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Opinion / Columnist

Of Obert Mpofu and the Lancaster House debate

14 Apr 2020 at 13:28hrs | Views
Bulawayo 24 has demonstrated that it is a platform for the people of Bulawayo on which they can discuss and debate their issues freely. Bulawayo 24 has served as a platform on which the issue of the Lancaster House talks can now be debated and discussed freely.

Obert Mpofu ignited the discussion in his weekly column, where he expressed his opinion on the Lancaster House talks. Obert Mpofu's column faced a rebuttal from ZAPU and Bulawayo 24 gave the rebuttal a platform. Researcher and blogger Nicholas Ncube came out and made contributions to the discussion and his contribution ignited debate.

This is a welcome level of freedom of expression and it is encouraging that the people of Mthwakazi are engaged in a heated conversation over their history and future.

Dr Obert Mpofu has proven once again that he is a trendsetter and the journalist in him is still alive.

The Lancaster debate

The arguments raised by all parties over the Lancaster House talks are valid and need to be analysed from a neutral standpoint, in order to deduce an accurate and balanced understanding of the discourse.

The Lancaster House talks came as a result of military advances made by gallant ZPRA and ZANLA forces. Their liberated zones were growing exponentially and the war was in their favour. Ian Smith and Rhodesian Forces had their back against the wall and they needed an easy way out.

In all honesty, Dr. Obert Mpofu is right, Lancaster House talks gave us freedom but the agreement thereof delayed our freedom. Dr Joshua Nkomo, Dr. Dumiso Dabengwa and other combatants are heroes who brought liberation and independence of the Republic. However, they did not bring economic freedom. Lancaster House delayed the struggle for land. Lancaster gave us freedom without empowerment, and it took another Chimurenga to give land to the people of Zimbabwe.

Dr. Obert Mpofu is right and he does not take away the roles neither does he demean the contributions made by liberation fighters.

ZAPU, on the other hand, is right to defend Dr. Joshua Nkomo because their party is an attempt at the continuation of a Joshua Nkomo legacy.

Nicholas Ncube is also correct to voice his own opinion on his understanding of the Lancaster House talks. Our brothers and sisters across the Shangani River have their own heroes and their own version of events. The amazing thing is that they do not degenerate to name-calling, and will stick to the points of discussion and debate. It is therefore unfortunate that our brothers and sisters resort to personal attacks on the person and character of Nicholas Ncube and digress from the issue at hand.

Dr. Obert Mpofu needs to go on national radio or TV and talk about his thoughts and opinions. We need this national debate on Lancaster House in this month of independence. We need to interrogate where we came from and how we got here so as to help shape a better future for our region and Zimbabwe as a whole.

President ED Mnangagwa said the new dispensation was about freedom of the people and the new dispensation valued freedom of expression. Emmerson Mnangagwa has walked the talk and allowed discussion on Gukurahundi and other thorny issues which were a taboo in the previous administration. It is encouraging to see our people take their time to read and write in contribution to the great national debate and discourse.

Issues of Independence, Lancaster House, economic empowerment and the freedom of the people are issues that should be at the heart of the people of Mthwakazi.

As the era of devolution dawns upon us, we need to constantly find each other, talk to each other and debate on these and other issues. We are not enemies, we are all brothers and sisters in search of a better life for the people of Mthwakazi.

Dr. Obert Mpofu as one of the few national leaders from the Mthwakazi region needs to amplify his voice and spark more controversial discussions and hopefully, others can join in thereby creating a wholesome discourse on issues.

Bulawayo 24 is in a league of its own, and it has demonstrated that it doesn't censor the voices of the people. Bulawayo 24 gives equal opportunity to all voices and that is the mark of a free press.

Well done to Bulawayo 24, Dr. Obert Mpofu, ZAPU, Nicholas Ncube and everyone who is engaging in this discourse. Dr. Obert Mpofu must not give up writing, he must carry on as his works have stirred an interesting debate. It would be nice to have this debate graduate to an online platform if there are any takers who would be interested in facilitating a debate between Nicholas Ncube and ZAPU. It promises to be a blockbuster discourse. Mthwakazi is rising and her children have found their voices courtesy of Bulawayo 24.


Source - Peter Moyo
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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