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MDC Youth leader speaks on Tinashe Kambarami

31 Jul 2019 at 09:59hrs | Views
I had promised that on 30 July 2019, due to public demand, I will express my own views on political happenings in Bulawayo. However due to compelling programmes elsewhere, I didn't get time to do it as per schedule.

Anyway, they say it's better late than never.

1. Let me start by reiterating a statement I made on the day the current Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Bulawayo were elected. On that day in 2018, eNCA correspondent Pindai Dube had asked me if there were any tribal wars in Bulawayo. This was at the backdrop of demonstrations by right wing activists who had gathered outside Large City Hall to register their displeasure on the election of Ward 3 Tinashe Kambarami as Deputy. My response to Pindai Dube's question was that "there are no tribal wars in Bulawayo. There are however robust tribal discussions and discourses throughout Zimbabwe including Bulawayo. These discourses emanate from our harsh past as a nation and if we don't resolve them on time, they might be a dangerous ticking time bomb".

That clip of my comment was aired in news bulletins in September 2018. It however only became known to a few individuals in July 2019. (Efforts that are being made by some low lives to create charades and side shows over that video will be discussed some other time).

That being the case, it is my belief that there's a robust tribal discourse in Bulawayo and if wrongly understood, it has the potential to create a huge shift on the political map of not only Bulawayo but the entire Matebeleland in the near future.

I do not believe that the people of Bulawayo are opposed to having Shona councillors or Members of Parliament. I also do not believe that the current upheavals are about that. There has been Shona councillors in Bulawayo like Alderman Mike Parira before. Joseph Msika was a Shona MP in Bulawayo from 1980 to 2000. The questions that arise today never arose then because Msika, Parira and other Shona leaders who have served Bulawayo before never sought to organise themselves as predominantly Shona factions or whatever groups in society. They limited themselves to organising people on grounds of class and common social needs.

 Even Ruth Chinamano who, being a South African married to a Marondera man, became an MP in Matebeleland North in 1990, never sought to organise the Shona people who were already serving as civil servants in that province to seek to support one another to take over the leadership of that province on account of the fact that they are of the same tribe.

In 1985, Enos Nkala was elected unopposed as Kariba MP after ZAPU Candidate Kenneth Mano withdrew due to ZANU violence. Despite his well documented evil deeds, Nkala never sought to establish or organise a faction to push an agenda of Ndebele dominance in Mashonaland West.

Morgan Komichi was once elected MDC Provincial Chairman for Matebeleland North. He never sought to establish or organise a faction to push an agenda of Shona dominance in the province.

Jessie Majome once served as a Councillor in Hwange and became Chair of Hwange Local Board. She never established or organised a faction to push for Shona dominance in Hwange.

Albert Masotsha Ndlovu was once elected to lead the MDC in Mashonaland West. He never sought to establish and organise a faction of Ndebele people who live in Mashonaland West.

There are also many councillors and MPs of Ndebele ethnicity outside Matebeleland. They have never sought to establish organise factions to push a Ndebele dominance agenda.

The difference between the current Bulawayo situation and other situations stated above is that some political activists, due to lack of substance and virtue, have identified tribe as a unit of society and tool for organising. These super patriarchs have moved further to identify women who have sired children across tribe and mobilised them to work for the tribe of their children. Ordinarily, women leaders, supported by informed men, should be champions of the fight against everything patriarchal, including tribe. Women who have occupied social and political positions above their intellect have thus become an affront to general struggles for women empowerment by accepting to be organized on account of the tribes of their children. Tribe is a symbol of the power of men over women.

The sophistry of knowing who amongst one's comrades has sired children across tribe or is born of cross tribal relations suggests influences of quasi-party elements.

What has become more sickening, is the growing belief that those who organise themselves for tribal domination are not tribalists but tribalists are those who are excluded in that kind of social organization.

2. I am of the view that there has a drastic decline in the quality of leadership our political parties have been producing or attracting over the past decade. Leadership discussions are now about principals, not principles. Concerns are now driven by individual acquisition and accumulation rather than the common good of society.Every form of vice has ultimately become fashionable.  The crime scene of this decline being the harmonisation of elections. Since Constitutional Amendment Number 18 which brought harmonised elections in 2008, the electorate has become more conscious of voting for political parties rather than the calibre of candidates. People have thus found themselves in power not because they are rooted in society but simply because they belong to the same organization with a phenomenal national figure whom the majority in that particular area look up to. People have hidden particularly behind the charisma and popularity of their presidential candidates and created delusions that they too are equally charismatic and charming. It is only a tiny minority that still asseses local government and Parliamentary candidates separately from the Presidential Candidate of the same party. The evidence of this argument is in the analysis results of elections. In Bulawayo, the total number of votes acquired by MDC Alliance National Assembly Candidates, including double candidates, is 96 714 while MDC President and Presidential Candidate Advocate Nelson Chamisa got 144 107 in the same province.

I thus believe that concerned citizens must push for deharmonisation, particularly of local government elections  from national government elections. I also believe that as political parties we must raise the bar of qualification for candidature.

3. Regarding the Town Clerk saga, I am of the view that administrative malpractice and politically oriented corruption had a head-on collision and tribes became the only eye witnesses to that accident. We need experts in accidents to look into the causes of the accident rather than rely on lay eye witnesses. The decision on who was wrong or right in any accident cannot be arrived at using democracy. It is a legal and technical decision. One prays that the process of technical assessment doesn't itself get influenced by administrative malpractice, political appetites and even tribal innuendo. Lest we get into a maze.

4. On the issue of a Commission running the affairs of Bulawayo, let me state that I am totally opposed to it. I think that it is too harsh and irrational to seek to punish 29 Councillors because 4 of them did something you disapprove of, more so given that the 4 acted unmandated by the rest. Even if it were necessary to be that harsh and irrational, I think it is illogical to prefer that an elected governing body be replaced by an unelected one. The right to govern must always be acquired through universal adult suffrage. No City, town, province or country deserves to be governed by an unelected leadership. I am a leftist. I am opposed to putting so much power in the hands of a few, moreso an unelected few. I believe that the people of Bulawayo have the right to recall and re-elect their leadership as and when they find logical reasons to do so. However, there are currently no laws providing for the exercise of that right. Therefore, I believe that we should launch a push for legal reforms to provide for citizens recall of public officials. This is a necessary tool for the dealing with both perception and reality of leadership misconduct. I offer myself to participate in the development of a draft parliamentary motion for this kind of legislation. I also offer to find an MP who will move that motion or help identity a Parliamentary Portfolio Committee that will conduct public hearings on this particular issue. I however don't claim to have the sole skill and knowledge of developing such an argument, motion or process. Amasongo akhenceza emabili



Source - Discent Bajila
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.

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