via Bulawayo24 NEWS | Tribalism is real in Zimbabwe by Mbonisi Gumbo 16 April 2014
As we approach Zimbabwe’s 34th independence on the 18th of April 2014, many things needs to be looked at and today I want to focus on tribalism. Tribalism is a reality in this Country and we need to deal with it once and for all.
It is the cause of all this messy we are in as citizens of this Country. I was privileged yesterday to attend a political debate in Bulawayo’s small city hall organised by Bulawayo Agenda and SAPES TRUST where I got some insights and confirmation of what I already know about Zimbabwe’s past.
The topic was Whither Zimbabwe at 34, and the panellists were Dr Sipepa Nkomo, Dr Dumiso Dabengwa, Dr Ibbo Mandaza, Dr Sikhanyiso Ndlovu and the moderator was Mr Dumisani Nkomo.
It was confirmed to me that tribalism was actually created by Zanu-PF in 1963 when it broke away from ZAPU and that is what caused tension it the Country to this day that party is violent and remains as such to this day. Before then the Nationalists politicians who included Dr Joshua Nkomo had successfully mobilised the whole Nation regardless of tribe or where you come from.
Dr Nkomo wanted Zimbabweans to co-exist as brothers and sisters but he was betrayed by Zanu-PF which broke away from ZAPU based on tribal lines they betrayed this nation.
I believe as leaders we need to be realistic about tribalism and honest let’s face it and deal with it. I would like to appreciate the men of GOD who have taken it upon themselves to find a solution over this issue the Roman Catholic Church have done their best so far and we have even witnessed some of their leadership being persecuted the likes of Arch Bishop Pious Ncube and Father Marko Mnkandla of Lupane.
Other Pastors are Pastor Mabhena, Pastor Mosti to mention but a few who have dared talk about this issue. I was impressed last week at Eagle Life Assembly in Bulawayo seeing the man of GOD Prophet Blessing Chiza raising the issue in Church and asking the people of Mashonaland to kneel down and ask for forgiveness to the people of Mathebeleland over gukurahundi on behalf of their fathers which they did.
According to him he said GOD is worried about this issue the devil have taken advantage of the situation to capture people and there is a lot of hatred among these two tribes he said we need to pray. But the sad reality is that this issue cannot be wished away just like that at the moment Zanu-PF has refused to denounce their 1979 GRAND PLAN, refused to apologise to the people of Mathebeleland over gukurahundi, they refuse to ask for forgiveness, they continue in their path of dis-empowering the people of Mathebeleland and they refuse to implement devolution of power.
They have succeeded in pushing us out of Government, parastatals and even in our land here in Mthwakazi nepotism and tribalism is official in the Zanu-PF led Government of Zimbabwe. At least according to Dr Ibbo Mandaza in 1980 both Zanu-PF and ZAPU where represented in Government but within two years the people of Mathebeleland were no longer in Government they had been pushed out, Dr Ibbo Mandaza believes that Zimbabwe is in shambles. He said this part of the country which is Mthwakazi represents a classic example of many instances of government’s failures of our expectations as a Nation.
The national values that have motivated people to participate in the armed struggle soon vanished. The Nationalism that was being advocated for by ZAPU soon disappeared. Dr Ibbo Mandaza questions why are we afraid of looking back at our past? Let’s go back to 1963 that’s where we lost the plot. He believes that ZAPU and Zanu-PF should have made compromises for the good of the Country which clearly ZAPU was willing to do but Zanu-PF remained stuck to its grand plan which have now breed a violent nation, even the violence currently haunting MDC-T can be traced back to Zanu-PF.
Look at how many people have dead in this country because of tribalism its not a laughing matter? Dr Dabengwa said what is happening now is not what they fought for. Zimbabwe is deteriorating it is in the verge of collapse if nothing is done. Dr Sipepa said he refused to join Zanu-PF he never joined Zanu-PF because it is violent and he hates violence I regardless of who did it he said every Zimbabwean must condemn it. Even yesterday it was clear that Zanu-PF’s intolerance have not stopped I was shocked to hear some misguided youths saying Dr Dabengwa was speaking nonsense. Zanu-PF members made people to be uncomfortable in yesterday’s meeting.
Their behaviour was unbearable they shouted at panelists the most surprising issue was that even the party elders well above 60years of age were in the fore front of abusing non Zanu-PF people in the meeting they shouted forcing people to seat down even Dr Sikhanyiso didn’t call them to order as their leader some people had to woke out in protest. They undermined everyone who is not Zanu-PF and I have noticed that all the noise makers representing Zanu-PF in Mathebeleland are not from here. It is not in our culture to disrespect our elders, shout or to make such noise.
Last week the same Zanu-PF members forced former Deputy Mayor of Bulawayo Alderman Mpofu to walk out of such a meeting in protest after he was insulted. And this is happening only a few days before independence which we are supposed to celebrate as a united Nation. Tribalism is now everywhere in cabinet, parliament, government, party structures and even in marriages how do you avoid it?
The level of intolerance in Zanu-PF is shocking, but surprisingly it seems they don’t have an idea on how to deal with these issues, Dr C Ndlovu the Zanu-PF Bulawayo Chairperson is said to have reviled that tribalism has taken its toll on Zanu-PF he said Zanu-PF members are divided on tribal lines. Coincidentally all three Zanu-PF candidates vying for Chairmanship in the Bulawayo central district are all from outside Mathebeleland, where is the 50/50 agreed upon by ZAPU AND Zanu-PF in 1897 unity accord that they will built their party structures from branch to National using?
Mathebeleland people are being pushed out even within Zanu-PF in the near future we are likely to see people from Matshonaland taking over Zanu-PF Bulawayo structures we are getting there soon. What is a fact is that the people of Mathebeleland are still angry over gukurahundi even those in Zanu-PF.
It is further worsened by the fact that Zanu-pf refuse to apologise. If you think they [Mthwakazian people in Zanu-PF] have forgiven and forgotten ask yourself why are their children not in Zanu-PF, government or parastatals why? Their children are out of the Country they are dis encouraged by their parents to join because it’s dirty in that party and they know it hence they want to protect their children. They know that arrangement is not permanent. Zanu-PF copied smith’s systems Dr Sikhanyiso Ndlovu said the first 10 years was difficult for Zanu-PF because the courts were still in the hands of whites, is this not what Zanu-pf is doing to Mathebeleland?
Lastly I believe that DEVOLUTION OF POWER is biblical and it is the best system of governance otherwise GOD wouldn’t have given Israelites their land according to their tribes which were divided into 12 simply because these are the children of one person Abraham He should have put them together. I believe it was in order to avoid violence among them? The people of Mathebeleland cannot forgive you without you asking for forgiveness how do you ask forgive when you are not asked to? The perpetrators must ask for forgiveness so that the victims will forgive.
Zanu-PF’s GRAND PLAN have been passed over to the next generation their children are pursuing it today Kasukuwere has been fingered in tribalism today but he wasn’t there when the GRAND PLAN was crafted he inherited that, even the young people in that party also inherited violence from Zanu-PF which is why we now believe the problem is beyond repair hence we must be separated to avoid any further humiliation of people of Mathebeleland by Zanu-PF which represents the interest of people from Mashonaland.
One way or the other all Mashonaland people have benefited from Zanu-PF through favouritism, nepotism, tribalism and party affiliation they always get first preferences sometimes they they get what they don’t deserve even jobs they are not qualified to do. Mthwakazian people have resorted to leaving this country in search of greener pastures because they are not given an opportunity in their own country Zimbabwe.
Mbonisi Gumbo is Mthwakazi Republic Party’s secretary for information and publicity writing in his personal capacity.