Latest News Editor's Choice

Opinion / Letters

Hiding in the comforts of Sweden: Paul Siwela pens a letter to Mnangagwa

18 Sep 2018 at 20:25hrs | Views
Dear Bhudi Paul,

With dismay I read the letter you wrote President Mnangagwa today. I hasten to say that I was disappointed by this militant language you have now adopted as a party: MLO. What I am sure about is that the women in Mathebeleland are not on the same page and platform you have just highlighted in the letter. The women in this region of Mathebelelands live and know their situation better than us who are in democratic nations that respect the rule of law. You, and me included are in hiding because the situation in Zimbabwe is a no-go-area for us. That said, your cessation strategy is the least we women demand in this area because it will open up wounds of the Gugurahundi atrocities that took place in the 1980s. Again we women are the ones who will suffer most than our Ndebele men. We want an alternative to your strategy that will not harm the women and children.

I was still in the UK in 2011 when you faced treason charges for distributing fliers in the locations. You were incarcerated for 89 days in Khami prisons. When you were imprisoned, you developed health problems that could have cost you a life; you could have passed on carelessly in the hands of Mugabe regime. Advocate Kucaca Phulu and other lawyers put up a fight like no other to avert capital punishment that is still hanging on your neck. I was personally relieved when I realized you have actually fled Zimbabwe; left the country and you are safe in Sweden together with your family. Your safety to me is very important because life is precious as we all know. (Human life has an inherent sacred attribute that should be protected and respected at all times)

In the same vein, Bhudi Paul, you are putting the Zimbabwean citizens living in Mthwakazi in danger if you continue to insist on cessation 10,000 miles away from Zimbabwe. I think painfully about the women and children who have been left alone for so long because some Ndebele men had to flee the Gugurahundi atrocities of the early 1980s, some never returned. Reading this letter you wrote to Mnangagwa: it is inciting any eventualities we are not sure what? Are you saying if President Mnangagwa does not give away Mthwakazi you will then use force to take away the Mathebele part from Zimbabwe? If that is so then you are really insensitive to us women in this region. You do not care about the Ndebele women and children's lives you purport to serve. You cannot use the women and children living in this region as pawns to quench your political ambitions and be the first president of Mthwakazi.    

You had to flee; you had to take cover in one of the most peaceful countries in the world: Sweden. But the women in rural Mathebeleland have to bear the brunt of yet another Gugurahundi number two, carelessly started by your party or parties in the region. We say NO to this cessation strategy you want, it does not save the peoples of this region except those few men in your parties. We want peace in this region so that we can take the development of this region into our own hands. Without peace we cannot implement meaningful progress and development. Again those Gugurahundi scars are still vivid in our minds; so many people were displaced, dehumanized, traumatized, and dispersed as you put it. We don't want to be subjected to that barbaric Fifth Brigade once more because we are the niche that suffers most in any conflict. You will run away once more and hide in those places that are safe and peaceful just like Sweden.  

In any war conflict, its women who bear it all because it is most challenging to be on the run with children leaving livelihoods and homes to be displaced or worst get killed because we gave cover to the military insurgence in the region. I can't perceive how it escapes you, never to think beyond women sufferings in any war situation. It's not even thirty five years ago, the scale of carnage caused by the Fifth Brigade is felt to this date. When President Nkomo capitulated and signed a GNU with Zanu PF, it is because he thought about the sanctities of life more than his loss of presidency of the first Republic of Zimbabwe. He had seen enough of the brutality of Mugabe regime. Asking for peace does not mean defeat or do I fear President Mnangagwa and his secret service; on the other hand, it is not strength to incite violence equally.

Be it MDC-Alliance led by Chamisa or your parties, you are not sensitive to the sufferings of the masses, this is my perception. This is where politics is personalized to quench personal ambitions of individuals. These bring us to a classical example of what happened in South Sudan. When they got their independence finally from Mainland Sudan, an internal conflict started once more. Some millions of South Sudanese live as refugees in their own country: displaced.  Millions have perished in this internal conflict, still going on as we speak. Which country in the region will stomach a war conflict in the southern cone of Africa? Is AU going to entertain your grievances that have never been tabled, why is there is conflict of interest between you and the regime of Mnangagwa? Is the UN going to give you an ear in the first place, when already, in the African continent there are several war conflict to contend with?     

"You will understand fully the consequences of trying to delay." You said in your letter to Mnangagwa. To me that is a threat of war. Why did you run away then Bhudi if you can talk such tough language. Is it because you can only talk tough away  from crime-scenes, what about the rural communities, did you ask yourself if they are going to be safe when you openly make those threats of military nature 10,000 miles away from homeland Mathebeleland?  There was no need to start a war conflict in this region, it will come to naught because, after the liberation wars that were fought in this region: nobody has appetite to harbour insurgences trying to cessed from the main state. Those are events that have long past their sale by date.

There are arms dealers out there who will welcome your move to cessed from Zimbabwe. To them  illicit arms trade dealers, its business as usual in the African continent. They are privy of Africans and their lust for wars most of which are unreasonable. Africa has become dumping ground for light weapons. In some cases they will even encourage organisations such as your own to be supplied with small arms and light weapons to nurture such conflicts. While they get their profit, our women and children will be murdered, maimed, raped, displaced…. the list goes on. We have evidence of it during the Gugurahundi atrocities. That demarcation line called the Jameson line are national demarcations of colonialism. How do we adhere to those lines marked by Sir Leander Starr Jameson, the line that separates Mathebeleland and Mashonaland? The young man Malema is preaching African Union and you are preaching further demarcation of Zimbabwe. Is that indeed comprehensible?

It is Africans who fall victims of global illicit trading of arms. Arms will be sold to kill fellow Africans because you cannot speak to each other on matters that affect you both. Conflicts will be nurtured by constant supply of these small and light weapons as far as it can go: we know this and see it happening in other African countries. Professor Lumumba of Kenya comes into my mind: he says: "because Africans do not think, can't think, Africa is what it is today." The noble Professor is right. We do not need to adhere to colonial boundary lines at all. Instead, we must rise above them and we rebuild this nation, we are lacking behind in any form of development because of unnecessary conflicts.  

Remember too there is another conflict looming in Mthwakazi today. We have potentially three Kings of Nguni ethnic group who claim legitimacy of this region. Anytime we can witness a military conflict that will determine the real King of Mathebeleland. Is that not madness enough? As if we do not have something constructive to do. It will be the three kings fighting one another and your political conflict of cessation put together: a battlefront of four sides in one small country called Mthwakazi. Hayibo! There are several other kingdoms in this region and it's not the Ngunis who have the right to kingdoms. If other ethnic groups in started to reclaim their own kingdoms, what will become of this region that is moving backwards when many other nations are talking diversity and development? The world has turned into a village and has been globalized, do we wonder then if those developed citizens call us stupid Africans, and we cringe?

Bhudi Paul, I hasten to say that we are in preparations of the coming CEDOW (Committee on the Elimination and Discrimination against Women) conference in the UN in March 2019. I want to let you know that the punctuation of my speeches will be about the plight of women in Zimbabwe in all tribal divides, political parties and domestic violence on women and girls. I will also quote the brewing conflict surrounding the situation in Mathebeleland, let the world platform know that our situations are made difficult by our man folk and their lust for power and might at the detriment of women and children. This brewing conflict is wholly not necessary considering the fact that it will disadvantage women in this region more than the men who are hiding in the safety and comforts of Europe and elsewhere.       

Dear Bhudi Paul, please reconsider your letter you wrote today. Remember too that if the devolution is implemented we need to start developing Mathebeleland because it needs its people to develop it, you included. To ask Mnangagwa repayments of 100 Billion US dollars as a reparation package of the Gugurahundi atrocities is abominable. Zimbabwe is a country that is struggling to repay it's internal and external debt of 11 billion US dollars; it's out of this world: silliness of the highest order. I wonder too if they will compensate the White farmers for the farms invasions of the Millennium unless if UK chipped in and did the compensation of farm invasions. How do you make unreasonable demands to President Mnangagwa that is just impossible to get?

We demand truth and reconciliation. Those who lost their livelihoods must be compensated as such. You cannot compensate life lost. Whoever killed, the law says you need to go to jail the rest of your life. It is for this reason that such genocidal crimes are to be considered international crimes and are to be handled by experts of law in international courts and certainly not individuals. You are belittling the lives we lost in those atrocities by some dollar tag. We refuse this.

There is no gold or money to compensate lives lost; you cannot trade life with a 100 billion currency tag. Crimes of genocide are at best sent to the international courts of law that have the expertise to deal with such crimes of that magnitude. Your 100 billion dollar tag belittles and simplifies the sanctities of life: lives lost in those dark days of our history.  

I am aware of the backlash I will receive from some corners of Mathebeleland regarding this letter to you, Bhudi Siwela and I wonder still if I really care about them anymore. I have been insulted enough and have become immune to those slurs some of which I cannot even print in this paper. It is the plight of women I am deeply concerned about. What we need in this region is peace to recover and develop this area for the good of all of them who live in Mathebeleland. I am as sure as a cock that I will be told that I speak for Zanu PF, have become spokesperson for Mnangagwa regime. Fighting for the cause that I strongly believe in exudes fears of being labelled a Zanu PF spokesperson. Those who have been following my articles know who Nomazulu is and I fear not.   

I will do my own homework and revisit Mnumzana Kernan Mzelikahle's articles he wrote previously about Mthwakazi issues. He highlighted same poignant points that I now realize their genuine importance: I did not take him seriously back then.

I hope I find you well.

Yours truly

Nomazulu Thata

Source - Nomazulu Thata
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.