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Why Matebeleland in particular and Zimbabwe in general needs a regional party?

14 May 2016 at 09:45hrs | Views
It's been 36 years now since Zimbabwe gained its independence from colonial rule. But before we could even begin to enjoy the independence, a new breed of colonialists - Zanu - struck, beginning their evil enterprise with the hell-conceived Gukurahundi Genocide.

The Peoples of the South Western Nations - AmaNdebele, AmaXhosa, BaKalanga, BaNambya, BaSotho, BaTonga, BaTshwao, BaTswana and VhaVenda - were to bear the brunt of the Gukurahundi Genocide for only two reasons: that we were different and diverse from the ethnicity of the new colonialists; and that we were resisting the New Colonialism and imposition of a One Party State in Zimbabwe.

The next 36 years were to be years of sorrow after sorrow: from the Gukurahundi Genocide followed economic marginalization and deprivation of meaningful economic development, systematic decimation of our languages and cultures, denial of access to job and economic opportunities, suppression of divergent voices, looting of our God-given natural resources to develop Harare, refusal of self-government and self-determination.

Whilst it is true that there are other regions like Maswingo and Manicaland which lone can claim to have been ill-treated as we have been, it is also true that for those 36 years, the Peoples of the South Western Nations have been fighters against the New Colonialism.


We have consistently rejected forcible Zanu rule, rejecting Zanu in almost every single election. But, alas, people from the Mashonaland, Manicaland and Maswingo Provinces, having suffered no major injustice from Zanu and directly benefiting from its policies, consistently voted for Zanu.

Even when MDC was launched, we the South Western Nations were the first to stand up and give that party our vote, obliterating Zanu from Matebeleland. But no, Shona people didn't think so, for they were and are beneficiaries of Zanu misrule.

The New Colonialism apparently has gone deep into Shona hearts and minds. For no sooner had the MDC begun to make an impact in the country was it reaped apart , leaders from the South Western Nations ostracized, demonized, marginalized and pushed aside, with leaders from Mashonaland shamelessly consorting with Zanu, the very evil regime that is responsible for the suffering of millions and should have been overthrown in previous elections.

South Western Nations leaders were branded "tribalist elements", "divisive", "regional" leaders, etc. For years now, many have tried to resist this tag of being "regional leaders", as if there was anything inherently evil in being a regional leader.


But now, after 36 years of so-called national parties' failure to overthrow the devilish Zanu and its attendant colonialism and bondage to which it has subjected us to, it is time to relook at our approaches and find a formula that works. Ironically, experience in other countries shows that the much-hated regionalist approach is actually the one not only responsible for the overthrow of oppressive regimes, it is actually the one responsible for the entrenchment of democracy and economic development, largely, if not always, through a federal or devolved system of government.

It took regional parties forming an alliance in Ethiopia to overthrow the Derg regime of Haille Mengistu Mariam. It took regional parties in the then Rhodesia to overthrow the Rhodesian colonialists. Yes, you heard me, for all their claims to being "nationalist" parties, Zanu and Zapu were, practically speaking, regional parties. Of course that was until Zanu raped, maimed and killed its way into South Western Nations Territory (Matebeleland) through the Gukurahundi Genocide.

Today, democracy thrives and there is unparalleled economic growth and prosperity in Ethiopia, India, Canada and Switzerland precisely because of the system of government entrenched by regional parties. By the way, Switzerland adopted federalism and regional governments precisely to end war in the mid-1800s. Even the 'mighty' United States adopted regionalism (Federalism) to stop war and ensure unity in diversity, prosperity for all and a lasting democracy.

In fact, it can be argued that no diverse country on earth is able to hold itself together apart from embracing some kind of regionalism through federalism or devolution of power. In the majority of cases it takes regional parties to entrench and ensure the survival and true benefit of devolution or federalism.

Now, the question for us as the South Western Nations is: since we have always resisted colonialism, genocide, economic deprivation, disunity, marginalization, ethnolinguistic and cultural genocide, etc. by refusing to vote for the evil Zanu, where must we place our vote now?


Since 2000, we tried MDC after Zapu had been destroyed through genocide, but our vote was spat straight into our face. Not only that, Shona people, being beneficiaries of Zanu misrule (it is not until recently that they started feeling the heat), chose to perpetuate Zanu rule. When we voted enmasse against Zanu, they chose it.

But for some reason, their leaders love to pontificate about their being a "majority" and us being a "minority". But, ironically, they are calling on us to "unite with them and remove Zanu", and yet we removed Zanu from our provinces but they retained it!

But, let us not lose heart. We fought for a fairer Constitution, and a major gain was Devolution of Power, even though it's a watered down version. Yet, the Evil Empire still doesn't want to implement this sacrosanct clause. Remember I indicated that it takes Regional Parties to entrench Devolution or Federalism?

Now is the time. Now is the time to remember that our vote counts and has power, only if properly directed. I therefore send out a call to all South Western Nations Peoples - AmaNdebele, AmaXhosa, BaKalanga, BaNambya, BaSotho, BaTonga, BaTshwao, BaTswana and Vhavenda, to coalesce, come together, and throw off the shackles of bondage by forming and voting for our own Regional Party.

Now that there is Devolution of Power in the Constitution (which by the way affirms that there is nothing evil about Regionalism), let us form and elect our own Party, led by our own people, to form the Provincial Governments of MatSouth, Bulawayo and MatNorth, and fight for our jobs, economic opportunities, resources, languages and cultures, the education of our children, etc.

Now is the time for MDC and ZAPU leaders in Matebeleland, MRP, MLF, MLO, PAMU, MDC-T leaders from Matebeleland, and even Zanu leaders, to say ENOUGH!, and come together in unity for the region - the Land of our Forefathers. This, my fellow citizens of the South West, is my call. United in our diversity, let us now put our own interests ahead, and secure our and our children's future.

Ndoboka. Ke a leboha. Ke a leboga. Ngiyabonga. Enkosi. Ndolivhuwa.

Source - Ndzimu-unami Emmanuel Moyo
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