Latest News Editor's Choice


Opinion / Columnist

Why self-dominion calls are higher in Mthwakazi - Mthwakazi Forum with Mzelikahle

12 Jan 2018 at 18:26hrs | Views
The majority of the Zimbabwean population considers it unnecessary to have some level of self-dominion in Mthwakazi, and perhaps to the generality of the regions in Zimbabwe. Let us analyse the typical approach to administration in Zimbabwe as shown by the events of last week in relation to the game of soccer. For reasons best known to ZIFA, an attempt was made to force Highlanders Football Club not to renew it's leadership in accordance with its constitution. Further, a communique from the government through the ministry responsible for sport was given restraining ZIFA with regards to its attempt. Let us analyse these developments.

Highlanders Football Club is an independent soccer club that has stakeholders and investors. Its actions are always directed towards the best interests of its investors and stakeholders. If the current leadership needs to be renewed before the beginning of the up-coming competitive season, then Highlanders needs to renew such leadership in accordance with its constitution, such that it best competes in the Premier Soccer League. All these premises are true for Highlanders much as they are true for any other soccer team. The problems we saw last week come from a people, largely resident in the Capital City, who assume that their interests, as seen through the lens of a resident in the Capital City, equal the interests of the whole of Zimbabwe. Now that the leadership of ZIFA is faced with certain problems and has its own interests, it decides to cajole everyone else to tow their line such that its interests are satisfied. This approach by those in the Capital surely leaves everyone else as a spectator in their own lives because individual interests would have been hindered.

Mthwakazi, for a very long time now, has observed this unfortunate situation and has long called for the recognition of self interests that may not always coincide with the Capital's. It is not to the detriment of soccer in Zimbabwe for Highlanders to renew their leadership. In fact it is to the upliftment of soccer, because the matches become more competitive. Equally, it is not to the detriment of the Zimbabwean society for Mthwakazi to pronounce self interests. Rather, it is to the development of Zimbabwe that Mthwakazi be able to sustain its interests. Consider economic life in Zimbabwe. If Mthwakazi is able to sustain its institutions, of course constitutionally and peacefully, then Mthwakazi is going to have a competitive economy, which is a great development in Zimbabwe as ZIMRA would record higher revenue collections.

It is absurd for those in the Capital City to be so paranoid enough to a point where they would rather have any other constituent entity die in order to quell their fears. In the case of Highlanders, the matter is simply administration of their club, what wrong could they do by electing a new administration? Rather, Highlanders must be congratulated for being great at public administration as it continues to respect its constitution. In the case of Mthwakazi, what is wrong if Mthwakazi is able to make its economic decisions? Suppose there is a shoe making company that intends to manufacture shoes in Gwanda. What is wrong with Mthwakazi being able to say YES go ahead and manufacture the shoes. Both Mthwakazi and ZIMRA will benefit. The former would benefit in employment creation and the latter would benefit in tax collection. Why would the powers that be in the Capital, be afraid of such economic success in Mthwakazi? Anyway, it's just a shoe manufacturing company, what could it do? It is not like it is some nuclear bomb manufacturing plant! You see, it is simply fear.

We have now observed that it is simply the fear of the unknown that is withholding us from achieving economic prosperity. As demonstrated by events at ZIFA with respect to Highlanders and other clubs, the powers that be in Zimbabwe are afraid of success of constituent institutions in the very Zimbabwe. For this reason, economic development continues to elude us. The economy is a very funny animal. It is driven by individual interest and the ability to exchange goods and services. When the leadership is afraid of individual interest, it simply means the leadership is afraid of economic development. There can not be economic development without individual entities participating for their own interests. Equally, there can not be good and competitive soccer without clubs participating for their own interests.

Let me give an interesting example to buttress my point here. Amazon, the American online distribution giant, intends to build an international headquarters somewhere in America. Now, Amazon has asked towns, cities, states, and other territories to pitch their ideas and incentives to this company. Some states have offered Amazon a full town, that is to say Amazon would name and run a town to its interests! You see, this is how economic development comes in that state. If it were in Zimbabwe, some company trying to establish itself, the discussion would be shut way before it begins. The powers that be in Zimbabwe would simply say "the headquarters will be in Harare". Whether that makes sense or not is a discussion for another life! And economic development will be depressed because very few would participate and the rest of citizens are spectators. In soccer alike, if the decisions are made for centralised interests, do not expect to have competitive matches. If economic decisions are centralised, do not expect economic development.

China in Mao's era had policies similar to those in Zimbabwe today. However, after Mao, China had to change course in what is termed the Deng reforms. In these reforms, China gave self-dominion to several of its regions, and for that reason its economy boomed. The common Zimbabwean argument when faced by these facts is that "Ah, China is way bigger than Zimbabwe". Ok, let us look at Switzerland that has land mass smaller than just Matabeleland. Switzerland long granted self-dominion to its regions known as cantons and its economy is one of the very best in the world, considering the size. You see, it is not a question of size, rather it is a question of principle.

Zimbabwe is not blind to these realities, she knows that they are the only way to run a successful economy. Now Zimbabwe, to test the idea, has come up with Special Economic Zones. Once again, the idea is that local entities, for example Companies, will have to act in their self interest without disturbances. Of course the SEZ ideas have not been actioned yet, however this goes on to show that Zimbabwe has for many years been trying to run away from its shadow. I can preempt the outcome of the SEZs: they will not bring intended outcomes! Why? Because the drivers of these ideas are not local people who have vested interests in the success of the programme. You see, once again, Zimbabwe can not run away from the Mthwakazi question.

The Mthwakazi idea, for the interest of those who do not see the link here, simply states that give local autonomy to locals. The idea recognises that, like in business, best decisions are made locally for local people because they know their problems best. This is not to say "we want village States", NO! It is to say that decision making must not be centralised! It may be in economics, in sport, in politics, in education, in health, et cetera, the decision making process must not be centralised. The only areas that must have central decision making are in the security services like the Army and Intelligence. The police could use a hybrid model. That is to say, matters that are minor must be policed by local police services. Major matters, like armed robberies are to be policed by a national policing service. The Justice system, prison services, et cetera may use a similar hybrid system. This way, everyone participates, and the engine would fire from all pistons. This is the Mthwakazi approach. This is to free everyone. This is what is defined in Mthwakazi as Liberty, inkululeko ebanzi.

In conclusion, it can be observed that the developments that occurred last week pitching ZIFA and Highlanders are only a symptom of a failing centralised system. It does not matter where one looks, the system is flawed and shall continue to produce flawed outcomes. The Mthwakazi idea is a concept meant to improve this system. I would say the Mthwakazi idea is a concept intended to show the light to this crippled system. Resistance of course is expected, however, if one takes but a moment to listen, one would definitely learn from it. Brothers and sisters let us review this Mthwakazi thought in peace and harmony.

Kernan Mzelikahle is an apolitical analyst, and may be contacted by cellphone on 0775195334, or by email on k.mzelikahle@gmail.com, twitter handle is @Mzelikahle. This article and others like it may be found on Mthwakazi Forum website: sites.google.com/view/mthwakaziforum

Join Bulawayo24 Online Community
Source - Kernan Mzelikahle
All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

Subscribe

Email: