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Senate and PR, the maxim gun firing at Bulawayo

by Nhlanhla Moses Ncube (Secretary General)
07 Aug 2023 at 15:03hrs | Views
The Senate, Youth and PR lists for the 2023 harmonised elections in Bulawayo Province, are the newest metaphorical maxim gun whose bullets are brutally firing at the tender heart of the City of Bulawayo, the cultural and economic nucleus of Matabeleland. The City of Queens and Kings has sadly become the epicenter of the tribal political tug-of-war pitting national political party leaders from Harare against the local people of Bulawayo, leaving the latter maliciously disenfranchised, politically weakened and economically excluded.

The notorious maxim gun
When the Pioneer Column invaded Matabeleland in 1893, the arsenal that won it political and economic power was chiefly the hell-baked maxim gun whose cruel bullets mercilessly ravaged King Lobhengula's valiant regiments. This destructive weapon was the first fully automatic water-cooled machine gun, designed somewhere in Europe in 1884 and used especially in the First World War. Imperialist Cecil John Rhodes'  British South Africa Company (BSAC), as an illegal immigrant into Matabeleland, gained advantage through the use of the notorious maxim gun which proved to be technically more advanced than the local spears and amahawu used by our gallant forefathers.

After the Gadade Battle,  King Lobhengula razed Bulawayo down, because he did not want it to be destroyed by the lustful invaders. The king also refused to be captured. Today the maxim gun has taken a different form and those using it are ironically, of black skin. One can be forgiven to believe that the burning down of Bulawayo by King Lobhengula, together with his avoidance of capture, give us the very symbolic and timeless message: Never allow yourselves and Bulawayo to be captured, burned and destroyed! Ilizwi lomzali aliweli phansi, our elders say.

Fertilising the tribal ovum
Now, over a century later, Bulawayo is once more a victim of both immigration and emigration which have seen all her power and space taken away, albeit, by legal immigrants from modern day Harare, while the children of Bulawayo are on forced emigration to regional countries, Europe and America, among a host of destinations, thereby effectively fertilising the tribal ovum of the second occupation of the region.

Interestingly, the same economic and political variable of old, which caused the occupation of Matabeleland, is still at play and is now being propelled by the external politics of the majority from outside the victim territory against the traditional inhabitants. The imaginary majority (for they are not the majority in Matabeleland) is used to milk both political power and economic resources,  at the expense of the disempowered, but partly willing locals. Their willingness is being smoothly sculptured by their voting patterns as opposed to 1893 when there was only one weapon for self defence, the spear. Befittingly, amabutho gallantly fought although they were eventually overpowered. On the contrary, their current offspring are being willingly fettered and head-clamped to the gallows through their vote. Defend them, if you can.

The crooked pathway
The current ethnically motivated maxim gun resumed vomiting its savage bullets in the direction of Bulawayo as early as during the Lancaster House negotiations that resulted in the birthing of the blast furnace code-named Zimbabwe, which is an amalgamation of Matabeleland and Mashonaland.

From 1980, all the way to the Entumbane Zanla-Zipra clashes, along Matabeleland Genocide Avenue, to Unity Accord narrow street, up along 1999 Road, via the 2008 Wide Pathway, into the GNU Beer Garden, all the way to the CCC old railway line, where only the train wins every argument, the people of Bulawayo have been perennially molested and caressed by the Hararians' rough-nailed hands, in the political sense. They have traveled along the thorny, uncaring and crooked pathway. The result has been the fall off the political and economic wagon by all the strong men and women of the region, with the remainder of them either being cowed into submission or thrown by the wayside into political oblivion, yet with some having had to settle for the proverbial crumbs.

The calculated trigonometry of politics
Currently, as we head into the 2023 plebiscite, Bulawayo is deeply under siege from the devastating attacks that rain fire and brimstone on her. Indisputably, the newest weaponry in the invasion of Bulawayo, are the Senate, Proportional Representation (PR) and Youth lists by wayward national political parties that are led and dominated by people from Harare. As the result, Bulawayo is socially, politically and economically amputated. These lists are undeniably the preserve of very powerful politicians from Harare who handpick only their kinsmen and bootlickers for the first slots in their tribally calculated trigonometry of politics while the politically mauled candidates of Bulawayo origin settle for the distant last positions on the lists. As a consequence, the helpless Bulawayo victim is forced to vigorously campaign for the National Assembly candidates at all costs in a bid to ensure that the party gets enough votes that can accommodate even the very last person on the list, which is highly improbable to attain, anyway.

You are dividing the vote!
While the white man made the people of Matabeleland toil for him in the fields and mines (belima ngathi), however, the Hararians  have added another dimension of using direct political slavery in which the original inhabitants of Bulawayo have to sort of cowardly seek political power through Harare in the hope that once the old or young Hararian wins, he will then promote the Bulawayo victim to some prestigious political position (You and I, know that it never gets above the deputy position). What boggles the mind is that the Matabelelander would not love to even hear any iota of criticism of his Harare party by anyone from Bulawayo. He will also accuse his fellow Bulawayo victims of dividing the vote. Although in essence, Mashonaland has more political parties contesting Zimbabwe elections, than Matabeleland. Ironically, it is only political organisations from Matabeleland that are accused by fellow Matabelelanders of dividing the vote. It is common to hear the claim: 'You are dividing the vote!' which also goes with the diatribe that you are giving ZANU (PF) the advantage in election. One wonders whose vote, it is.

Demobilised to abject poverty
Upmarket residencies in the east of Bulawayo now belong to Hararians of all makes and designs. Strangely but unsurprisingly, one can hardly find this in the rest of the country. Due to systematic tribalism and exclusionary ZANU (PF) policies since 1980, low density suburban areas in the Bulawayo now belong to people from outside the region as it was in Rhodesia when the area was officially a whites-only zone. The current scenario is obviously not by coincidence, but by design. The difference now is that an illicit policy exists and is only known by the perpetrators themselves.

As a post-independence strategy by ZANU (PF), most productive people in Bulawayo and Matabeleland were brutally murdered in cold blood during the genocide. Those who were in Zipra were slaughtered or demobilised and condemned to abject poverty. Those who had established business entities had those businesses taken away from them or burned down under false accusations of owners being dissidents.

On the other hand, Zanla largely remained in the national army and continued earning salaries. Government employed those from Mashonaland and influenced the private sector to do the same. As the result, most productive people from Matabeleland (if they survived the manslaughter), were left with no option but to emigrate to neighbouring countries and overseas to slave for their families. In minimal cases, those are the only few who own houses and properties in the eastern suburbs of Bulawayo. The rest of the population is diabolically demobilised and condemned to abject poverty.

In that regard, the current Senate, youth and PR candidates lists, together with the National Assembly roll in Bulawayo Province, are the proverbial maxim gun that mercilessly fires bullets from Harare to annihilate Bulawayo. The trend has reached alarming levels and should be curtailed at all costs. Only the victims can do that, and they require no assistance from anyone. The unity of Matabeleland is key.

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Source - Nhlanhla Moses Ncube (Secretary General)