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Robert Mugabe exudes Shona nationalism

02 May 2015 at 16:25hrs | Views
Robert Mugabe exudes Shona nationalism.  The words of  Stephen Reicher and Nick Hopkins that nationalism represents as 'the best of beliefs and … the worst of beliefs'  were clearly amplified by one Robert Matibili Mugabe when he dismally failed to locate the problem of political and economic refugees flooding South Africa to his brutal reign in Zimbabwe.  

When President Zuma and President Khama laid the blame squarely on his failed leadership, he in true fashion of all dictators sought to shift the blame to what he terms "the Kalanga instinct of treating South Africa as heaven."  He did not stop there. He went on to describe BaKalanga people as half educated and unable to compete in the job market place except ton export crime to South Africa.  

Robert Matibili was reflecting the  "…worst of beliefs" about a whole people from the BuKalanga region.  After what Robert Matibili believes and says about us, there are many things to be worried about if you are from BuKalanga today. This paper seeks to highlight the struggles that any group of people who share a common destiny must engage in when faced with the threat Robert Matibili stands for.

Today BaKalanga, we stand insulted and delegitimised as true citizens of a country called Zimbabwe.
Sabelo Ndlovu-Gatsheni posits that  'a good political community is one whose citizens are actively engaged in deciding their common future together.'  Is there anything common between BaKalanga  whose instincts Mugabe describes as criminal and unZimbabwean and the rest of the country? Can BaKalanga engage productively in deciding a common future with Zimbabweans when as Mugabe puts it " their only pre-occupation is to define themselves outside of the Zimbabwean state"?

Mugabe's insult confirms what some of us have always known that the 'Zimbabwean identity ' is not meant to be an all embracing identity for all animals and humans living between the geographical space found between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers. The Zimbabwean identity excludes BaKalanga. 

The people called Zimbabweans by Mugabe are what his Zanu-PF constructed during the liberation struggle and BaKalanga are not part of that identity. There were no Zimbabweans before 1980 and when ZANU-PF calls us Zimbabweans, this has nothing to do with our  pre-colonial identity as BaKalanga  but has everything to do with their reconstruction of a new identity premised on creating a one size fit all  "Shona identity." 

When he rants about us being " bad ones", he exposes his frustration at having BaKalanga within the Zimbabwean construct.  As BaKalanga are we surprised that Zimbabwe is plagued by an ethnocentric malady? No. Mugabe is a merchant of ethnic discrimination. He has ruthlessly used state power to attempt to redefine the  relationship between the state and the nation and reinforce toxic stereotypes in order to reproduce a psyche that seeks weaken the role of BaKalanga in matters of the state.

When he rebukes us for what he terms an " instinct to want to skip the border for what we perceive as heaven" he is attempting to run away from his shadow.  By describing an "instinct to want to skip" Mugabe puts our behaviour beyond what anyone can be blamed except those who own that "instinct".  He wants to puts himself in a position of helplessness in the face of BaKalanga unreasonableness and proclivity for criminality.  He is not necessarily talking to BaKalanga but to the Zimbabweans. He is sowing seeds of hatred against BaKalanga who have inhabited what he has appropriated as 'My Zimbabwe' for more than 1500 years.  He is building a case for ethnic cleansing against BaKalanga.  He justifies hating BuKalanga people under the guise of those with an ' …instinct to skip the border and engage in criminality" 

There are no consequences due him for his hate speech and incitement.  He has done it before and this resulted in Gukurahundi. Now one can say that Gukurahundi remains the ultimate conclusion to ethnic discrimination and hatred permitted to run its  full course.  For BaKalanga we feel a sense of de javu. Are we going to experience more ethnic cleansing before this geriatric dictator goes back to his maker? How much more are we going to be subjected to this hateful rhetoric. Why is nobody telling this sick dictator that BaKalanga are a proud peace loving nation whose levels of education can actually shame this decomposing dictator?  

The responsibility of the Head of State is to pursue policies that will be embraced by all its citizens because they advance their aspirations.  Not with Mugabe. BaKalanga today stand bruised and marginalised in their own land. He says we are half-educated hence our "instinct to skip the border'.  He has used state power to push his nefarious ideas throughout BuKalanga. Today we actually have half educated government officials who cannot spell BuKalanga deployed to cow and insult us in our region. That we are not educated is a lie which has been repeated over and over as a way to delegitimise our right to be employed in state institutions or Shona dominated private sector build from proceeds of looting state assets.

BaKalanga, our day to day challenges to survive as a people are overshadowed by the hatred directed at us by the rogue Head of State who has clearly disowned us. How long can we endure this?

I have several questions to ask Robert Matibili Mugabe

1.    Who has a criminal instinct between BaKalanga and him? What had BaKalanga done when he unleashed his Gukurahundi to kill at least 40 000 people?  The fact that he has not been brought to book is the greatest travesty of justice this world has ever witnessed.

2.    Robert Matibili Mugabe, of the four buses that carried Xenophobic victims to Zimbabwe, how may of those people were BaKalanga? As far as we know all the buses left for Harare, Masvingo and other places in the east.

3.    Of the people who stand at every street corner in South African roads begging for money at  times involved in smash and grab, how many are BaKalanga? None Matibili.  Have you called those people names? No.

4.    The Xenophobia incidents in South Africa have their genesis from the way you and other similar dictators rule your citizens.  In 1982-1987 when you butchered people in cold blood, those who survived crossed the border into South Africa, do you call that "an instinct to cross the border and see South Africa as heaven?" 

5.    When you unleash the economic violence on a daily basis by denying people of Matabeleland economic opportunities using lies that they are not educated are you not pushing them to cross the border? Is that an instinct to cross the border?

6.    Are you aware  that all state institutions in your government are deliberately pursuing an agenda to marginalise the people from Matabeleland? Yes. It's there in your 1979 Grand Plan document and its being implemented with vigour. Today you are gloating over the outcomes of that 1979 plan.

7.    Are BaKalanga part of what you call Zimbabwe or should we count ourselves out?

Kind regards
Nkololo wa Berber Nkalanga wekuNopemano

Walter Nsununguli Mbongolwane <

Source - Nkololo wa Berber Nkalanga wekuNopemano
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