. We start by accepting we are the major stumbling block to lack of growth of internally relevant organisations, systems and institutions; we have far too many groups and individuals offering too little and asking too much to develop any coherent political strategy. There is extensive and long-term damage to our political space. Even more damaging, we have adopted a hazardous political orientation where finding fault in others is the default position; it is now the basis of the political campaign strategy.

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Accountability will bring about political decency

Justice must be served to Matabeleland citizens and accountability is the one single factor that will save our politics from the abyss. Whether true or false, the current allegations of lack of accountability against some Matabeleland focused groups are an unwelcome political distraction. Accountability in politics is quite literally the foundation of trust. It can be argued that in the absence of good accountability within our political space, there are risks that the extraordinary trust granted to these organisations can be misused, or that resources can be wasted through inefficiency and poor management.

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