Build Back Better Mthwakazi

If we want to know the reason for the lack of political progress in Mthwakazi or Matabeleland, we just got to stand in front of the mirror, and there we will see our nemesis. We are stuck in an oversimplified polarised conflict and we need to deconstruct the current political framework that hinders our transformative potential for achieving right and equitable internal relationships. 

Continue reading “Build Back Better Mthwakazi”

Take BaKalanga’s co-optation fears serious

No question is too big or too small to be addressed; we must be mature enough to be comfortable with our ideology being questioned. When skeptical communities enquire about the degree of inclusivity of the pro-Mthwakazi agenda and even challenge the use of the name ‘Mthwakazi’, we owe it to the agenda to truthfully address those concerns and forcefully confront damaging conspiracy theories. We want every race, every tribe – large or small – to get involved in the struggle for the betterment of livelihoods of all who call Mthwakazi home. This is not a tribal or racial issue but a human rights matter. No nation must be left uncertain of its benefits in a self-determining Mthwakazi/ Matabeleland.

Continue reading “Take BaKalanga’s co-optation fears serious”

Political Empowerment a necessity for Mthwakazi Citizens

Agent policy and institutional reforms are needed to ensure the pro-Mthwakazi politics attains ideological congruence, and more important to ensure the movement does not become a version of ZANU PF. What is required is the creation, promotion and protection of a pro-citizens politics; this is an approach that will create structures that enable genuine political participation by ordinary men and women and bridge the wedge between the movement and the public’s ideological location.

It has long become apparent that we cannot achieve internal political equilibrium by targeting specific population groups for isolation and abuse. While an anti-Shona rhetoric may sound fashionable or even deemed justifiable by some pro-Mthwakazi political groups or individuals, it is neither constructive nor liberating nor empowering. Such an approach is dangerous political opportunism and not an empowerment tool for our citizens.  

Increasing political and economic dominance of ethnic Shona people is a genuine cause for concern in Mthwakazi and a source of disempowerment for Mthwakazi people. The current circumstance is a by-product of opportunistic politics that replaced colonial political structures founded on racism, resource extraction, military control and marginalisation of the poor from executive power with tribalism, elitism, extraction, exclusion of the poor and it embraced militarism. It is a politics that promotes Shona supremacy and nurses Shona privilege, and a regime not averse to using force to achieve its goals.

We realise too that this ZANU PF fronted politics is hostile and aggressive to Mthwakazi nationals and their interests, it also shields the political elite from accountability, but it marginalises all poor people, regardless of tribe, from executive power.

The frustration to Zimbabwean politics by Matabeleland people is both evident and understandable; the public is fed up with both Shona dominance and being on the margins of corridors of power and is demanding to play a greater role in how they are governed, but we must not be deceived into believing that getting rid of ethnic Shona people from Matabeleland will somehow translate into public empowerment. Just as decolonisation did not bring the poor closer to executive power, the expulsion of ethnic Shona people (some of whom Matabeleland has become home) from Matabeleland will not necessarily give the public unhindered access to real power.

Shona bashing is not political creativity but populism or opportunism that does not even begin to solve our present and long-term political problems. Quite clearly, tribal-baiting will not be the right tool hence we are strongly opposed to targeting any population group for hatred; pro-Mthwakazi reform will instead require changes to the current internal political settlement between the diverse interests of different Mthwakazi communities.

In a diverse region like Mthwakazi/ Matabeleland, real change in the power structure is required to enhance equity so that the various groups with their vested interests will not feel the need to undermine the authority of the broader movement in pursuit of their own goals. The last thing we want is for the greater political power of different interest groups within our nations to compromise the growth of the pro-electorate/ citizens politics.

Greater focus must be on creating government structures that alter power dynamics in society, change the relationship between government and the people by empowering the electorate and thus alter the responsiveness of the state to people’s interests. The general view is that federalism will better reflect Mthwakazi citizens’ needs.

The pro-Mthwakazi movement has to bear in mind that a well-functioning state is essential for responding to the interests of the citizens. The vast majority of Mthwakazi political actors have expressed their belief in the desirability of devolution of power, now it is time to put words into practice; we need leaders who will be prepared to sacrifice their egos for the benefit of the nation.

Our idea of the devolution of powers will be the adoption of the Principle of subsidiarity in which powers are allocated to the Federal, the provinces and the municipalities/ cities/ towns/ districts/ villages. We expect that all activities that can be done by local governments and communities are performed only by them with the Federal only undertaking tasks that the provinces and municipalities are unable to perform or which require uniform regulation by the Federation.

It is important that the movement provides genuine opportunity for the representatives of the citizens to influence policy making processes and make policy makers more accountable to the electorate.

Diversity of culture and interests is at the core of Mthwakazi/ Matabeleland politics. Centralised, autocratic decision-making processes must be discredited and abandoned so as to promote a pro-electorate political process. The electorate need to participate in and influence the policy reform process that goes with the public empowerment strategies. Approaches are needed to increase the voice and influence of the ordinary women and men in order that policy making is accountable to the actual needs of the citizens.  

Mthwakazi movement and political accountability

Fear has consumed many in Mthwakazi following the heart wrenching Zimbabwe state-sanctioned Gukurahundi operations in the 1980s. Typically, the Mthwakazi civilian population has displayed long-standing weaknesses in how it engages the political space. We can see the injustices of the system and its institutions yet lack the courage to challenge those policies that fall short of our expectations, and that is basically all of them. By so doing we have left the space to organised pro-Mthwakazi political movements. Many of these groups have good intentions, but the major weakness has been their insulation from public scrutiny.

Continue reading “Mthwakazi movement and political accountability”

Lessons for Mthwakazi from postcolonial Africa

Zimbabwean politics, like the rest of postcolonial Africa, is a dehumanising experience for African masses who are victims of the transferred executive powers from the colonial governments to black elites (that is to say, people in important positions in society such as political leadership, business, finance, religion, or the military). There are valuable political lessons for Matabeleland movements from the postcolonial Zimbabwe. The problem for modern Zimbabwe has not been only poor economic performance but a breakdown in the legitimacy and political viability of the country.

Continue reading “Lessons for Mthwakazi from postcolonial Africa”

Eradicate or modify executive presidency for the good of Mthwakazi

In this blog we have made no secret of our reservation over accumulation of executive power anywhere within our government; a concentration of executive power in one person has been the focus of our critique. We are particularly concerned about the amount of responsibilities laid upon individuals and believe it would require superhuman ability for anyone to safely discharge those. It is for this reason that we have been open in our admiration of the Swiss government system that shares executive power as broadly as possible.

Continue reading “Eradicate or modify executive presidency for the good of Mthwakazi”

Political provocation and the myth of Ndebele Kalanga oppression

Virtue signalling and victimhood can never be a credible founding block for change if the Kalanga people want to revive their nation and be at the centre of political decisions impacting their lives. To say Ndebeles and Shonas are suppressing Kalanga culture is a shameful aversion of reality. Some coward within the BaKalanga community is fearful of provoking the real oppressors, so they conveniently avoid confronting the fact ZANU PF is using its mandate provided by its ethnic Shona majority constituency to turn Shona culture and creed into law that presides over Zimbabwe.

Continue reading “Political provocation and the myth of Ndebele Kalanga oppression”

Strong institutions not strongman is what Mthwakazi needs

Integrity is a key attribute for a well-functioning political entity: there is a strong correlation between people’s perception of a political organisation and their trust in it. Strengthening the integrity, openness and credibility of the pro-Mthwakazi agenda and the policy-making process should therefore be a priority for our movements. This requires not a strongman, but disciplined institutionalised mechanisms of governance.

Continue reading “Strong institutions not strongman is what Mthwakazi needs”

Language and political message delivery

Questions have been raised of the impact (to the message) of the language being used by some pro-Mthwakazi activists. This, I believe, is a fair question of interest in relation to the importance of language as a tool of communication. Words can make or break your message. If you do not pay attention to your words you risk damaging an otherwise excellent message as the language or words, and not the message, becomes the focus of the discussion.

Continue reading “Language and political message delivery”

Women participation key to Mthwakazi politics

Urging our pro-Mthwakazi organisations to be inclusive is not an attack. It is both progress and patriotic. We cannot continue running men’s clubs and calling them national political parties and act surprised when women keep a safe political distance.

Continue reading “Women participation key to Mthwakazi politics”
%d bloggers like this: