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The Value of Peace in Mthwakazi - Mthwakazi Forum with Mzelikahle

23 Dec 2017 at 07:29hrs | Views
Kernan Mzelikahle, Lecturer at National University of Science and Technology
The value of peace is universal. Peace has the same positive contribution in Afghanistan as much as it has in Zimbabwe. Peace is the single biggest contributor to economic development, human satisfaction, and stability of any country. Surely, all these premises in-turn hold true for Mthwakazi. It therefore goes without say that anyone who wishes to lead the Mthwakazi people for whatever objectives aspired, needs to esteem the value of peace. Yes, there may be perceived adversaries in the matrix, be it political, economic, social, et cetera; however, if there is to be obtainable benefits in anyone's leadership, first the leadership must commit to peaceful processes.

We have read numerous articles from people in leadership of various Mthwakazi organisations, many  of them releasing provocative statements. I shall here hazard a risk of being labelled unpleasant names, as I enter a caveat on the matter. Many of these utterances are intended to show the world that the orator is brave. However the question is: What does a general Mthwakazian in the street, marginalised for many years in Zimbabwe's economic life, benefit from such bravery? Does (s)he want to risk losing a loved one, due to instability, simply to busk in the glow of such brave utterances? Many may think this position cowardice, but in truth it is a call to caution.

The economic marginalisation we find ourselves today submerged in, primarily stems from two factors. I shall state these factors in all honesty, and those who may feel offended by the truth, I do sympathise with them. The first factor is that economic life in Zimbabwe is centralised and it is very difficult to break through unless one relocates to Harare. Well, this explains why many organisations have called for devolution of administration, in an effort to bring the decision making power to local entities. In such an understanding, the economic life becomes cascaded to all areas in Zimbabwe. Some even view devolution as insufficient and envisage federalism as a better alternative because Local States will then have enough economic freedom to enact favourable ordinances for their economic interests. The calls to unbundle the unitary economic life in Zimbabwe have been loudest in Mthwakazi because this has a historical background to it.

The second factor that has contributed to economic marginalisation in Mthwakazi, is that the people of Mthwakazi have given up! The Mthwakazi people have espoused victimhood. Yes, here many of my people are going to blame me and call me names. However, if I love my people, I have to tell the truth even if the truth is not so comforting. Returning to the subject of victimhood, there are many factors that could have caused this. Of course many of the factors have been inflicted on Mthwakazi over 125 years, ever since Lobhengula disappeared. I shall not delve to chronicle these inflictions. I shall however hasten to say that all these inflictions must not convince us to settle for victimhood, rather they must make us stronger. An interesting case of a people who were inflicted by many tribulations, over a period of 2000 years even, comes to mind. These are the Jews. Their tribulations are recorded everywhere you look, even in the Bible. However, the Jews do not espouse victimhood, rather the tribulations have made them stronger. Yes, we may differ on the politics of Jerusalem, but the subject matter is of victimhood!

With this observation, the leadership in Mthwakazi, instead of uttering provocative statements to the government, I propose they channel those energies towards building sustainable institutions that will benefit the people of Mthwakazi. The current Zimbabwean constitution allows anyone to pursue their social and economic interests, for as long they are legal. So, what is stopping us, as Mthwakazians to come together and pursue social and economic activities that are intended to uplift Mthwakazi. Yes, the isiNdebele language they are teaching our children has errors, and is unacceptable. What is stopping us from writing the correct language books and we lobby for their adoption? As I have already alluded, it is the principle of victimhood that is hindering our coordination.

I contend that we can achieve more by peaceful and constitutional means; and a symbiotic relationship with the Zimbabwean government. Look at how much Scotland achieved by working together with England, even though the English were, and in many ways still are, Scottish arch-enemies. I understand that Mthwakazi is not Scotland, even though Bulawayo is modelled after Edinburgh. Only in 1997 did Scotland recover its Parliament after it was lost in 1707. Historically, Mthwakazi had a bicameral parliament under both Mzilikazi and Lobhengula, UMphakathi (for the lower house) and Ezinkulu (for the Upper House). By peaceful and constitutional methods, these institutions may be recovered, just like Scotland recovered its own. And even more I contend. Many of my fellow Mthwakazians are going to be furious about the preceding assertions, however, I challenge them to outline the alternative.

In conclusion, may the leadership of the various organisations in Mthwakazi begin to strongly consider the possibility of building institutions that are meant to uplift Mthwakazi. Yes, the Mthwakazians might have to fund these institutions from their own resources. However, in my view, the cost benefit analysis seems to suggest that it is worth the mantle many times over. Please note: Once public resources are in question, the leadership will have to be completely transparent regarding the collection and expenditure of the said resources. Well, this may very well be a discussion for some other day, the bottom line is that good public resources administration must be adhered to, from the outset. This is possible, peacefully and constitutionally!

Kernan Mzelikahle is an apolitical analyst, and may be contacted by cellphone on 0775195334, or by email on, twitter handle is @Mzelikahle. This article and others like it may be found on the Mthwakazi Forum website:

Source - Kernan Mzelikahle
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