By Nomazulu Thata
Listening to the celebrations of the 21st MDC inception, I cannot help but remind the people of Matabeleland to stop dreaming and be realist in supporting a politician like Nelson Chamisa.
How long have we demonstrated our national wish to remain as one nation of Zimbabwe: so were the wishes of our fallen fathers and mothers who championed liberation of this great country so that all tribes and races we live as one people.
It does not matter how much we demonstrate oneness and a spirit of togetherness, we do not get reciprocated, Shona speech preference at rallies and party celebrations tells us people of Matabeleland do not belong to the Zimbabwe, but we can be useful if there were elections and the removal of Zanu PF in power.
We are tired and we are dismayed at the insensitivity of Chamisa who spoke yesterday only in English and Shona. It means people of the “other region were not considered by speakers who preferred to speak Shona throughout; does it mean his message was meant for Shona speaking people only and not for the nation? When we tell the people of Mashonaland that Chamisa is not the right candidate to takeover from Zanu, we get insulted right, left and centre. Chamisa and those who spoke in Shona only are tribalist and want to perpetuate tribalism in this country. We are getting agitated about the loss of inclusion in Chamisa’s MDC politics. It is not spoken but we know that people from Mashonaland will speak in Shona always and will never attempt to learn Ndebele language. If a Ndebele does not understand Shona, “then ship out.” This is the message Chamisa is sending to Ndebele people: if you do not understand Shona do not come, you do not belong.
I am addressing this article to the people of Matabeleland. There should be some time of reckoning. Its high time we should resist being treated as second-class citizens, even by children born two years before independence, they continue to look down at us on tribal lines. It is becoming clear to us why SADC and other international bodies in the African continent do not take Chamisa seriously as a leader to take over from the feared despot Zanu PF. We lack leadership in opposition politics. This is a time we needed a leader who was inclusive in his/her leadership, but not “Alice in Wonderland” opposition that is clueless, tribalistic, they do not know if they “coming in or going away” a party bereft of ideas and can’t renew itself. It appears if Chamisa was given advice coming from outside, he is not capable to implement change. How many people have told Chamisa to change the name: MDC-A?
Chamisa’s yesterday speech left a lot to be desired. He continues with tired threats he never follows to the end. Chamisa will give threats to be carried out by the youth and not himself because he fears for his life. Curiously, he wants other people’s children to die for him. His main wish: a wish he openly utters, does not conceal it: he said the “road to the State House is now reachable: very soon he will be in the State House! Now in a country that is facing untold suffering in various forms, how is it possible to listen to an opposition leader dreaming loud about occupying the state house as his uttermost ambition? Are the supporters of MDC Chamisa so gullible?
We are concerned about the huge following that Chamisa enjoys today: Even if we remove the electorate from Matabeleland, Chamisa has a big following in Mashonaland. We are concerned about absence of advice Chamisa is getting. There was no need to compulsively give Mnangagwa threats he will never take on board. Mnangagwa and Zanu know Chamisa and his lot like the palm of their hands, they know Chamisa fears, is scared for his life, is not a revolutionary, not even a visionary leader, far from it. Professor Lumumba has on many occasions lamented about the gullible electorate that has affinity to leaders without ideas. It took over 30 years for Mashonaland Zimbabwe to realize their mistake of voting Zanu PF to power. We have not recovered from this generational mistake: Chamisa is yet another tribal preference for generations to come.
Zimbabwe is known for its high literacy: we always think their educational background will better understand national politics: not tribal politics, not regional politics but our ability to select a leader who has capacity to govern, an inclusive leader who has trek record of economics and enjoys international respect from World Bank and other money lending bodies. We have many of them out there: home and abroad, who can put this nation in a better trajectory. We have Nkosana Moyo who can do wonders in an NTA administration. There is a brilliant, eloquently intelligent young man Khaliphani Phugheni wasting in MDC-T politics with Madam Khuphe.
We are in this hellhole today because of Mashona people who voted on tribal lines in 1980. We ask the people of Mashonaland to remove their monster Zanu PF they elected in 1980. Joshua Nkomo warned repeatedly, never vote on tribal lines but choose a candidate capable to usher real independence for the coming generations. It is painful to say this because it will feed into the tribal thinking; I as someone coming from the region of Matabeleland am bias towards Chamisa. When we see tribalism being practiced by our younger generations, we despair, we realize the tribal damage Mugabe did to this nation when we see young people singing from the same script of their fathers. Tribalism is indeed imbedded in our psyche.
The people of Matabeleland region should wake up and smell the coffee. We cannot afford to be used as cannon fodder by young people of Chamisa’s age. Perhaps this Chamisa’s misshape gives us a chance to focus on regional politics and development in this region. Zapu’s advice on devolution is an opportunity to think national but act regionally, we improve our region, economically, socially, and otherwise. I am not calling for cessation per se, but developing our region that has been purposely marginalized for 4 decades.
I do not know the reason why Mawelishi Ncube and Madam Tabitha Khumalo boycotted the 21st celebrations. Their boycotting may not be the right word I am speculating. Rightfully so, they should never again attend rallies where Ndebele language is downplayed and ignored. Chamisa should continue with his Shona rallies and our region should know by now that we are second-class citizens in Chamisa’s future administration. I can now imagine Israel Dube laughing loud at me! National politics whose naked tribalism persists in Zimbabwe is disillusioning me big time.
Source – Nomazulu Thata