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You are putting women and children in Mathebeleland at risk Israel Dube

06 Aug 2018 at 20:05hrs | Views
Your article in Bulawayo24 on the 5th of August is a cause to be concerned about if one comes from this region. It felt as if you are already threatening war against the Mnangagwa regime. Did you and your party ever think of the consequences of that statement you made yesterday? To me, it was already a declaration of war. We have predominantly women and children who live in these areas where you shall execute your disputes that have all the signs and threats of confronting the regime.  

I concur fully, I agree with the concerns of your party MLF and your brother party MRP. You are saying this region has scars of genocide activities of the 1980s until to date those genocide atrocities have not been fully addressed, I agree. This region of Mathebeleland is the most marginalized in the whole country, I agree. There has never been any meaningful community development since the independence of 1980, I agree. In some schools, our children are taught in Shona language, I agree. Schools and hospitals are dilapidated with no proper beds and even drugs to treat patients, I agree.

Whatever food distribution has been done is minimal and mostly this region has serious food insecurities that are not immediately addressed by the incumbent government, I agree. The water projects have not been given the attention it needs because the government is reluctant to solve genuine projects that will uplift the lives of this region, I fully agree. As a result, we need drastic measures to develop this region ourselves because we know better how to develop it, take the fate into our hands, I agree fully. Hence we want the government to implement devolution of powers to and provinces: give power to the people.    

I will say it again and again, to fight for a cessation of this region is not in the best interest of the region by any stretch of our imagination because we have women and children who will suffer the same way they coped with the genocide of the 1980s. In the midst of genocide of the 1980s, most men from this region relocated to South Africa. In any war situation, it is very easy for a man to abscond and leave the wives and children at the mercy of the perpetrators of war and genocide. This pattern is everywhere in African war zones today. I don't really know how you are going to liberate it, but according to your article, you are preparing yourselves for a direct confrontation with Mnangagwa government of a guerrilla nature.  

Who in this southern region is going to support you when you ignite war in Matabeleland? Which country in this region is going to tolerate any war conflict in the middle of the southern cone; Sub-Sahara region?  

To quote you verbatim: World leaders, investors, and the public, in general, are warned to take extreme caution against cutting deals with the government of Zimbabwe when they want to invest in the Mathebeleland territory. Anyone who ignores this warning, either through ignorance or being deceived by the government of Zimbabwe, risks losing their valuable investments." This to me is a sounding threat of conflict. You are also saying there should never be any development done in Mathebeleland by whosever. Did I understand your article correctly?  

I hasten to say that this is indeed retrogressive, your pronunciations will perpetuate underdevelopment and hunger and will put the lives of women and children already a vulnerable niche, under untold suffering. It is as if we haven't suffered enough in this region. The least we need and expect is any conflict that will ignite a war situation in this region. We vehemently refuse to be part of this conflict by any design whatsoever. Your party MLF cannot use and abuse the women and children of Mathebeleland because you have a cessation agenda that purports to solve problems of this region: in retrospect, you are escalating already existing issues that directly need dialoguing and not confrontation.

Israel, I have read almost all your articles, but I really do not know how old you are. I am convinced somehow you were not in the liberation struggle that liberated this country. I never fought the war directly but I was with my mother: Mrs. Sihwa in the struggle in Zambia. My father: Zephaniah Sihwa languished in prison for ten years together with Joshua and the Mugabe's of today.  

I can tell you a lot about what is war, what is the guerrilla war. It does not matter how right in the conflict you are, war, a threat to war confrontation means a lot of life-sacrifice and loss of livelihoods. I cannot conceive how you are able to risk the lives of the people of Mathebeleland especially women and children once more. By so saying it did not mean that I fear Mnangagwa by any stretch of your imagination. I fear an unreasonable loss of life. I fear the use of women and children to be pawns and cannon fodder to prove a political point.

I quote you again verbatim: "Given the above, we believe as MLO we have done our level best to let Britain and its proxy Zimbabwe know of our intentions to restore the statehood of Matabeleland. This we have done in the most polite, diplomatic and peaceful manner. But it seems our good manners are mistaken for cowardice. Please take note that no one should blame us for whatever will happen in future, for we shall arrive unannounced and make the most frightening breaking news of all times. Watch this space!"

This statement once more, I perceive this as a threat to war. We refuse to be drawn to this state of war and make Mathebeleland a conflict zone: Mathebeleland will be subjected to a war zone once more. We women of this region do not deserve this paranoia. You are calculating on us women of this region to offer you food and shelter when push comes to shove and by so doing we shall be butchered again for supporting "resurgent" elements. Many men will easily run away and hide in South Africa as is the case all the time. All these preparations for a confrontation with the regime, you did it on your own men without women. We women are just packaged to support you it does not matter how unreasonable this conflict is: it is indeed uncalled for and dangerous to us women directly.

If you indeed provoke a war situation: the army will be sent to Mathebeleland once more to purge you, in the meantime women and girls will be murdered, raped, maimed without your assistance because you will have run away leaving an unprotected niche: women and children that cannot easily run for cover to those safer zones of either Bulawayo Town or South Africa. Spare us this trauma Israel and the party MLF, we women of this region have suffered enough. The Gugurahundi atrocities and its effects are felt in all regions of Matabeleland and Midlands to this day. Please ask Churchill Guduza who was in the liberation war, he ran away from the front, could not stand the combat. (We are told this by Zipra ex-guerrillas) He should be one of the last people to insinuate war in this region because he could not take the heat himself. Whose boy-child is going to fight this new conflict?

We all know that Che Guevara died a long time ago. The Soviet Union does not exist anymore because the Berlin Wall fell more than 30 years ago. President Putin is WHITE!!!!. That East-West cold war does not exist anymore. The Catalonians had to be forced to go to the round table having declared independence that was abortive! There are serious conflicts in the world the world bodies have to attend to. The South Sudan that got its independence from mainland Sudan is worse today than before they got their freedom.  

We should look at South Sudan as a classical example of uncalled for war conflict: the ethnic groups are at each other's throats because of oil-riches this small and young country has. It is the women who are paying the highest price. Women and young girls are raped daily, are subjected to protected zones, living in sub-human conditions, they are refugees and displaced people in South Sudan itself. The situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo is not yet over to this day. Are you sure we needed another conflict that will have no end in our lifetime? Dialogue is the most powerful tool we have available dear Israel and we have not exhausted dialogue to this day.  

There is not one single country that will come to rescue you and Mathebeleland from a war conflict that is uncalled for and unnecessary. Please spare us from this paranoia, we least need it. We want to dialogue with Mnangagwa government until he engages the region regarding the genocide of the 1980s. We must talk to them in Harare without the threat of war. Since the signing of the 1987 peace agreement between Nkomo and Mugabe, there have never successive dialogues that took place collapsed or ground-breaking talks to end tribalism in this country. Tribalism is the main problem; let's deal with this openly without fear. Mnangagwa regime should never be feared to engage in talks. What we detest is a treat to war and conflicts because it is at the expense of women and children always.  

This problem did not need Britain to solve it. Why engage the colonial master: Great Britain to solve our African problems again: did we not show the colonial master the door? If indeed the Mnangagwa regime does not heed to our demands, we have enough continental and regional bodies: SADC and the AU. We have not exhausted those avenues ever to decide to go to war. That demarcation line drawn by the early colonialists should never be recognition of Matabeleland and Mashonaland. The least we can do is to perpetuate this tribal conflict to the coming generations. How do we talk about tribalism and cessation when many other countries are talking about diversity and ethnic inclusion in all aspect of our societies?

Source - Nomazulu Thata
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