Latest News Editor's Choice

Opinion / Columnist

Are the brutal and vicious attacks on the Matabeleland Collective warranted?

13 Apr 2019 at 07:58hrs | Views
Are the brutal and vicious attacks on the Matabeleland Collective warranted? A new kid on the block has emerged from Matabeleland and has caused a stir, the criticisms it has attracted has forced me to pen this article coming from a neutral position. In a modern society one can only define or describe an organisation by what it claims to be on its concept documents. This though should always be said with caveat due to the fact that most African organisations do no abide by their guiding documents. Here we will give the Matabeleland the benefit of the doubt and assume that what they claim to be is actually what they are.

In their guiding document called Devolved Governance Plan for Inclusivity for Equalisation for Matabeleland (DGPIEM) they state that their goal is "driving participatory citizenship, Equalisation contributing to sustainable Economic Recovery, rebuilding the social fabric of Matabeleland"

From their stated goal there are two or so things which we need to critically interrogate and analyse, first being the first part of their goal 'Devolved Governance Plan'. The concept of devolution of power is enshrined in the Zimbabwean constitution, which means that the MC is working within the set parameters by the government, but does this mean that this is what the people of Matabeleland want? Only a fool would fight for some bread crumbs instead of fighting for the land on which they can plant wheat to produce bread. The devolution of power concept enshrined in the constitution does not go far enough to address the marginalisation and wilful transgression against the people of Matabeleland which has been sponsored by the government since 1980. Is devolution of power something that can extricate the people of Matabeleland from the doldrums? The answer is, if the concept is made to be radical enough, yes it can, but as is right now, anybody preaching devolution of power based on the one in the constitution is simply serenading the sheeps into the abattoir.

Now let us look at their other mantra, 'inclusivity for equalisation', this in itself acknowledges exclusion as the basis and foundation of the Zimbabwe state. All the Zimbabwean governments have perfected the art of exclusion, this has led us to be where we are right now where the calls for a separate and independent state of Mthwakazi are increasing. The Matabeleland Collective claims to be an organisation or platform which consists of different organisations and individuals from Matabeleland. Some of us have been calling for such set ups for a long time, one can not cry to be included by the Zimbabwean government if they cannot do it at home. This is one of the criticisms against the MC that it is an exclusive organisation/platform which seems to be enjoying the state resources and attention. This MC platform has excluded all political parties in Matabeleland but quick to run to Harare to negotiate with Harare politicians. Inclusivity should be done properly from the foundational level upwards. The other hidden side of 'inclusivity for equalisation' is the need to be clear as to which should come first, that is, to be included first and hope that that will lead to equalisation or to be made equal first and hope that one will remain equal? One thing for sure is that any programme or process run or managed or influenced by the Zimbabwean government will never lead to equalisation in any shape or form. The role for the government should be to fund the programmes crafted by the victims of its segregation policies. The stage where the state of Zimbabwe is at right now the people of Matabeleland should not be crying to be part of it anymore, but they should be collectively fighting 'exclusivity for equalisation' that is, to be excluded so they can stand alone. Separateness is the only concept which can unite the country.

One of the goals of the Matabeleland Collective is 'healing gukurahundi genocide, acknowledgement and apology', this aim has already been put into motion, by meeting the representatives of the Zimbabwean government and it looks likes an agreement was arrived at that there shall be massive scale exhumations of the bones of the people who were murdered during the genocide. This has angered many people from Matabeleland on one hand and caused joy to the others on the other hand. MC should always be cognisant with the fact that tempering with the crime scene without proper evidence gathering mechanisms will not be tolerated nor forgiven. This is one area which the government should not be involved not even through its secret service. They are the perpetrators of this genocide and they can not be part of healing the wounds of the victims. The government should simply allow the process to take place and also avail the state resources to enable the work to take place. Properly qualified people with international credentials and traceable history should be engaged to conduct the exhumations and re-burials, however, local communities should lead the process using their traditional methods of appeasing the spirits of the dead. To MC we say be careful, the government will always seek to thwart, manipulate and distort the truth.

Written by

Source - Thulani Nkala
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.