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Mugabe xenophobic, suffers from senile dementia - response by a Kalanga

30 Apr 2015 at 10:49hrs | Views
Addressing journalists in Harare at the end of the SADC Extraordinary Summit on 29 April Mugabe made the following not only shocking but absolutely unfortunate, irresponsible, biggoted and unpresidential remarks:

"The Kalangas were very notorious kuSouth Africa vaizivikanwa kuti vanoita wutsotsi, nokhuthi vanenge vasina (they were known for their criminal activities because they didn't have) they are not educated enough to assume ma jobs, the majority of our people who used to go to South Africa sometime would go to the farms and work on the farms when they got a little more money then they run away from the farms and start a new life, but why do that, so people must get back to their own countries."

Sometime in 2014, Mugabe made similar remarks accusing us (Bakalanga and related ethnic groups) of only wanting to go to South Africa and bring back a bicycle. Not long after, his wife, who ought to be a mother-figure to the country and providing good advice to her husband, attacked the people of Matebeleland as people who only want to make babies, migrate to SA and not work hard.

One can only reach this conclusion: these views are not merely personal views of individuals, they are actually shared views that are discussed not only in the First Family quarters, but are widely shared by most if not all of the Zanu leadership. This I say considering that Mugabe is President of Zanu and his wife head of the Zanu Women's League and a Politburo member. But back to Mr Mugabe.

The Gukurahundist-in-Chief at it Again

The Constitution of Zimbabwe, to which Mugabe accented in 2013 using the Presidential Seal, carries a fine Bill of Rights which seeks to uphold the rights of citizenship for all Zimbabweans. The preamble of the same Constitution affirms our diversity as a people, and calls upon all Zimbabweans to respect our varied cultures and languages (identity) in order to ensure unity, fairness, equality and justice. Not only that, the same Constitution calls upon the President of the Republic to, among other duties:

1) Promote unity and peace in the nation for the benefit and well-being of all the people of Zimbabwe;

2) Ensure the protection of the fundamental human rights and freedoms and the rule of law; and

3) Respect the diversity of the people and communities of Zimbabwe.   

We certainly may never know what exactly was in Mr Mugabe's mind when we uttered the words he did about Bakalanga being "criminals", "thieves", "uneducated", etc. But what we can be certain about is this, this President has acted in a manner totally unpresidential, unstatesmen-like, and has violated the most fundamental of rights that our Constitution calls to be respected. This president stands accused of dereliction of duty as he has been negligent of three of the four duties imposed on him by the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

But fellow Zimbabweans, as we may all know, this President is not new to this kind of divisive behavior. Until pronounced innocent by a competent court of law, this President stands accused of and guilty for the callous genocial murder of between 20,000 and 100,000 of our people (Bakalanga, Vhavenda, AmaNdebele, BaNambya, etc). It therefore comes as no surprise that he should make remarks of the type that he made about a section of citizens whose rights and freedoms he must uphold and whose economic prosperity he must ensure. This brings me to my next point.  

Why Are Bakalanga Migrating in the First Place?

South African President Jacob Zuma posed a very interesting and spot-on question on Freedom Day whilst addressing his audience on xenophobic attacks on foreigners in his country. He asked why foreigners are flooding South Africa in the first place, and went on to state that African countries (leaders) must handle their citizens "with care". An important statement he made was that foreigners in the camps were very clear that political instability, economic deprivation, lawlessness and politically-motivated violence in their countries was the reason they are leaving their countries for South Africa. Anyone observant enough will notice that these descriptions fit Zimbabwe hand-in-glove.

Mr Mugabe's Zanu has overseen the wholesale murder of our people from way before independence when his tribally-inspired and driven Zanu was formed in 1963. He went on not only to deny us Bakalanga our identity, culture and language rights in 1980 and for the next 35 years, but oversaw, as already stated, the genocidal murder of up 100000 of our people. The record is well-known to those who care to know: thousands of Bakalanga and others were burned alive in their huts, pregnant mothers were bayoneted, young men shot and some thrown alive into disused mines, whole villages were razed down, our mothers and sisters were raped enmasse, schools we closed down, our people starved, we were denied any meaningful economic development for opposing Zanu (something which Mugabe's VP, one Mphoko, has recently confirmed). The list of evils goes on. An important fact to take note of is that all these evils were committed by a wholly Shona-speaking bandit of murders reporting directly to Mr Mugabe himself!

Since that time up to today, Mr Mugabe has through his Zanu government actively ensured the economic deprivation of our people. No meaningful infrastructure has been developed in Bukalanga/Matebeleland. The Zambezi Water Project has remained a pipe-dream. Our schools have been so far apart it is practically impossible for pupils to attend everyday (most of the new schools have been built by our communities from their own resources). Despite the fact that borders located in our regions (Plumtree, Maitengwe, Matsiloje and Beitbridge) contribute some of the largest resources to the national fiscus, Mr Mugabe's government has ensured that all those resources are looted and shipped to develop Mashonaland. Revenues raised at tourist attractions located in our regions (Victoria Falls, Hwange National Park, Matopos National Park, etc) have been siphoned and shipped to Mashonaland. The list of 'loots' is too big to document it all here.

Yet, in light of all this, Mr Mugabe, personally responsible for our economic deprivation, political disenfranchisement, linguistic and cultural oppression, denial of self-government and self-determination, looting of our resources, and genocidal murder of our people, has the balls to accuse us of having an "instinct of migrating to South Africa to become criminals, thieves" and being "uneducated".  Did he really expect our people to sit down and praise him when he is busy murdering our number and raping the economy of the country? How did Mr Mugabe expect us to get properly educated when his government denied us schools and closed for days on end those that were there? How did he expect our people to realize proper socio-economic development when he starved hundreds of thousands of our people during his infamous Gukurahundi "moment of madness"? Surely this defies all logic.

Fellow Zimbabweans, this President is a self-confessed madman who is now suffering from senile dementia, is grossly incompetent, guilty of dereliction of duty, xenophobic and unfit to rule!

And he Incites Genocide Against Bakalanga!

By uttering words that should invite maximum wrath from any self-respecting Kalanga, Mr Mugabe has in practical terms called for xenophobic attacks against Bakalanga. Unfortunately, some of us are left with no option than to conclude that the Gukurahundist-in-Chief isn't done yet with his Genocide. He is still itching for blood. Otherwise how do we explain a whole president who, in tense moments like these, makes an unfounded accusation against a section of his country's citizens based in a foreign country? By singling out Bakalanga and accusing us of being "criminals and thieves" in South Africa, Mr Mugabe wants to turn the anger of South Africans against Bakalanga and away from his fellow Shonas. This President needs to be reminded that it is not Bakalanga working in farms in South Africa but his fellow Shonas. It is not Bakalanga who are begging money in the streets of Johannesburg, eThekwini and Cape Town but Shonas. It is not Bakalanga who are prostitutes in South Africa but Shonas. It is not Bakalanga who are failing to respect South Africans and speak their languages but Shonas. It is not Kalangas who have run down the Zimbabwean economy and murdered thousands but Shona leaders. Whilst admittedly there have been Bakalanga involved in criminal activities in South Africa, it is highly irresponsible and unproductive to single us out as if we are the only ones who have some among our number doing that!

In any case, how do "crimes" by Bakalanga (which Mugabe seems to know so much), measure up against the Gukurahundi Genocide, Operation Murambatswina, Operation Maguta, Operation Mavoterapapi, the disappearances of the likes of Nabayana(?), Dzamara and other political activists? How does it measure up against the torture of Jestina Mukhokho(sp), Beatrice Mthethwa and many others? Have the "crimes" committed by Bakalanga ruined the South African economy like Mr Mugabe's own policies have ruined the Zimbabwean economy and led to a world-record inflation of 500 billion percent, reduced a once valuable currency to extinction, and ruined a once-vibrant and promising economy, once named the Jewel and Breadbasket of Africa and driven millions into exile?

Mr Mugabe, do not seek to use Bakalanga to divert attention from your record breaking failed presidency! Do not incite xenophobia against Bakalanga as if that will bring economic development to Zimbabwe or hide your monumental failures. We are fed up with your failed leadership and even you know that, hence your resort to violence (for which you, by your own confession, have degrees) in order to enforce your stay in power. You have ruined our livelihoods already, what is it that you still want? Was the Gukurahundi Genocide not enough for you?

Right now, thousands of jobs in our neighborhoods are filled with Shonas, from sweepers to security guards to heads of government departments. We tried to resolve this injustice through Devolution of Power, but again, in your naturally unjust self, you trample upon the Constitution and still centralize power in your Harare and Mashonaland enclave. You're so unjust and unfair Mr Mugabe. You're an old man who our culture prescribes we should respect, but alas, at every turn you give us more reasons to look upon you with scorn and disdain as an old fool suffering from senile dementia who is unfit to rule. You're such a disappointment Mr Mugabe.  

And please get me right, we are not asking that you develop our lands for us. All we want is a constitutional, legal and governance framework which allows us enough self-government and self-determination to pursue our economic, political and socio-cultural aspiration. We are fed up with our region's government departments being (mis)led by Shonas whose only concern is the month-end paycheck and care nothing about the development of our communities. We are tired with Shonas (mis)teaching our children and incapacitating the educational development of our children. What we want is self-government and self-determination to ensure socio-economic development of our regions, not your demented tantrums about the need for us to come home. Which home when you've for the last 35 years denied us our citizenship rights?

What we demand is Devolution of Power NOW! We demand full implementation of the Constitution not calls for another Genocide and xenophobic attacks against our people. Sir, you have failed as a President to unite this country. It would have been a wise thing for you to just resign and open up space for new leadership which will unite the country, ensure Devolution of Power, uphold our Constitutional Rights and properly manage the economy.

I hope this article reaches your not-so-presidential desk.

Ndzimu-unami Emmanuel Moyo can be contacted at

Source - Ndzimu-unami Emmanuel Moyo
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