Friday, September 16, 2011

King Mzilikazi Day inspiring struggle for Mthwakazi recognition.

This year’s King Mzilikazi Day celebrations saw an unprecedented number of Mthwakazians converging in various places to celebrate and remember the eventful life of King Mzilikazi, the great founder of the Mthwakazi nation.
In the land of the Americas, Mthwakazians gathered in Dallas, Texas  and this event lasted between the 2nd to 4th September 2011.
Sabelo Ngwenya
Six days later,Mthwakazians back home also gathered at the historic Entumbane Hill, Matopos and  at Berea Park, Johannesburg, South Africa.
I feel privileged to have been part of a record gathering of South African based Mthwakazians who converged at Berea Park in the glittering cosmopolitan city of Johannesburg to mark yet another day in honour of our great king warrior King, Mzilikazi KaMatshobana.
From the beginning I must underline that it was a day well spent  for a hero whose legacy is unparalleled. As the proceedings of the day unfolded it dawned to me that this was more than just a celebration of the life and death of a historical figure: the re-awakening of Mthwakazi was happening right before my eyes. It was a consciousness-raising trans-generational ritual that, in my humble view will add the much needed fuel to the revitalized Mthwakazi independence agenda.
So massive was this year’s event that I was also left convinced that those who still entertain any whiff of doubt about the feasibility and sustainability of the entire Mthwakazi project are perfect candidates for mental health institutions. That Mthwakazi’s long awaited season of self-deterministic revivalism is finally upon us and here to stay is a fact that no normal mortal can even attempt to refute!
Speaking from a revolutionary’s perch I must single out  the ritualistic burning of impepho (incense) at this event as an episode that did not only re-link us to our great heritage but also left some people in no doubt that King Mzilikazi’s legacy is the life-giving oxygen that has kept the Mthwakazi dream alive up to this present day.
But who was King Mzilikazi KaMatshobana? In both oral and written historiography King Mzilikazi is unpacked as a great military commander, strategist, diplomat and natural leader who built the great Mthwakazi nation out of virtual impossibility.
His ability to mould and preserve a highly migratory state took more than the Shakaian military artwork and his realistic dream of creating a viable multicultural society anticipated the modern day Mandelaian concept of a rainbow nation by more than a century. Last but not least,his choice of the name Mthwakazi,(a name that paid tribute to the original inhabitants of the land upon which he completed his state building project) for the nation-state that he created is way ahead of its time.
His illustrious legacy is a source of envy, if not a source of inspiration to many latter day state builders. So great is King Mzilikazi’s legacy that back in 1896, Cecil John Rhodes, the man who later conquered Mthwakazi ; an enduring product of King Mzilikazi’s own political and military artistry, found wisdom in visiting the king’s final resting place at Entumbane Hill,Matopos. So awe-struck was Mr Rhodes that he couldn’t help sharing his great admiration of King Mzilikazi with one Gordon Le Seuer.
“I admire the imagination of uMzilikazi.There he lies, a conquerer alone. Watching over the land that he won.When I die I mean to be buried here...”, he reportedly exclaimed in a whisper.
There is indeed no doubt that we live in the towering shadows of a great man, whose enduring legacy is pregnant with remarkable acts of heroism; a rich fountain of revolutionary inspiration. The record of risks that King Mzilikazi took and the dossier of challenges that he overcame in the name of nation building should spell like sunshine to a young Mthwakazi revolutionary.
As we celebrate King Mzilikazi’s legacy we must keep it in the back of our minds that 118 years of colonial rule has brought us nothing but disgrace and humiliation. We are so unlucky to be a generation of orphans whose great inheritance was first turned over to the British colonialists before being passed over to the Zimbabwean aliens. Our Mthwakazi heritage has served as a goldmine to alien hoodlums and looters since 1893, and our people have endured untold barbarism at the hands of aliens for a cumulative period of 118 years!
So dehumanizing and painful has been Mthwakazi’s colonial experience at the hands of aliens that one prominent Mthwakazi activist recently decreed that every Mthwakazian should make it a revolutionary ritual  to open their bible and visit the book of  Lamentations 5:1-3 which reads thus:
“1 Remember, O LORD, what has happened to us; look, and see our disgrace. 2 Our inheritance has been turned over to aliens, our homes to foreigners. 3 We have become orphans and fatherless, our mothers like widows”:
Reading this biblical passage leaves one in no shadow of doubt that it was tailor-made to mirror the extremely sorry state of affairs that the once great nation of Mthwakazi finds herself in today. The answer to the question of how the descendants of a people whose king is well-known for his solomonic legacy ended up under the chains of slavery is definitely not a footnote of history.
Little does it dawn to many of us that we are heirs to the rich estate of a great hero and a nation builder. We have a generational duty to break this chain of perpetual oppression and restore the great nation that King Mzillikazi bequeathed to us.
Thus said I must admit that I find it so heartening that the current generation of Mthwakazians has discovered the wisdom of harnessing King Mzilikazi’s heroic legacy in the struggle to end 118 years of suffering under the yoke of colonialism. This trend must be further nurtured and encouraged for the sake of our posterity.
At this juncture, we clearly need unleash the revolutionary spears against the enemy. There is a pressing need to invoke King Mzilikazi’s courage and nation building skills in facing the challenge of rebuilding a nation that has endured 118 years of merciless pillage, genocides and statelessness at the hands of alien hoodlums, fortune seekers and barbarians. Mthwakazi, the time liberate ourselves has come.Let us stand up and break the chains of oppression!
Ayihlome Mthwakazi!
Sabelo Ngwenya  is the National Organising Secretary of Mthwakazi Liberation Front(MLF) and he writes in his personal capacity.His views in this article does not in any way represent the official view of Mthwakazi Liberation Front.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Zimbabwe: the case for two states by: George Mkhwanazi

ZIMBABWE, which was called Rhodesia before its attainment of independence in 1980, is a former British colony.
Although there are over ten tribes that inhabit the country, Zimbabwe can neatly be divided into two nations; the Shona (75 percent) and Mthwakazi, also known as Matabele, (25 percent). Each ethnic group has further sub-divisions.
In both nations cited however, categorisation is not based purely on ethnicity but also on political, historical and geographical factors.
Before colonisation in 1890/93, both groups lived independent of each other. However, whilst Mthwakazi existed as a formally constituted state with all the mechanics of a government, Mashonaland only existed as a collection of scattered chiefdoms which had no central authority linking them together as a nation.
The creation of the state of Rhodesia in 1895, after the defeat of the Ndebele by British Forces in 1894, resulted in the amalgamation of Matabeleland (Mthwakazi) and Mashonaland (Zimbabwe) for the settlers’ capitalist exploitation and administrative convenience.
The occupation of Mashonaland in 1890 took the quiet march of 500 men and that of Matabeleland in 1893, took an invasion force of 5000 troops armed with modern weapons including the deadly Maxim gun in a bloody war that spilled over into 1894.
In 1980, when Rhodesia won her independence from Britain, Matabeleland was inherited by Zimbabwe as a colonial present.
The irresponsible decolonisation process placed Matabeleland under the crushing weight of a cruel ethnic domination programme. The people of Mthwakazi found themselves silently sleep-walking their way to eventual doom and extinction under a ruthless internal colonisation scheme.
If something is not done urgently to salvage the situation, the entire sub-merged nation of over three million people faces a perilous future in which it will cease to exist as an entity.
Since the attainment of the so-called independence in 1980, the Mthwakazi nation has been thrown into a state of confusion and paralysis which has seen various forms of satanic brutality being visited upon the people.
Zimbabwe, as a new colonial power over Mthwakazi, has abused the numerical advantage of the Shona people to effectively exclude Mthwakazi nationals from any meaningful participation in the country’s political and economic affairs.
Colonial Subjugation
There is something unmistakably colonial in Zimbabwe’s attitude to its Mthwakazi subjects. Colonialists impose their values, language, culture and filth on the colonised and Zimbabwe did just that.
Under the leadership of its fascist president, Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe has, true to colonial traditions, exerted its authority violently on the Mthwakazians in an attempt to crush their national ego and pride.
The domestic colonialists have designed strategies that seek to reduce the capacity of the Mthwakazi people to compete with them for the same political space, the same economic opportunities and resources and have deviously created a state of inertia in which their victims have remained frozen on one spot as the ‘master’ rapaciously loots, plunders, pillages and exploits resources in Mthwakazi without any modicum of restraint or remorse for his actions.
Zimbabwe has thus effectively barricaded all overtures likely to promote and enhance the life of the Mthwakazi people.
The Shona term for ethnic and racial domination of minorities is ‘chimurenga’. Unlike the other models of domination which are visible and come into being through legislations, the chimurenga conspiracy is neither legislative nor official. It operates in the darkness like a nocturnal snake that slithers under the tall grass and strikes unobserved. The result of its venomous attack is as shocking as it is fatal.
In the absence of a clear-cut anti-chimurenga programme, numerous goals have been scored against the undefended Mthwakazi goal area. Ironically, there are those of Mthwakazi extraction who have served and continue to serve the devil and its mutant forms. This is undoubtedly unacceptable collaboration and participation in the extermination of their compatriots.
From January 1983 until December 1987, a Zanla crack regiment exclusively composed of Shona soldiers trained by North Korean experts in manslaughter, killed close to 50 000 civilians in the Mthwakazi territory of Matabeleland and Midlands. In an operation code named ‘Gukurahundi’, which means ‘Operation-Eliminate-the-Chaff’, tens of thousands of people were butchered in cold blood.
Millions more were left traumatised, displaced and disoriented after being subjected to brutal experiences including torture and rape.
While Robert Mugabe denied responsibility, a Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) report revealed that of the total number of people killed, 88 percent were accounted for by the 5th Brigade, 6.5 percent by the CIO, 4.5 percent by the Zimbabwe National Army while 2 percent were murdered by the dissidents. All the four perpetrators were under the command of the Zanu-PF Government.
Rather than seek to unite the nation in the aftermath of a bloody war for independence which left the country divided along tribal and racial lines, Mugabe plotted to exterminate the Mthwakazi nationals and attempted to wipe them off the face of the earth.
In order to achieve this end he had to create a perfect excuse which would allow him to annihilate an innocent nation without being condemned by the international community. Mugabe knew that in the elections that supposedly placed him in power, the people of Mthwakazi had exhibited an unmistakable aversion to being ruled by him and his ilk. His reign over them amounted to a colonial occupation since he did not have their electoral mandate.
For tactics of dealing with an unwilling territory that resists colonial occupation, Mugabe turned to his terrorist allies, the North Koreans, by brutalising a whole nation in which he hoped to break their spines. Thus, the Gukurahundi operation in 1983, undertaken exactly 90 years after the Anglo-Ndebele War of 1893 which paved the way for British rule in Mthwakazi, was a curious repeat of history.
This was a precursor to a second colonisation of the country, this time by another African group.
Reasons for Extermination
Many people have posited numerous hypotheses trying to explain why a tribal army was trained to terrorise people in Mthwakazi. Some have advanced the argument that Mugabe wanted to emasculate and incapacitate ZAPU as an opposition party.
Still others opine that the objective was to subdue political opposition in preparation for the creation of a one party state in the country. The officialZANU(PF)positionisthatitwasagovernmentresponseto `the scourge of dissidents who threatened peace and stability in the country`.
A clear analysis of the course of action undertaken by the Mugabe regime proves all the above hypotheses to be unsustainable. Instead, a clear programme of extermination and ethnic cleansing unmistakably reveals itself.
The stubborn facts on the ground indicate that Mthwakazians were not massacred because they were ZAPU supporters but simply because they were Mthwakazians.
ZAPU was not an exclusively Mthwakazi party. It had substantial numbers of Shona leaders and supporters.
If Mugabe’s intention was to crush ZAPU support, he would have targeted ZAPU supporters in Mashonaland near his home area since these must have offended him even more by their proximity to Zvimba, his rural home.
ZAPU even had a constituency in Mashonaland represented by Ariston Chambati and this was a clear case of Shona supporters and leaders of ZAPU being generally spared the wrath of the government.
The Gukurahundi travelled hundreds of kilometres away from Mashonaland and started perpetrating atrocities only in Ndebele inhabited areas such as Gokwe, Kwekwe, Silobela, Zhombe, Lower Gwelo in the Midlands and the entire Matabeleland region.
In the Shona-dominated top leadership of ZAPU, only the Mthwakazi leaders were targeted: Joshua Nkomo, Dumiso Dabengwa, Lookout Masuku, Welshman Mabhena, Edward Ndlovu, Sikhwili Moyo, Kembo Mohadi, Sidney Malunga, Makhathini Guduza, and many other Mthwakazians in ZAPU/ZIPRA were incarcerated, harassed or forced into exile. Others such as Jini Ntutha were cold-bloodedly murdered.
However, Joseph Msika, the Secretary-General of ZAPU, Josiah Chinamano, the Vice-President of the party, Samuel Munodawafa, the National Chairman, Willie Musarurwa, the Information and Publicity Secretary, Clement Muchachi, Daniel Madzimbamuto, Ariston Chambati, Ambrose Mutinhiri and many other Shona officials of ZAPU were never molested even on a single day.
Instead some of them were offered top posts in the parastatals or sent into diplomatic missions. Chinamano even had the luxury of dying during the height of the political turmoil and still be declared a national hero, a luxury denied to both Jini Ntutha and Lookout Masuku.
Clearly therefore, the intention was not just to crush ZAPU support but to exterminate Mthwakazians. It is also quite interesting to note that the Five Brigade Force was created long before any dissidents had been spotted in the country. The first reported case of dissidents was in July 1982 but the deal with the North Koreans to train an anti-dissident unit of the army was clinched in August 1980, three months after attaining independence.
Here is a situation in which treatment for a disease was discovered long before anyone had suffered the first case of that disease. It is clear once again that the dissident menace was manufactured by Mugabe himself so as to create the appropriate conditions for the annihilation of the Mthwakazi nationals.
The Gukurahundi force was established for military campaign against the Mthwakazi nationals so as to break their spines and prepare them for a new colonial status under their Zimbabwean masters.
In an interview with a British newspaper in 1983, at the height of the military campaign against the Mthwakazi people, Mugabe remarked that the action was meant to ‘re-orient the Ndebeleand streamline them to accept the verdict of the majority under whom fate has placed them permanently’. The aftermath of the Gukurahundi massacres left in Mthwakazi an enfeebled population which frantically struggled to learn Shona as a language in order to escape death.
Mthwakazians soon realised that the inability to speak Shona was an outright death sentence or at the very least, a disqualification from access to the job market. By the end of the military campaign in 1987, roughly 90 percent of the jobs in Matabeleland were held by Shona people. Government departments, parastatals, public institutions and the private sector became exclusively filled with Shona labour force.
Consequently, Mthwakazians were pushed out of the country’s borders into neighbouring Botswana and South Africa where they began to live a precarious life as economic refugees long before the post-2005 outpouring of Zimbabwean refugees into neighbouring countries.
It is quite astonishing that when the Mthwakazi people were bearing the brunt of Zanu-PF brutalities, the world stood by, watching gleefully. Nobody raised a single finger in condemnation of these dastardly acts.
This contrasts sharply with the international reactions provoked by Mugabe’s bashing of the white commercial farmers in 2000. The international community was tricked into indifference by Mugabe who sent secret state agents to kill six foreign tourists in Matabeleland and blame their murder on the ‘Ndebele speaking dissidents’.
This way, Mugabe scored a diplomatic coup against ZAPU as he succeeded in starving the Mthwakazi nationals of the international sympathy they so desperately needed. Hence the world viewed the Mthwakazi people as a ‘rogue people’ who needed to be punished.
It is inconceivable that the search for six abductees and less that 100 dissidents resulted with nearly 50 000 people being killed, over a million being displaced and traumatised.
It is also difficult to understand the psychology of a black government which was prepared to slaughter so many of its African population in search of a handful of foreign visitors.
Curiously, when three British tourists were killed in Manicaland in1982, near the training bases of the Five Brigade, their gruesome murder did not prompt the Zanu-PF government to unleash the notorious force on the Manyika people. The Five Brigade had obviously been trained for the subjugation of the Mthwakazi populace, not the Manyika.
The issue of the statehood of Mthwakazi should have been resolved at the pre- independence negotiations in 1979 and the error should be condemned as a tragic constitutional omission on the part of the delegation led by Joshua Nkomo. It should not have been assumed that Mthwakazians embraced the Zimbabwean identity. That assumption has never been put to test.
Mugabe’s Legacy 
At its most robust performance, the Zimbabwean economy had already been substantially converted into Shona control, thanks to Mugabe’s indigenisation policies. Even during the debilitating period of its collapse, those that had been empowered by the Zanu-PF government continued to show allegiance to the regime and they are responsible for averting a total degeneration to anarchy.
Financial institutions, manufacturing industry, parastatals, public institutions and the private sector all became monuments of Shona economic and political supremacy. In the financial services sector all the commercial banking institutions – from Agribank to the Zimbabwe Building Society were herded by Shona chief executives and chairman. The only excerption was Mthuli Ncube’s Barbican Bank.
There is no doubt that Zimbabwean businessmen and executives have directly or indirectly benefited from Mugabe’s legacy. The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, which has never been headed by an Mthwakazian, is responsible for the issuing of bankers’ licences. It is not surprising therefore to note that the system favours the ‘indigenous Zimbabweans’.
This trend of Shona domination of key economic sectors is also evident in state enterprises either privatised or still wholly owned by the government. Most of the companies - from Dairiboard to the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings (ZBC) were headed by Shona executives. Again, there was only one excerption – Willovale Mazda Motor Industries which was headed by Ben Khumalo.
It is now common knowledge that Robert Mugabe sourced funds from the IMF and World Bank and then channelled them into loan disbursement programs through the indigenous banks ‘in order to ensure that the necessary discrimination policy against the Ndebele was applied’ (Secret Zanu-PF Document,2002).
The funds, in some instances, were scooped directly out of the Treasury or Central Bank to be distributed to selected people to establish banks or buy white-owned businesses. This is the reason why the Zanu-PF government was vicious as it dealt with its beneficiaries when they became disloyal to the party.           
The parastatals are absolutely in ‘indigenous’ hands and it is these companies that were used to drain the national fiscus as they were perennial loss-makers. Several times the Treasury had to ‘rescue’ Ziscosteel, Noczim, Air Zimbabwe, GMB, CAAZ, NRZ and ZBC. Incidentally, it is these parastatals that recorded unprecedented levels of corruption and under hand deals involving Cabinet Ministers in Mugabe’s government.
Security and Civil Services

Ethnic origins unclear? General Sibanda gets medal form President Mugabe
Even the top brass in the security service has traditionally been dominated by Shonas and it the time under review the senior posts in were configured as follows: Commander Zimbabwe Defence Forces - General Vitalis Zvinavashe; Commander Zimbabwe National Army - Lt-General Constantine Chiwenga; Zimbabwe Air - Augustine Chihuri;  Zimbabwe Prison Services – Maj. General Paradzai Zimhondi; Central Intelligence Organisation – Hapson Bonyongwe.
All the top six positions in the military are in the hands of Shona people drawn from former Zanla guerrillas. The appointment of Perence Shiri came as an extreme shock to Mthwakazians since they had known him as ‘Black Jesus’ who had commanded the Five Brigade  forces in Matabeleland when they committed 90 percent of the atrocities. Although the new Army commander, Phillip Valerio Sibanda is a former ZIPRA, his ethnic identity is unclear.
The Chronicle of 12 March 2004 published a list of appointments of Senior Civil Servants by President Robert Mugabe. Of the 20 permanent secretary and other senior appointments, onlyRay Ndhlukula, Deputy Secretary for Policy Coordination and Administration in the Office of the President and Cabinet was a Mthwakazian. Even then, he was only a Deputy Secretary.
Land hunger in the country is not a fictitious phenomenon. Immediately after independence, people in various parts of Matabeleland abandoned their villages to resettle themselves in the neighbouring commercial farms. In Tsholotsho, villagers resettled themselves in the Teakdale, Durban and Muntu Farms near Nyamandlovu. In Matobo District, Inqama Settlers resettled themselves in the Rhodes Estate in the Matopo Game Park. In Nkayi, villagers resettled themselves in the Kenilworth Farm.
In all the cases above, the government responded with a heavy hand, evicting all of them with brute force.
However, twenty years later in 2000, the same government sponsored farm invasions in Svosve in Mashonaland and lied to the whole world that the occupations were spontaneous. Under a new Land Acquisition and Resettlement Programme, the Government resettled 70 000 families in Matabeleland all imported from outside the region.
The people of Matabeleland suddenly discovered that strangers had been resettled in farms adjacent to their homes, the same farms from which they were forcibly removed 20 years earlier on. This is a scandal that the people must resist with all force.
Infrastructural Development
In 1993 Bulawayo-based economist, Dr Eric Block was quoted by The Sunday Mail as having said that ‘nodevelopment will trickle down to Matabeleland unless three million Shonasincluding the Presidentarerelocated to that province’. It is perplexing that whilst Matabeleland is drier than Masvingo, the latter has had more dams constructed for it than the former.
With the completion of Tokwe-Mukosi Dam, Masvingo became the proud home of the largest and second largest in-land dams in Zimbabwe. Lake Mutirikwe is the largest inland water body while Tokwe-Mukosi Dam is the second largest. Seventeen years after Eric Block’s ‘foul-mouthing’, the Zambezi Water Project still remains a pipe dream.
Thirty years since independence, Bulawayo’s skyline has remained basically the same whereas Harare has transformed into a modern city comparable to any in the developed world. Except for short stretches of tarred roads from Nkayi to Kwekwe, Tsholotsho to Siphepha and Gwanda to Guyu, the road networks in Matabeleland have remained with their Rhodesian outlook.
The Government electrified the railway line between Harare and Gweru but did not allow Matabeleland the same luxury. Yet the electricity denied to Matabeleland is generated within the province.
Education & Hospitals 
In the education sector, all schools in Bulawayo have a Shona majority in terms of staffing. This is traceable to the teachers’ colleges which have a decidedly pro-Shona admissions policy. This means Matabeleland has been under producing educators resulting in it having to depend on the spill over teachers who have been over reproduced by other regions.
Whenever they complain about discrimination, Mthwakazians are always reminded that these institutions are ‘national.’ As such, people should not expect them to be filled with local students. They are also reminded that the statistics in these institutions are a reflection of demographic ratios of the whole country.
Ironically, Khami Prison, another ‘national institution’ located in Mthwakazi, does not reflect those ethnic ratios. The Ndebele constitute over 90 percent of the inmates. However, the prison staff, including wardens and chaplains, is predominantly Shona and Shona is the medium of shouting orders and preaching!
In 1999, in an article published by Moto magazine, Doctor Cotton, a white medical practitioner at the United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH), expressed grave concern about the fact that there were so few Ndebele doctors and nurses at the institution that they had to rely on the interpretory services of non-medical staff in order to communicate with patients.
He attributed the situation to a ‘disproportionate number of Shona doctors and nurses being trained anddeployed in Matabeleland’. All Government health institutions are predominantly manned by Shona staff which refuses to speak to the patients in the languages they understand.
Venda, Kalanga, Sotho, Nambya and Tonga are officially categorised as minority languages. That means they do not enjoy government priority when it comes to language development programmes. Apart from Nambya, all the above languages are also spoken outside Zimbabwe. For their most basic literature such as dictionaries, these ethnic groups have to rely on publications done in Zambia (Tonga), South Africa (Venda and Sotho) and Botswana (Kalanga).
In schools, these languages are offered only up to the elementary level. Some of their language activists erroneously blame SiNdebele for their underdevelopment. Yet Ndebeles are not responsible for the formulation of the present language policy.
However, the greatest hostility of the state is against SiNdebele. SiNdebele, which had its own radio station (Radio Mthwakazi) before independence in 1980, had that facility callously seized from it and arbitrarily placed under a Shona radio station called Radio 2 (later renamed Radio Zimbabwe).
Since then, SiNdebele has been relegated to an echo of Shona programs. All news bulletins are broadcast in Shona first and SiNdebele last. It is not known what informed the adoption of such an order.
Because Shona is used inside SiNdebele news broadcasts, up to 8 minutes of a ten-minute airtime allocation can be taken up by Shona newsmakers forcing Ndebeles to listen to a Shona news bulletin during a SiNdebele slot. This is calculated to project SiNdebele as an inferior language which the listeners can dispense with.
In some churches, Mthwakazians are not permitted to worship in their languages as illustrated by the cases of the Roman Catholic Church (Sunday News, 16/02/03), the Anglican Church (The Standard, 23/06/02) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Zimbabwe (ELCZ), (Bhebe, N 1995).
In Bulawayo, all church services and songs in the Roman Catholic Church were conducted in Shona, prompting Archbishop Pius Ncube to convene a bishops’ conference in which a new language policy was crafted allowing worshippers the right to worship in their language.
In the Anglican Church, Rev Kunonga banned the use of SiNdebele during the Bernard Mizeki pilgrimage whereas in the ELCZ the church imposed Pastor Shoko in Tshabalala (Bulawayo) who conducted his sermons in Shona much to the chagrin of the largely Ndebele congregation.
Political Options
Zanu-PF is the single ugliest symbol of Ndebele humiliation. Nothing and nobody else has ever been so ruthless, so atrocious and genocidal in the life and history of the Mthwakazians. For that reason Zanu-PF presents fewer challenges than the MDC when it comes to mobilising the people against colonial occupation by Zimbabwe.
In parliament the Ndebele do have representation mostly from the MDC legislators. Superficially, it could be argued that these are the leaders of our people. However, for as long as the people believe in the MDC, they (both MDCs are Shona led) will continue to draw them away from their genuine national cause as Matabeles and offer them false hopes in an artificial ‘national’ effort to unseat the Zanu-PF government.
This is a tragic cost to the Mthwakazi revolution.
The gesture of removing Mugabe and Zanu-PF in collaboration with other citizens of Zimbabwe is quite honourable but when it demands that Mthwakazians should suspend their original cause of reclaiming their sovereignty, expend their energies in assisting the Shona to replace Mugabe with Morgan Tsvangirai/Arthur Mutambara then that gesture is an enemy too.
Up to this moment it is not clear what, after unseating Zanu-PF, the MDC government intends to do to reverse the damage caused by the Mugabe regime on the Ndebele. Much to the advantage of the Mugabe regime, the MDC gravy train has managed to overrun Matabele political psychology and enclosed it in a potable container which they manipulate through the independent media.
It is in this area that The Daily News excelled before it was banned. That publication succeeded in parrying off Zanu-PF propaganda against the MDC as well as crushing alternative opposition views different from those of the MDC.
Surely if the MDC wanted to win the electoral backing of Matabeleland it should have made its post-Mugabe programme clear and clean and should have lucidly spelt out how it would be different from its proto-type (Zanu-PF). Whilst the party’s quarrel with Zanu-PF over economic mismanagement and political power remains sincere, their intentions of what to do with that power remains a worrying source of mystery.
Tsvangirai’s Cabinet appointments following the Global Political Agreement excluded Ndebeles until a massive public outcry forced him to hastily announce the appointment of Sipepa Nkomo, Joel Gabhuza and Thamsanqa Mahlangu. How such a man can be looked upon as a Mthwakazi saviour defeats all logic.
he fact that he can wantonly overlook those that have stood with him during his political dry spells in favour of those that have just recently discovered that he is a credible leader makes him a dangerous political gamble. The Ndebele cannot afford that kind of gamble anymore.
Two-Nation State Solution
From the foregoing, it is evident that Zimbabwe is not one country. Continuing to pretend that it is one is a dangerous hallucination. It goes without saying that as a means to manage this historicity, the country has to adopt either a federal constitutional arrangement or break up into two republics.
The first option is to divide Zimbabwe into two federal states of Mashonaland and Matabeleland, where there will be a 50-50 share of everything including representation in parliament and government. It is not the issue of population or areal size of the countries that matters. What matters is the fact that two nations would have agreed to confederate.
There should be a rotating presidency after every five years between the Mthwakazians and the Zimbabweans. This would be done in order to forestall a situation where those with numerical advantage abuse their numbers to deny other citizens their democratic rights. These principles will have to be enshrined in a constitution that provides for the creation of a federal republic of Zimbabwe crafted by both groups and adopted by consensus.
Zimbabwe’s current unitary constitution is guilty of fomenting conflict in the country. It is a time bomb whose explosion will one day cause the devastation of the lie called ‘Zimbabwe’. Not even a trilateral power deal by three unitarist political parties can stop that. The country needs to acknowledge, accept and accommodate its diversity by crafting a constitution that recognises that reality.
The administrative superstructure should ensure that resources, opportunities and power are distributed equally to all sections of the population.
The two nations will have their own cabinets headed by elected premiers. The regional governments collect revenue and remit some of it to the federal government. This arrangement can be achieved without bloodshed, and that would be a demonstration of political maturity. However, if this cannot be achieved amicably, then a higher order of self-rule that merits patriotic sacrifice should be demanded, and that is total sovereignty.
The Ultimate Option
It has always been human nature that when man is denied his most basic needs, he goes for the highest perched fruit. This is the scenario in most African countries where there is conflict.
In Ethiopia, the state of Eritrea would have continued as a province of that country had the authorities there agreed to a federal arrangement. When denied the federal option, the Eritreans fought for total self-rule even against the will of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), which stubbornly opposes boundary alterations. The Eritreans achieved their ultimate objective through an armed struggle.
For the rest of the struggling peoples of the world, an armed revolution remains a viable solution to achieve a solid foothold for outright sovereign statehood. The sovereign statehood option would be the most ideal for the region of Mthwakazi. In terms of the size of the new country, its demography, economy, or precedence, this is a highly feasible option.
In terms of the size, Matabeleland is bigger than Sierra Leone, Liberia, Malawi, Lesotho, Swaziland, Togo, Guinea Bissau, Rwanda, Burundi, Eritrea and Djibouti all found in Africa and are full members of both the African Union and United Nations.
In terms of population, Matabeleland has 3, 5 million people making her one of the ten most populous nations in the SADC region. Economically, Matabeleland contributes nearly 40 percent of Zimbabwe’ Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This translated to US$12 billion in 2000. This figure is enough to comfortably sustain its people without subsidising the rest of Zimbabwe.
It is unfair for Mthwakazi to continue to exist to sustain Zimbabwe, her colonial master, at the expense of her own people. Successful precedents recorded in Eritrea, Sothern Sudan, Somaliland, Kosovo, Macedonia, Herzegovina, Slovenia among others are quite encouraging.
Oppressive governments create conditions which drive their citizens to wage war against them. Where there is war there is no prosperity. Resources are drained to feed the insatiable appetite of the god of war.
Rather than being used for the development of infrastructure and humanity, national resources are gobbled up in the war effort. This way, human needs become neglected and poverty reigns supreme. In these conditions, malnutrition and diseases erupt and becomedifficult to combat.
Zimbabwe may regard its current unitary constitution as non-negotiable. This is evidenced by the consistent rejection of demands for a federal dispensation in the past thirty years by the unitarist parties in government. During the 1999/2000 constitutional review process, six out of ten provinces wanted the constitution to adopt a ‘federal’ system of government.
Yet the compilers of the final draft document that was presented for the referendum edited this popular demand out of the final text.
Today, ten years later, Zimbabwe is back again on the road to finding a lasting solution to its constitutional anarchy.This was a good opportunity for a two-nation state to be introduced. However, owing to political disorientation of the Mthwakazians, this noble cause suffers a lack of political vehicle through which it could be achieved: Zanu-PF and the two MDCs are all sworn enemies of the idea.
A recently published article by The Chronicle that Chief Khayisa Ndiweni told a Constitutional outreach team that Zimbabwe needs to be separated into two states, that of Zimbabwe and Mthwakazi, is quite refreshing. It would be very sad if younger generations fail to take up the mantle from visionaries like Chief Ndiweni and lead Mthwakazians to a new dispensation. George Mkhwanazi writes in his private capacity.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Let's talk: Mugabe urges Tsvangirai

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe said on Saturday he was working to resolve a political dispute threatening his power-sharing government with rival Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC party.

Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said a fortnight ago it was "disengaging" from cabinet until Mugabe agreed to fully implement the fragile coalition's power-sharing deal, including swearing in several MDC officials.

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe said on Saturday he was working to resolve a political dispute threatening his power-sharing government with rival Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC party.

Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said a fortnight ago it was "disengaging" from cabinet until Mugabe agreed to fully implement the fragile coalition's power-sharing deal, including swearing in several MDC officials.

Speaking at the burial of Misheck Chando, a senior member of his Zanu PF party on Saturday, Mugabe again condemned the MDC's partial boycott of the government as "baffling and illogical," but said the issue had to be addressed as a domestic issue.

"We are glad that we are talking about it. We are treating it as a domestic political problem, and our attitude is that ultimately it is up to us as Zimbabweans to sort out our problems," he said in a mixture of English and Shona.

Mugabe gave no further details or made reference to the mediation efforts of the 15-nation Southern African Development Community which had a ministerial team in Harare on Friday.

Tsvangirai and his officials did not attend the funeral at Harare Heroes' Acre, a national shrine where Mugabe's Zanu PF movement has been burying mostly veterans of Zimbabwe's 1970s liberation war since it won power at independence in 1980. Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara, leader of a rival MDC faction which is also represented in the power sharing government, was at the funeral.

Mugabe accused Western powers of "endlessly and shamelessly" interfering in Zimbabwe's domestic affairs and said the national economy had suffered under sanctions imposed in a drive to oust his party.

"They are trying to direct the way our politics should go. They are not ashamed. They want us to go down on our knees."

Mugabe -- who was speaking a day after regional officials announced that Southern African states would soon hold a summit on the Zimbabwe crisis -- said even in cases where Zimbabweans seek outside help, they have the ultimate responsibility to resolve domestic disputes.

The veteran 85-year old president sounded slightly conciliatory to the MDC on Saturday, saying he only wonders about his rivals' political strategy of "one leg in and one leg out of the power-sharing government."

“When you have, as a party, and even as individuals, taken a stand that you shall work together with your political neighbours and your neighbours reciprocate it, then the requirement is that we indeed continue, step by step, and work together,” Mugabe said. “Whatever the difficulties become our difficulties together. Whatever the positive steps become our achievements together.

“For one party on an odd day to decide we shall not be fully in, we shall have one leg in and one leg out, then you begin to wonder: Have I entered into agreement with persons who do not understand?

“MDC-T is saying we are out, but we are still in. I don’t know what that means … this logic where you agree and disagree, where you disagree and agree. It’s quite new.”

Besides refusing to swear in some of its members into government, the MDC accuses Zanu PF -- which it calls an "arrogant and unreliable partner" of persecuting its officials and delaying media and constitutional reforms that will be key to holding free and fair elections in about two years.

Mugabe says he has met obligations under the power-sharing deal and maintains the MDC needs to campaign for the lifting of Western sanctions against his Zanu PF, including travel restrictions and a freeze on general financial aid to Zimbabwe. - Reuters

Sithambelumthetho:The history behind my uncommonly long name!

I was born exactly 31 years ago in a thatch and mud hut in the sleepy village of Makhwatheni in the Chief Sivalo Communal Area of Nkayi District ,Zimbabwe.My peasant family would later relocate to Nzalikwa Village[Gomoza] Lupane District,the place I call my natal home today.

My birth {or so I am told} was greeted by the trademark booming sound of a Bazooka shell explosion,punctuating the end of what turned out to be a successful ambush on the Rhodesian Forces by guerillas of Zimbabwe People's Revolutionary Army[Zipra]....hence I was nicknamed 'Ngindi'!

Although I no longer respond to same these days.I must admit that 'Ngindi' was not only my first nickname.It was also the first record of some of the events which contextualised my birth and tender age.! Suffice to say that this was at the height of Zimbabwe's war of liberation against the racist Rhodesian government!

My parents being a sample from Zimbabwe's peasantry were caught up in this war too!.They found themselves divided between their loyalty to the liberation movement and fear.!.THE FEAR OF THE LAW OF THE GUN.

Whoever had a gun called the shots! The gunmen of the day decreed and cancelled 'laws' as they wished!.The gun was the LAW. The ordinary man was always at the mercy of whoever sprung from the nearest bush armed with a gun. Either side of the warring factions could change the law of the land as they wished....for they had guns!.....The poor peasants were the object and most of the times silent victims of the law of the gun.

Only they could do was to 'thamba'{soften up] for 'umthetho'[the law ]...hence 'Sithambelumthetho'!Obedience to the law of the day was the only defensive weapon these defenceless folks had against both their supposed liberators[who raped and brutalised] and the Rhodesian Security Forces[who also raped and brutalised]

That is the name my parents gave me.The name that inspired me to be a lawyer and human rights activist.The name that is a rare record of injustices suffered by ordinary men in a time of war!

The name that remains my tag today:  SITHAMBELUMTHETHO!