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Rule of love in Mthwakazi and beyond - Mthwakazi Forum with Mzelikahle

05 Jan 2018 at 08:49hrs | Views
Kernan Mzelikahle, an apolitical analyst
The world today understands good governance as the rule of law. That is to say, the law must equally be applied to James as it is applied to John, without selection, discrimination, fear or favour. If one gets closer to this idea, one would quickly notice that the law is not applicable unless there is a driver, for example a complainant. Consider here a case of murder. For there to be a sustainable case, the State needs to take the role of a complainant such that the matter is prosecutable. Basically, if there is no complainant, then there is no case. This is the premise of the rule of law. The world today is full of leaders who have taken advantage of this huge loophole and went on to commit crimes without anyone able to prosecute them. Chinua Achebe has gone on to lament this point by observing that the law is like a spider web, it is great at catching insects, and yet big animals like elephants just pass without trouble. I argue that almost all systems are not perfect, and it is folly for us to pretend that the Mthwakazi proposed system will catch all offenders, especially if the offenders are in the leadership.

Allow me here to propose a system I think could work better, for Mthwakazi and Zimbabwe alike. This is the rule of love. The rule of LOVE seems to me a more plausible method than mere rule of law, when considered with the following three considerations. First, in Africa, the vision of a national or organisational programme is normally carried by a leader and so very often the people have no clear understanding of the ideas behind. This has brought about personalisation of programmes. This is why one hears dissenters of a given organisation complaining that the objectives of the organisation have been lost in favour of personalisation and "a cult" in the organisation. In contrast, European organisations tend to be lead by a group of people who clearly understand the vision, hence decisions are made by a team, not personalised like in the case of African organisations. Second, due to shared common vision, the followers are able to balance up the decision making process by acting as a mechanism for checks and balances. However, in the case where the followership has no clarity on objectives, the leader has no option but to personally conceive solutions and act to check and balance himself. Here now comes the trend of one-man leadership, normally termed strong-man leadership in cases where the said man controls State resources, especially security services. Third, power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Now that the strong-man has been running the organisation using decisions arrived at personally and rubber-stamped by the follwership, the power associated with it then sets into his blood. He then slowly begins to depart from acting in the interest of the organisation towards acting for self interest. At this point the error has begun.

The rule of love does not prescribe discarding law away, it simply suggests the addition of genuine love for the organisations led by our leaders such that the leaders do not take advantage of people's ignorance. By the rule of love, I bring forth the observation that, while collective decision making in Africa may be a problem for the reason that "some in the team may not have clarity of vision"; the leader must love the organisation enough to know when his judgement is cluttered. This is to say, a leader in Africa must always assess his interests against the interests of the organisation. When the two interests begin to diverge, if the leader really loves the organisation, it is time to step aside and hand over certain areas of control to one of the followers who could be enlightened at this point. African history is cluttered with leaders who start off well and diverge slowly over time to lose the real objective of the "struggle". Some people here would argue and say democracy is the solution to the problem I am describing.

I have indicated in my earlier articles that democracy in African organisations and countries tends to fail because the majority of voters or electorate are ignorant. Take the current Zimbabwe parliament, for example, please write down a list of five critical thinkers in that parliament. You will be shocked not to be able to list even one or two. What does it tell you? When the parliament is to sit and pass a vote, 99% of the parliamentarians are simply going to vote for a party position whether that position makes sense or not. At that point, the parliament is dead as a functional body meant for critiquing the executive branch, and parliamentary democracy is dead. If parliamentarians are this devoid of critical analysis skills, what more of the generality of the public. Yes, this problem exists in Zimbabwean parliament as much as it exists in almost all of organisations found in Zimbabwe. Therefore, this problem equally affects all Mthwakazi groupings. This is why I implore the leadership of any organisation in Zimbabwe, and Africa at large - Mthwakazi included, to lead from a basis of love and not hate.

I have listened to many proponents of Mthwakazi preaching the gospel of hate against the Mashona people. This is driven by the residual pains that are in people regarding the 1983 - 1987 problems. For the record, those were indeed difficult times in Matabeleland and Midlands. However, leading an organisation basing it on hate will only create a destructive outcome. How do I know this? Look at our beloved Zimbabwe, it has been run by the hate of white settlers beginning from the time of Umvukela wesibili, right into independence, and into the 21st century. This hate has driven the Zimbabwean administration to make some bad decisions, that would of course satisfy egos, but disrupt and even decay the economic function of the country. These same problems are going to get a grip on Mthwakazi organisations, if the driving force is HATE of the one group or the other. Fellow brothers and sisters, at the risk of being labelled a sympathiser of the hated group by my own people, let me explain the logic. Adolf Hitler rose to power by preaching hatred. He had no solution to problems for the German people in his Third Reich, but mere hatred. He drummed them up for war that brought so much suffering for both the German people and the world. Likewise, when the leadership of Mthwakazi groups take advantage of people's genuine pain due to the 1983-1987 difficulties, to simmer hatred; nothing good will come out of it. Hear it from me, all that will happen is bringing people together and preach hatred, and if cunning enough, get some level of control for some area. After that greed sets in, the leadership begins to misappropriate resources of the very people in pain, for self-gain, and all hope is lost!

The better path is to preach love and tolerance. This does not mean that the objectives, of seeking self-dominion in whatever form desired, are going to be disregarded. NO! It simply means that the people must be taught to live in love, peace and harmony, while pursuing the intended objectives. If self-dominion, for example, is attained, then no one in these areas will face abuse, revenge or discrimination as a way of settling the 1983-87 scores. While this idea seems far fetched, one would be shocked to learn that the Zimbabwean government may not exactly be averse to the idea of granting some level of self-dominion to Mthwakazi, however the amount of hostile talk that comes from our brothers would make the government conclude that self-dominion could be a mistake on their part. You will observe their arguments beginning to highlight that Mthwakazi self-dominion is tribal. Where are they getting this from? They are simply listening to our brothers speaking and deduce that Mthwakazi is for the Ndebele! You see, even fellow Matabelelanders like the Kalanga, and the Sotho are worried about outright Ndebele rhetoric. To the government then, the concern becomes: What is going to happen to many other ethnicities if self-dominion is granted? Well, especially those of Shona background or origins, what is going to happen to them? You see my brothers, these are genuine concerns!

However, if the leadership of these varied Mthwakazi groups were to espouse love of all peoples, and teach it to their people, the discussion about Mthwakazi would begin to take a more civil dimension. Most of us will be shocked to realise that even the Zimbabwean government may not be as barbaric as taunted. The hallmark of civility is the ability to tread murky paths by dialogue without the use of violence. A 21st century Mthwakazian has to learn this important lesson about social organisation if the Mthwakazi ideal is to survive. This article may bring forth ridicule to me as I may be interpreted as a sympathiser, and as they like to say inkothazihlama zabancindezeli. These are insulting words no one wants to be called names by. However, I have no choice here but be as frank and loving to my people as I can. Only the correct premises can turn out to bring correct results.

In as much as we disdain being marginalised in today's economic system, we should labour to create a system that is all inclusive for the future such that the very Mthwakazi ideal shall not become a vehicle of marginalising another groups of people when a position of advantage is attained. My fellow Mthwakazian in Jotsholo, Jambesi, Mberengwa, Binga, etc may not be knowledgeable in matters under discussion here. And yet some day, that man may be asked by way of referendum or otherwise to make a decision whether or not the Mthwakazi idea is sensible to him. If hatred is all we have been teaching, then I am afraid, he may find it not sensible. If love is what we have been teaching and we would have taken time to illustrate why the Mthwakazi ideas could make the economy better, his livelihood better, his future better, the future of his progeny better, I tell you he will vote for and even participate in this Mthwakazi cause.

In conclusion, when leaders lead by love, they are able to self-introspect and arrive at conclusions that may turn out to be the best for the organisations they lead, and not necessarily good for them. This ability for the leadership to sacrifice for the greater good is what makes a leader great. Yes, we must read it correctly, it is the leaders who ought to sacrifice for the greater good, not the commoner to sacrifice for the greater good because he does not know what the greater good is. Communism has taught us that when the commoner cuts his limb and hand for the greater good, the leadership tends to simply devour the sacrifices of the commoner.

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 Mthwakazi Forum website:

Source - Kernan Mzelikahle
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