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A gentle response to Mr Hanana and Mr Ryton Dzimiri

24 Sep 2019 at 09:53hrs | Views
This article saves to respond and repel the myths raised by the two writers, namely Mr Hanana of Dumiso Dabengwa Foundation and the angry yet incisive firebrand in the form of Mr Ryton Dzimiri. I need to state from the very beginning that I know Mr Dzimiri, we were once together in ZAPU and we have agreed on many issues. He is an intelligent guy, who just needs to tone down his language when debating serious issues because people may just dismiss him as an angry person. As for me I look beyond his syntax and semantics and I have to say that I have learned a lot from him. As for Mr Hanana I only started knowing of him during Dr Dabengwa’s funeral where he emerged as a promising young leader, but I doubt that he is a ZAPU card carrying member.  I have to say that his article which has been doing the rounds on the social media begging for the ZAPU rebranding exercise to never silence the 'Z' in ZAPU was well written and well thought out and this was his down fall because it clearly portrays a young man with a fossilised mentality, the pre-colonial mentality. Here is a man who pontificates righteousness, a man who builds his mansion in the sky, and a man who ignores the reality on the ground.

The greatest mistake which ZAPU did in 1957 at Comfort farm was to resolve that the name ZAPU will never change. At the time that was a noble resolution because its predecessor parties had been banned by the Rhodesian regime and the elders knew that ZAPU was going to be banned too, but to show the resolve and seriousness of their enterprise they needed to make bold resolutions which were meant to send a strong message to the colonial regime. What the elders did not envisage was that this resolution was going to imprison the future generations. In a radical, root and branch review of party policies and positions or rebranding exercise nothing should be off the limits, this includes the name and strategic thrust of the organisation, meaning the ideology of the party. Once a revolutionary exercise of this nature and magnitude is given parameters such as these then it is bound to fail before it has even started. What is needed is what is called the ‘blue-sky-thinking’, where nothing is spared.

Mr Hanana is afraid that if the 'Z' is silenced permanently, that ZAPU will become a regional party and his fear is that a regional party does not have power to change anything. This is misleading a regional party has too much power, let me demonstrate this to Mr Hanana, let us suggest that ZAPU becomes a regional party and it wins all its historical seats in Matabeleland and Midlands, that will leave the whole country to MDC A, ZANU PF and NPF to contest. These will share the remaining seats in the Mashonaland regions, this makes it hard for any of these parties to win outrightly and therefore they will need friends, this is where ZAPU will come in with its Matabeleland seats as a king maker. With erudite and visionary leadership through negotiations and bargaining ZAPU can extract a lot from these parties, for example ZAPU can then demand a meaningful devolution of power or federalism. This will ensure that the people of Matabeleland will never be marginalised any time soon. I will repeat this here for Mr Hanana and those who are like him, if ZAPU continues with its national stance it will never see the light of the day. This is not prophecy, but it is the critical appraisal of the situation and reality. Being regional does not mean hatred of Shona people, we do not hate Shona people, but the stage which we are at right now as a country, we need what I call separate development for some time. Those Shonas in Mthwakazi are Mthwakazians and will be treated as such if they espouse all the principles and interests of this region. When we reach a certain stage of development then we will reunite as equals and as a people. We will not feel forced into an unholy union which works against our interests. With this in mind, Mr Hanana should be starting to see that me and him do not differ, but we differ on the modalities of achieving that unity.  

As for my brother Mr Dzimiri, I know that his family personally suffered during the gukurahundi genocide, he is a Shona man I totally and wholly respect, he is not malicious, however, his article revealed his deep-seated fears which are akin to those of most Shona people, this I do not blame him, because he is a beneficiary of the system. In the past I had thought he was against a system which benefits people just because they are of a certain tribe, now it is clear that he supports the perpetuation of the status quo. He knows that ZAPU with its national position it will never win a seat. The problem in Zimbabwe is tribalism against the Mthwakazi people, people may try to be sophisticated and come up with different theories and permutations as to the Zimbabwean problem, but the simple God truth is that tribalism is the issue. Unless and until it is uprooted Zimbabwe will continue to wallow in the wilderness. Allow me to illustrate my argument, let us look at the incumbent government which is effectively a Shona government, the reason why it has hung to power by all means possible it is because of the gukurahundi genocide, which is/was a tribal extermination exercise. This is just but an example, there are many other tribal agendas against the Mthwakazi people. Every Shona person has benefited from the tribal agenda against the Mthwakazi people. Some may deny this, but the truth is that economically, socially, psychologically and spiritually the Shona people have benefitted from the evil system. Today an ordinary Shona person has more confidence than an ordinary Mthwakazi person in Zimbabwe, because the system has bit by bit forcefully fed us with this poison that we are incapable, that the doors are closed for us and that we will amount to nothing regardless of what we may try to do. Such a system does not transform itself and it will never be transformed from within but can only be transformed from outside and from a position of strength.

People should never be afraid to be labelled as tribalists for espousing radical political ideas, because they will never be understood by certain people of a certain intellect, but in the future they will be thanked because they would have saved humanity well.

Source - Thulani Nkala
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