By Dr Masimba Mavaza | A group calling itself Mthwakazi Republic are essentially a secessionist outfit making claim to what it calls a Mthwakazi State. The purported state comprises the two provinces of Matebeleland, including Bulawayo and the Middlands.
Mthwakazi thrives on emotionalism.
From the outset, there has been no such state in history. It is true that our nation comprises of diverse ethinic groups which have broadly lived in their respective provinces. In pre- colonial times these various ethnic groups co-existed in that fashion.
The concept of re-winding history to feudal times is simply an illogical one. Throughout the world ( not only in Africa) communities have evolved as families, to small communities, rising to ethnic groupings and altimately to nations. Take the example of England ( excluding Wells, Ireland and Scotland). The English are not a monolithic grouping. Their language was shaped by the coming together of the dialects of the Anglos,Saxons and Jutes. The diversity of English people is marked by the perculiar regional and even sub-regional accents. The same can be said of the Shona language with its diversity.
Therefore, if a Mthwakazi Sessesion were granted, then this would trigger a dismemberment of the whole of Zimbabwe into at least five ‘republics’. It would be argued that the so-called Mthwakazi Republic would eventually disintegrate further into Kalanga Republic in the west, Suthu/ Venda Republic in the south, Tonga/Nambia repuplic in the north. The same disintegration process would be taking place in other regions until what is one nation now is a cluster of small tribal communities. Nothing of that sort is happening in the rest of the world and thankfully it will not happen in Zimbabwe, either.
There is no scientific or plausible reason or justification for entertaining a fanatic sessesionist group calling for what would lead to the wanton fragmentation our country. This group feeds on dividing people and sowing seeds of hate, agitation and ethnic resentment.
It is correct that the group ruthlessly exploit, to some extent genuine grievences. It magnifies those. The Second Republic has acknowledged historic grievences in Matebeleland and Middlands. It has not sought to deny or brush them aside. This is the reason why initiated a Peace & Healing Commission led by Justice Selo Nare.
The Peace and Reconciliation Commission is not just a forum for coming together. It is about genuine discussions with a view to finding justice and ultimate healing. Because of the scale of the work, this cannnot be done overnight, nor can it be easy and painless. Everyone must engage the Commission.
Our nation will not go far by an act continuously being on one another’s throats. We have to learn from our past errors and move on to build a stronger nation. Rwanda is an example of what can be achieved if a people choose to look foward and build for the future.
Our children deserve better than us shoving down their throats seeds of hate and division. They deserve a better nation living under one proud flag.
Those clamouring for sessessionism make no effort to outline what they will do with that. The proper approach is to put forward a program of socio- economic action to uplift the wellbeing of our nation. That is a noble thing, not a resort to the low politics of insult and tribal appeals.
It is worth noting that the CCC is silent on the sessessionist ideas. When the very existence of our state in its form , substance and shape is challenged, one would expect that those purporting to be a government in waiting will take a clear and unequivocal stance that they make known to the nation. Not so with CCC.
The eloquent silence of CCC is alarming. Contrast this with Britain’s Labour Party. They oppose the Conservative-led government in Britain. When it comes to the Scottish Independence calls, the Labour Party came out and it comes out to outline its stance. The Scottish Independence Referendum was in 2014 . In the 2015 General Election ( at the aftermath of the Scottish referendum) the Labour Party lost
40 of the 42 seats it was defending. To put the scale of the Labour Party’s electoral collapse into context, there is a total of 59 seats in the Scottish Parliament devolved Parliament, Holyrood. Therefore Labour held the overwhelming of those seats.
Labour’s principled stance and openess cost them not just seets in Holyrood but also power in Westminster. CCC need to take a leaf out of the British Labour Party. Trying to ascend to power at the back of vicious divisiveness by turning a deaf ear to an issue that potentially threaten the very survival of the nation as we know it is a higly dangerous game. It extinguish any lingering that CCC are or could ever be a serious party. CCC’s history is laced with irresponsibility, extreme childish behaviour at best.
We must maintain the unitary nature and integrity of our state. Does that mean we foolishily ignore the richness and diversity of our people Each region is different. Indeed ech town is different. In Matebelaland South Plumtree is distinct from Gwanda.
Masvingo is distinct from Mashava in Masvingo region.
This is precisely why in the National Development Stategy 1 (2021-2025) (NDS1) the government of Zimbabwe specifically recognises and embraces the concept of devolution while we maintain “the unitary architecture of the state”. This means that the NDS1 recognises that each region has different needs at different times.
Mthwakazi Republic, like all other groupings ( including naive CCC) and citizens, must support devolution plans. It works in neigbouring South Africa and the government of Zimbabwe wants to make it work in our country.
The politics of divide and rule was defeated in the Chimurenga war. It is mischief for anyone to seek to divide the country on language basis. It is a shame on Mthwakazi and its supporters. Zimbabwe must not be divided by ignorant people.
It is time for Zimbabwe to shun tribalism and build the country. Divided we fall united we stand.