Latest News Editor's Choice

Opinion / Columnist

Does Nelson Chamisa deserve an opportunity from Ndebeles?

20 Apr 2019 at 08:22hrs | Views
Since Mr Nelson Chamisa's ascendency to the helm, that is, to the Presidency of the MDC-Alliance the MDC has assumed semblance of respectability. It is exuding some aura of respectability and attractiveness. I have seen great minds starting to entertain the idea and possibility of supporting the MDC because of Nelson.

In this treatise I will take the opportunity to ask questions and proffer the pros and cons as suggested by different schools of thought. I will deliberately assess and analyse the arguments from the premise and perspective of Ndebeleness and then calibrate what Ndebele responses and reactions to his leadership and party should be.

The attractiveness of Nelson Chamisa

Nelson is viewed as someone which the Ndebele people can trust, someone who will be prepared to listen to their innermost aspirations of self-determination. He is seen as modern, mature, intellectually astute to an extent of realising that the only way out for Zimbabwe is to either let go of Mthwakazi or genuinely integrate Ndebeles on equal basis. He is seen as not so entrenched in the security dynamics of the country and therefore deposable when compared to Mugabe and Mnangagwa.

Nelson is described as an innovative leader who will be prepared to give Mthwakazi a referundum to decide whether they want to remain part of Zimbabwe or chat a new trajectory of self rule or of joining South Africa. These are all glowing and scintillating discriptions of Mr Nelson Chamisa, however, very little of these leadership traits have actually been witnessed in reality.

Is Nelson Chamisa different from Mr Tsvangirai? Is Nelson Chamisa different from Mugabe and Mnangagwa when it comes to Ndebeles? Let us assume that he is different, once we do that we then need to go further and answer this simple question, ‘What informs his politics?'.

In Zimbabwe many Shona speakers define their politics in Ndebele-Shona dichotomy. Has Chamisa managed to transcend this pervasive dichotomy which has benefited the Shona speakers since 1980? For a start let us interrogate his elavation to his current position. When Tsvangirai, who had a long and proven record of discriminating against Ndebeles, saw his end nearing, he decided to appoint two additional Shona vice presidents to his party. The substantial president was a Ndebele, constitutionally and legally entitled to take over the leadership of the party in the event Tsvangirai died. The strategy was very simple to shock and awe Thokozani Khuphe out of the leadership contest so that a Shona could take over. Mr Nelson Chamisa knew this strategy, whether Tsvangirai communicated it to him or not, the truth is he knew what Tsvangirai was doing, but he decided to go along with it with its consequences and ramifications. Nelson was prepared to use the much discredited notion of a majority to ascend to the leadership of the party. This clearly shows that he is not enlightened enough to be able to engage the bigger Mthwakazi issues should he become the president of the country. The sense of entitlement due to belonging to a majority tribe has much allure to him. He still falls within the old Shona school of thought which says the ‘majority shall rule', to him and many Shona speakers this means that the tribe with bigger numbers should rule, this is a tribalistic way of thinking regarding nation-building issues, even Dr Joshua Nkomo during the liberation struggle understood this to mean bigger numbers supporting a certain idea regardless of race or tribe. The humiliation of Thokozani Khuphe should never be understated for this has been happening in Zimbabwe for too long in pushing the Shona agenda against Ndebeles. Do not tell me Nelson is not aware of this for if you do then he does not deserve to be a leader.

In his long association with the MDC, Nelson has shown in more ways than one that he is against the Mthwakazi interests, do you still remember the 2005 MDC split, which side did he go with when actually knowing that Tsvangirai was wrong?

Nelson has benefited from the lopsided system which has disadvantaged the Ndebele people since 1980, he has never protested that the Ndebele people are being mistreated in Zimbabwe.

Would Mr Nelson Chamisa then grant Ndebele people a referendum when he becomes the president of the country? This is a question which needs him to answer publicly now not after assuming power. Nelson has been part of the cabal which has sought to Shonalise Bulawayo and drive away the locals. Therefore I believe that it is disingenuous for anybody to suggest that people from Matabelelalnd should support Nelson Chamisa. This will take the struggle for Mthwakazi 10 years back. The people of Mthwakazi are slowly finding their confidence, just imagine if they were to support Chamisa, what will happen to their self-confidence. Mthwakazi people should seek each other right now, forget about the so called national politics. Regroup and refocus.

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.