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INAUGURAL SPEECH ON MTHWAKAZI RESTORATION
THEME: A Double Whammy Potency of Crisis of Identity!
Who Are We? …Zimbabwean? ............Mthwakazian?
Dr Mpiyesizwe Churchill Guduza
Mthwakazi Liberation Front
PIMLICO, LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
21 MAY, 2016
Navigating the sea of all forms of colonialism, genocide and ethnic cleansing can be daunting. This speech seeks to start a debate that would provide an opportunity for all the peoples of Mthwakazi origin to rebuild their country paying particular attention to the economics of social problems: education, health, housing, transportation, environment, social care and the distribution of wealth (having not only suffered eight seven (87) years of European colonialism, and a further thirty six (36) years of Zanu-PF colonialism and domination, genocide and ethnic cleansing.
This speech is further concerned with addressing the deliberate historical structural processes of marginalisation, genocide and ethnic cleansing in all economic sectors of life in present day Zimbabwe. But how did Mthwakazi get into this mess? In particular, how did the historical memory of Mthwakazi get wiped out? What exactly is responsible for wiping out this Mthwakazi memory into a tabular rasa or blank state?
2. Design of the Argument
In this speech, I argue most strongly that until the late 1950s the people of Mthwakazi still had a proud history. But that, everything changed with the birth of ZAPU (the Zimbabwe African Peoples Union), following the banning of the National Democratic Party, and its predecessor, the African National Council of Southern Rhodesia. This analysis should not only explain the why questions, but accordingly improve our understanding as to how we got into this mess of our collective loss of Mthwakazi memory.
The Zimbabwe narrative, ideology, philosophy or vision during this period as projected by Shona intellectuals lies at the heart of the destructive impact of the identity crisis of the people of Mthwakazi. It was from this period that a new vision and mission statement was projected, not on the struggle for Mthwakazi but on its total destruction.
The formation of ZAPU was a game changer, the beginning of a calamitous episode and a devastating tornado at a stroke that annihilated a proud history and memory of Mthwakazi from its inhabitants. From this period onwards the struggle against European colonialism was truly and permanently hijacked by Shona intellectuals under many false pretences and guises. From then on, the struggle would be prosecuted for a pie in the sky vision, a vision projected by Shona intellectuals for the benefit, dominance and hegemony of Shona people at the expense of the people of Mthwakazi.
It was no longer a struggle for the liberation of Mthwakazi, but of an alien, unachievable and unbeneficial idea for the people of Mthwakazi. The idea of a free Zimbabwe, an alien irrelevant concept that cannot be traced and located anywhere in the chronology of Mthwakazi, and therefore which had absolutely nothing to do with the people of Mthwakazi, , became the only double whammy potency and narrative responsible for wiping out the memory of Mthwakazi from its inhabitants.
The formation of ZAPU in the late 1950s represents the first ever Grand Plan of Shona intellectuals with far reaching destructive implications. The concept, vision, philosophy and ideology of Zimbabwe as a narrative and goal to be fought for, sacrificed for, died for and achieved is singularly responsible the identity crisis that befell the people of Mthwakazi from then onwards until this very day.
The pursuit of the achievement of Zimbabwe as an idea, vision, dream and an end goal, post European colonialism was so overwhelming such that the people of Mthwakazi origin dished their own historical identity without any question at all. Like the powerful and debilitating impact of the so-called ‘Born Again’ religion, the people of Mthwakazi origin were simply overwhelmed by the psychological appeal of the concept of Zimbabwe, such that they became believers instantaneously without posing to think critically about their own identity that was supported by a very rich history and identity.
Once ZAPU had gained currency as a formidable instrument and vehicle for the liberation of Zimbabwe, the writing was already on the wall. There was no going back to history and identity of Mthwakazi by the so-called ‘Nationalists’ graduates in ZAPU), hence the split that followed, resulting in the formation of ZANU (the Zimbabwe African National Union) in 1963, represented an icing on the cake. As the reasons for the birth of ZANU are well documented, there was no longer any need for Shona intellectuals to be led by any person of Mthwakazi origin.
Joshua Nkomo, himself, during this period had been showered with so many accolades and blinding praises that had nothing to do with the restoration of Mthwakazi, but deliberately aimed at convincing him towards a never achievable alien idea for his people – father Zimbabwe, ilitshe elitshelelayo elingagadekiyo – and various other such falsehoods, deceptions and conspiracies. The struggle for Zimbabwe represents one of the most debilitating deceptions and conspiracies of our time.
Put differently, the entire effort by people of Mthwakazi origin (under ZAPU and its military wing ZIPRA) in the struggle that resulted in the independence of Zimbabwe was premised on false ideological premises. Like the tissue that is flashed in a toilet, the people of Mthwakazi origin were used under false pretences and deception to fight against European colonialism for the benefit of Shona hegemony, power and domination.
The Grand Plan of 1979 and its various subsequent subsidiaries simply represented implementation mechanisms of the Grand, Grand Plan that was developed and ruthlessly applied in wiping out the Mthwakazi memory from the struggle currency and determinism against European colonialism. It is through the Grand Plan as originally developed and applied with creation or establishment of ZAPU in the late 1950s that is responsible for our current woes, genocide, ethnic cleansing and many other variants.
In this speech, I have stated the theme as the double whammy potency, a poison chalice that is comparable to none in the history of nations. Why? For the simple reason that as outlined below in the chronology of the historiography of Mthwakazi, not only did the gallant Mthwakazi warriors fight gallantly against European colonialists led by Cecil Rhodes’ British South Africa Company, but many decades later, it was the Mthwakazi forces (this time under ZIPRA) who were the best fighting machine in the whole of Southern Africa.
There are basically no known significant battles that were fought by ZANLA against the Rhodesian forces. On the contrary, it was ZIPRA who recorded significant victories against the Rhodesian forces at Sipolilo in 1966, at Wankie in 1967, in Salisbury in 1970 resulting in the complete destruction of the fuel depot and then again who not only downed the Viscount aircraft, but several Rhodesian military aircraft during the late 1970s, resulting in the negotiation process at Lancaster House. These significant battles under ZIPRA easily match those of earlier years by Mthwakazi warriors at Mbembesi, Shangaan, and various others. The parallel is therefore simple, just as during that Mthwakazi period when colonialists raised the Union Jack Flag without firing a single shot at Fort Salisbury, in 1980 that same flag was taken down and power transferred to Zanu-PF and Shona hegemony and domination without ZANLA having fought for it.
The summary of the design of my argument therefore is that it is high time for the people of Mthwakazi origin, to shrug off their psychological amnesia of being Zimbabwean and rediscover their true lost Mthwakazi identity. It is noteworthy that it has never been, neither is it too late to revert back to our identity as a people with a proud history that is second to none in the whole of Africa.
We cannot continue lying to ourselves about being Zimbabwean when we are not. Basically we owe it to the gallant sons and daughters of Mthwakazi who cherished a wrong non achievable cause, to change direction and sacrifice all our energies for the Restoration of Mthwakazi. We have been led astray for far too long not to rise again, dust ourselves and chart a new course for our collective Mthwakazi destiny. It is with this determinism and the pursuit for the rediscovery of our collective memory in mind that I now turn to outline below the chronological historiography of Mthwakazi.
As I present the following chronology it is important to note that the Shona people who now rule Zimbabwe do not and cannot have such a proud history that can be traced back over many years. This perhaps explains why they have sort of tried to locate theirs from a spiritual medium called Nehanda as a cover up of their failure to resist the penetration of European colonialism. In doing so, they have not explained why it took the so-called ‘First Chimurenga’ to rebel against European colonialism only in 1896 when the Union Jack had been raised in Fort Salisbury six (6) years earlier in 1890.
3. Historical Background
Between 1817 and 1819, King Mzilikazi helps Tshaka defeat Zwide. After that King Tshaka assimilates all tribes and clans under his kingdom and that of the Ndwandwe. King Mzilikazi falls under the kingdom of Tshaka and the Zulu Nation. Mzilikazi is appointed as one of the Zulu Paramount Chiefs. King Mzilikazi builds his homestead in eNtumbane in Ngome.
By the early 1820s ethnic wars escalate causing the Sotho people to seek refuge in the land of the Kalanga at Ndlabunondo (present day Mthwakazi). Some of the Sotho clans start attacking the Kalanga.
In 1822 the Khumalos come under the direct leadership of Mzilikazi and Zulus under Tshaka in Ngome. This makes Mzilikazi to leave Ngome with his Nation leaving the Khumalo under Bheje in Ngome. King Mzilikazi starts to expand his Nation among the Sotho by assimilation after conquering them.
By 1825, King Zwangendaba with his Ngoni Nation vanquished the Kalanga Nation in Ndlabunondo (Mthwakazi). King Mambo, the ruler of the Kalanga Nation dies. Around the same time in1825, King Mzilikazi the Ndebele in Dubazi and forms a regiment at Mpangele. Mzilikazi reigns from the Vaal to Limpopo. The capital city is set up at Mhlahlandlela (present day Pretoria).
During the same year in 1825, King Tshaka conquers King Sikhunyana of Zwide and the defeated seek refuge under King Mzilikazi. Prince Nkulumana is born from Mzilikazi's first wife who came from the Zwide clan.
In 1832 the Boer war with King Mzilikazi’s Nation (amaHlabezulu) is fought at Vegkop, a place near Hebron. The Boers defeat amaHlabezulu. Dingane of Senzangakhona sets out a strong army led by Sompisi Ntuli to vanquish Mzilikazi's Nation. This leads to massive losses of soldiers on both sides and Mzilikazi couldn't be defeated.
The wrath of the Zulus and the Boers necessitates Mzilikazi to relocate to the present day North West Province of South Africa. King Mzilikazi builds his new capital (at the ruins of Mosega) called Mkhwahla. It was here that Lobhengula was born.
In 1835 King Zwangendaba leaves Ndlabunondo (Mthwakazi) after his spies alert the fore runners of King Mzilikazi who had gone to view the land. Zwangendaba flees eastwards. Nyamazana of Zwangendaba remains behind in Ndlabunondo with the Swati.
In about 1837 King Mzilikazi leaves the North West with his Nation due to threats from the Boers and the Zulu under Dingani. Mzilikazi Nation prepares to settle in Ndlabunondo. They divide into two groups, the first led by King Mzilikazi while the other by paramount chief Gundwane Ndiweni.
In 1838 Gundwane Ndiweni's group builds the king's capital named Gibixhegu in Mzingwane. By that time, the swati of Nyamazana had ascended on mountains fleeing the advancing Mzilikazi Nation. Between 1838-1840, the group led by Gundwane looks for King Mzilikazi with the group he led from North West.
In 1840, after those chosen to search for the King had gathered intelligence the King had been killed, Chief Gundwane installs Prince Nkulumana as King of the Nation to promote social cohesion, development and performance of rituals and traditional ceremonies like inxwala and to restructured the Nation.
But during the same in 1840 King Mzilikazi returns and condemns the installation of Nkulumana. The King sets alight the capital at Gibixhegu and murders those who braised Nkulumana to his throne while many others were hidden for the King's wrath to subside. Nkulumane is dethroned and sent back to his maternal relatives so that he would return to rule when his father died.
The King re-structures his Nation after integrating Nyamazana and the Kalanga. He builds his new capital at Mahlokohlokweni at Bubi. The Shona and Tswana seek to pay tribute to King Mzilikazi for protection. The Mzilikazi Nation is named Mthwakazi kaNdaba. The country Ndlabunondo is properly structured for governance.
In 1845 Mthwakazi forces defeat Rhodes' warring party at Matopos. Mbiko Masuku and Zwangendaba regiments fought gallantly in this battle. The King rewards Mbiko with cattle and allows him to marry his elder daughter Zinkabi.
In 1853 the Boers signed a treaty with Mzilikazi regarding the territorial boundary between the Transvaal and Mthwakazi represented by the Limpopo River. In 1859, King Mzilikazi gives Robert Moffat land to build his church, the London Missionary Society at Inyathi. This was the first Christian church to be built in Mthwakazi.
In 1863, King Mzilikazi relocates from Inyathi to Mhlahlandlela after the death of his elder wife who lived at Inyathi. In 1866 the Geologist Carl Much proclaims that Mthwakazi is rich with minerals especially gold. This discovery or proclamation provides the appetite and motivation of white colonialists to invade Mthwakazi.
In 1868 King Mzilikazi is removed from Mhlahlandlela because he is very I'll and is taken to Nqameni homestead near Mhlahlandlela. No one is allowed to see ailing King. On the 9th September1868, King Mzilikazi dies. His remains are removed from Nqameni at Mhlahlandlela for burial and laid to rest at Intumbane at Mhlahlandlela. This whets the appetite of white communities causing them to invade Mthwakazi.
On 2nd November 1868 the Remains of King Mzilikazi are laid to rest at Intumbane at Mhlahlandlela. Between November 1868-1870 the Commemoration ceremonies of the King's death take place and the search for Prince Nkulumana begins but he cannot be found.
On 22 January 1870 the Paramount chief Mncumbatha Khumalo installs Lobhengula son of Mzilikazi as King. Many chiefs oppose the kingship of Lobhengula. Chief Mbiko openly declares that Lobhengula cannot be King before Nkulumana is found or his remains. This splits the Nation with Mbiko's regiment and Zwangendaba. War looms between the two camps.
In 1870 King Lobengula's capital is built on mount Inyoka. He calls it Gibixhegu to revive the old Gibixhegu at Mzingwane where he grew up. On 25 June 1870 there is an uprising against Lobhengula and chief Mbiko is killed. His regiment Zwangendaba is disbanded. During the same year in 1870, King Lobhengula changes name of his capital from Gibixhegu to koBulawayo meaning ' he was to be killed for the kingship'.
In 1872 King Lobhengula signs the 'Tati Concession' with the company of John Swinburne to open one gold mine. In 1881the New Bulawayo is built on the plains on the high mount koBulawayo. On 30 October 1888 the Rudd Concession is signed.
In 1890 the BSAC establishes Mashonaland British protectorate. The Shona people set out good ties with BSAC because they would no longer pay taxes to Lobhengula. This is how their woes began.
During the winter of 1893 the Shona chief Bere causes the killing of Chief Mgandane Loyiswayo Dlodlo near Fort Victoria (Maswingo). War erupts between Mashonaland and Mthwakazi.
On 25October 1893 the War across Tshangani against the colonialists. On 3November 1893 the Gadadi/Mbembesi war broke out. On 4 November 1893, Dr. Leander Starr Jameson of pioneer column arrives in Bulawayo and finds the king's capital on fire because Chief Sivalo Mveleleni Mahlangu had torched it. King Lobhengula can't be found in the capital. The trail leads to areas of Bubi. The BSAC flag is raised in Bulawayo on one of the trees in Saurstown as a symbol of conquest of Mthwakazi.
December 1893: Ndindikuyasa, nephew to Mtshana Khumalo kills the colonial brigade of Allan Wilson, which in pursuit of the King, had also crossed Tshangani River. Mthwakazi surrenders and concedes defeat. Mthwakazi weapons are collected by whites to avert imminent uprising. Mthwakazi is bundled with Mashonaland under BSAC, in a country now called Southern Rhodesia. BSAC was a company working for the British government.
On 20 March 1896 Hlokelibomvu uprising starts at Mzingwane. On the 21st August 1896, Cecil John Rhodes brokers a peace deal between Mthwakazi and BSAC at Matopo Hills in Mzingwane. The war ends and Mthwakazi is ruled in the cruellest way ever experienced during that time. In 1898, a law creating rural native areas is enacted (the Native Reserve Order in council). People are forced to homesteads in rural areas.
In 1912, Nyamande prince to Lobhengula founds the National Cultural Movement. The aim of this movement is to restore the kingdom of Mthwakazi and its rule. In 1914 Prince Nyamande travels to London in England where he is told by the Privy Council that the kingdom can't be revived because it was vanquished (Rule by Conquest) by Britain which subsequently brought about the so-called ‘civilized governance’.
In 1918 the court declares that Southern Rhodesia is under British Imperial government and the BSAC is still working for Britain in the governance of Southern Rhodesia. In 1918-1919 there is an Outbreak of influenza.
In 1923, Southern Rhodesia is no longer governed by the BSAC, but by the local white settlers. But it is still under Britain as the new government reports directly to Britain. Mthwakazi finds itself under a government called ‘self- responsible government'.
In 1926 the children of Njube ka Lobhengula: Rhodes Lobhengula and Albert with Nsele Hlabangana start the Lions Football Club which later became to be known as is the case today, Highlanders.
In1929 the Matebele Cultural Society is founded with the aim of restoring the kingdom of Mthwakazi. In 1930 the Land Apportionment Act is promulgated which effectively robbed the people of Mthwakazi of their land. Prime land is given to the whites while arid one to the blacks.
In 1947, Mthwakazi is hit by severe drought, and this disastrous situation is followed by the promulgation of Land Husbandry Act of 1951 which allowed blacks to buy plots. In 1953, Mthwakazi falls under the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland.
In 1965 Mthwakazi falls under Rhodesia after Rhodesia chooses to be independent of Britain (throughout Smith’s Unilateral Declaration of Independence). In1965 the Tribal Trust Lands Act is promulgated and this law prohibits black people from buying land and that the various pieces of land under people of Mthwakazi is placed under trustees. This law also introduces discriminatory practices among Mthwakazi Nationals by stating that certain land should be under certain clans.
In 1979, Mthwakazi falls under Zimbabwe-Rhodesia. In 1980 Mthwakazi is sacrificed under the rule of Zimbabwe. 1983-87, the Gukurahundi Genocide is inflicted on Mthwakazi by Zimbabwe.
On 6 November 1997, a Meeting at Amakhosi Cultural Village in Bulawayo takes place attended by amongst others, four chiefs; Sivalo Mahlangu, Siphoso Dlodlo, Douglas Mkwananzi and Nyangazonke Ndiweni ask the Khumalo clan to show them the heir to the throne of the Mthwakazi King. The Khumalo clan say they are yet to decide who will ascend to the throne.
In1998, Old Bulawayo near Inyoka is revived as a means to preserve history. Traditional Nguni doom shaped huts are erected. On 9 June 1999, the Mzilikazi Cultural Association (MCA) is formed in Johannesburg. Following this meeting, the Khumalo clan meets with other chiefs at Makokoba in Bulawayo to set a date to commemorate King Mzilikazi of Mthwakazi Nation.
On 2010, wild fires gut down the doom shaped huts in old Bulawayo. On 22 March 2014, Mthwakazi organizations based in RSA appoint a chief (Chief Zwelibanzi Albert Gumede) to look after the needs of all the Mthwakazi people in South Africa.
4. Factors that contributed to the formation of the Mthwakazi State
It is in view of the foregoing chronological historiography therefore that, the characterisation of the people of Mthwakazi as a political community and a Nation derives from their long evolution with the following characteristics:
Ø Common language and religious beliefs,
Ø Organising and acting collectively against other groups or the ‘state Nation’,
Ø Common ideology, and
Ø Common symbols and attributes.
European labelling considerations abound regarding definitions, in particular of a Nation. In the case of Europe, for example, the English, Welsh and the Scots in the United Kingdom are perceived as constituting Nations. Yet, similar constituted populations in Africa with same attributes are labelled tribes. The variation in meanings can be seen as follows:
Ø A Nation comprises a strong widespread feeling of identity and solidarity within a political community which equally embodies a sense of wellbeing,
Ø Nationalism is characterised by widespread positive and negative perception of other political communities, and
Ø Several states in Africa lack indisputable legitimacy as they are forcibly constituted by more than one Nation.
5. Factors responsible for the Collective Loss of Mthwakazi Memory
It is by examining the impact of the Treaty of Versailles of 1884 that we can perhaps identify amongst many others, four types of states bequeathed to the so-called Third World by former colonial masters, and these are:
Ø Those characterised by legitimate agreement and consensus between state and Nation,
Ø Those where the majority of the population perceive the state to be an imposter and distant,
Ø Those whose different large ethnic/National groups have been compelled through use of force to belong to a particular imposed state territory boundaries but do not feel strongly to belonging to that particular so-called Nation, for example, the Mthwakazi Nation in present-day Zimbabwe and the Tamils in Sri Lanka, and
Ø Those where smaller parts within a defined territory are seen as constituting a Nation.
Unlike countries of Western Europe where Nation states emerged as a result of the combination of the widespread feelings of belonging, the sharing of similar historical and cultural symbols as well as similar belief systems and common identities resulting in the formation of Nation states, in Africa the situation has been completely different.
In the case of Africa and many parts of the so-called Third World, Nation states have been forcibly imposed by European colonialism as is the case in the historic regions of Mthwakazi which were forcibly incorporated into present-day Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia), without consent from subjects and without any due regard to ethnic/National, community, cultural, language and political identities and clear territorial demarcations.
With decolonisation, nearly all the countries in Africa, with the exception of South Africa whose union which was founded in 1910 and subsequently endorsed by the African National Congress following its formation in 1912, embarked on processes of legitimising the imposed colonised boundaries and ‘Nation building’. These processes of ‘Nation building’ characterised by ‘state Nationalism’ rather than ‘popular Nationalism’ had a particularly very weak foundation in civil society as well as the cultural and political community.
It has been this lack of synergy between the imposed ‘state Nations’ and different Nationalities that has been responsible for conflicts between the imposed ‘state Nations’ and the forced subjects or citizens. Where these conflicts exist resources are bound to be diverted to enforcing imposed territorial integrity at the expense of development initiatives. The imposed state Nation on the other hand is always perceived by the subjects as an illegitimate and alien institution.
6. Consequences of the Loss of Mthwakazi Memory
A day after April 1980, the ZANU-PF of Robert Mugabe’s led regime that took power had a clear path to begin the process of marginalising the people of Mthwakazi at whatever cost as shown by the following policies.
During the period that the regions of Mthwakazi have been under the rule and domination of Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF regime, there has never been any semblance of development at all. On the contrary, Robert Mugabe’s regime systematically embarked on a path of destroying the infrastructure that was left behind by the colonial Rhodesian regime of Ian Smith. Today, there are no roads to talk about. The education and health system has long collapsed. The economy is non- existent. The rule of law is something that the people of this Mthwakazi country have imagined and continued to dream about during the last thirty six (36) years.
Thirty six (36) years of independence in Zimbabwe have comprised a succession of deliberate measures aimed at denying the people of the Mthwakazi their social, economic, political and cultural rights. Yet in spite of all this destruction, Robert Mugabe’s regime has continued to claim sovereignty and supremacy of final legal and political authority over the will of the people of the Mthwakazi regions.
The Zanu-PF regime embarked on a singular determination, to introduce genocide and ethnic cleansing as state policy. For people from Mthwakazi, the replacement of racism (under Ian Smith in Rhodesia) by genocide and ethnic cleansing (under ZANU-PF) was much worse. It meant that people from Mthwakazi who speak different languages (Sotho, Nambya, Venda, Kalanga, Ndebele, Tonga, Xhosa, Kung and others) now had to learn Shona, a foreign language to most people in this region. This enforced internal colonisation is equivalent to the 1976 Boer decision to impose Afrikaans to Africans in South Africa. For the people of Mthwakazi, the pain of genocide and ethnic cleansing is more damaging than that of racism.
The army, police, prisons and other government institutions were Shonalised to the exclusion of people of Mthwakazi. In other words, people from Mthwakazi were denied services and employment simply because of who they are, and their inability to speak Shona. Incidentally, South Koreans endured similar discrimination from Japan when Japan colonised South Korea during the World War. The difference with Mthwakazi is that Japanese colonisation was external while in Zimbabwe it was and remains internal. Africans previously discriminated by white Rhodesia became that of Shona people discriminating against people in Mthwakazi.
The implementation of Gukurahundi genocide between 1982 and 1987 in Mthwakazi left over 100,000 people dead – most buried alive in unmarked mass graves and disused mine shafts. Incidentally, Zimbabwe is the only country in the world that has outlawed the mourning by relatives over the last thirty-four years in instances where relatives find people killed during the genocide. The children of genocide victims were never given birth certificates and hence could not attend any form of schooling. The reason given for the denial of birth certificates was that the children or surviving relatives could not state that their parents were killed during the Gukurahundi genocide period. Thus the surviving children (now in their 30s) suffered triple jeopardy; no education, no jobs and loss of parents.
Bulawayo had been an industrial hub throughout the colonial period even under Rhodesia’s Ian Smith. However, the ZANU-PF regime under Robert Mugabe was determined to further marginalise people of Mthwakazi by enforcing a deliberate policy of forcing many industries and firms to relocate to Harare (this process is known or termed the deindustrialisation of Bulawayo). This policy has also been imposed on local and foreign NGOs to develop projects in Mashonaland, and to a lesser extent in Manicaland and Masvingo. These genocide and ethnic cleansing based policies have achieved their goal of making Bulawayo a truly ghost town. The once thriving industrial area under Rhodesia’s Ian Smith’s regime (paradoxically) is now a quiet area where the only ‘industry’ today is that of questionable Pentecostal churches that now rent closed down factories for the purposes of evangelising the poor residents of Bulawayo.
With full complicity of politicians from Mthwakazi (particularly Obed Mpofu, Simon Khaya Moyo, Jonathan Moyo, Kembo Mohadi and common law thugs such as Jabulani Sibanda), many Shona people have got farms in Mthwakazi denied to locals, some of whom worked for white farmers until they were disposed by ‘war veterans’ since 2000. One would have thought that the locals would get these farms. It is impossible for anyone from Mthwakazi to obtain a farm in Mashonaland. This genocide and ethnic cleansing policy has further marginalised people from Mthwakazi as they lost income as farm workers and more important, a source of income generation on those farms.
Perhaps the greatest damage imposed on people from Mthwakazi and to a lesser extent on the Midlands is the systematic under investment in schools (primary, secondary) and much more critical in areas related to teaching of science subjects: chemistry, biology, physics, mathematics, information technology, and others. During the 1980s, the ZANU-PF regime built thousands of schools in Mashonaland, Masvingo and Manicaland and hardly any in Mthwakazi. This genocide and ethnic cleansing education policy has serious implications for the future of people in Mthwakazi. It reinforces discrimination against people from Mthwakazi and in employment in the army, police, prisons and other government institutions on the basis that people from this region lack appropriate qualifications without an understanding of ZANU-PF’s genocide and ethnic cleansing policy.
The denial of students from Mthwakazi places at teacher training colleges while accepting ALL from Mashonaland. The effect results in the training and deployment of more Shona teachers into ALL Mthwakazi and schools from Grade 0 to Form 6.
Importation of civil servants into Mthwakazi from Mashonaland to introduce, teach the Shona language at the expense of Mthwakazi languages. This forces our grandmothers and grandfathers to learn an oppressive Shona language very late in their years. This is unacceptable as was teaching Soweto kids to learn Afrikaans in 1976.
Use of Mthwakazi resources to develop Mashonaland, and brutal of all, our sisters have been compelled through various mechanisms including rape to breed with Shona colonialists and rulers, such that for all historical and contemporary purposes they have Shona-conceived children through genocidal breeding.
7. What is to be done?
Any challenge to colonial boundaries at this time usually means either extending these boundaries by encroaching on neighbouring countries or the bifurcation of the existing unitary states into more than one new state. The pursuit of some form of a political structure that changes the form and structure of an existing unitary state is fraught with difficulties. In most instances, the groups that challenge the ruling regime usually arrive at such a juncture after genocide had been committed and demonstrable ethnic cleansing policies pursued by the ruling regime (such as those of Mugabe's ZANU-PF during the past 36 years) are seen and perceived to be inimical to the survival life chances of marginalised groups in areas such as language preservation, education, access to employment and contracts, distribution of land, and the like.
In many African countries, perpetrators of genocide can still be chosen by their fellow despots to be Chairman of the Africa Union (AU). One remembers only too well how Idi Amin, Jean-Bedel Bokassa, Arab Moi, Gaddafi and Robert Gabriel Mugabe himself, have all been elected to this post. The fact that the AU Charter had a clause, prohibiting a member state from interfering in the This analysis should not only explain the why questions, but accordingly improve our understanding as to how we got into this mess of our collective loss of Mthwakazi memory e internal affairs of another served Robert Gabriel Mugabe and his ZANU-PF regime well because they committed genocide, various other atrocities and ethnic cleansing on the Mthwakazi people with the full knowledge that other despots and dictators would never raise an objection. This says a lot about how far we have to strive to prevent those who have committed crimes against humanity from achieving the status of leading such a continental organisation as the AU.
The survivors of the ZANU-PF genocide and ethnic cleansing have no legal recourse in Zimbabwe for restitution claims for the loved ones butchered for no other reason other than belonging to the Mthwakazi Nation: Ndebele, Lozwi, Kalanga, Sotho, Venda and Tonga language groupings. If the standards that were applied in the case of Bosnia and Rwanda were equally applied in the case of Mthwakazi, most of the members of the Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF regime would definitely be tried for crimes against humanity. The fact that a few of these perpetrators now claim that they did not know strikes us as an act of double cruelty. They knew, they remained silent to this genocide, and used the government-controlled media to portray innocent victims of the Fifth Brigade as "dissidents" despite evidence to the contrary.
What Africans of goodwill and other peace-loving peoples of the world must inculcate is to bring all mass murderers to the international court of justice where they can stand trial as happened after the Holocaust, Bosnian and Rwandan genocides. The world community must also tie its foreign investment, aid and funding to NGOs to the prevention of genocide by governments. The slaughter of citizens by one ethnic group should be prevented at all cost and under any contrived or stated reason.
The duration of one hundred and twenty three (123) years that the people of Mthwakazi have suffered, been humiliated and paid with their blood for daring not to support Robert Mugabe and his cronies is far too long.
The people of Mthwakazi have aspirations over the absolute control over education, culture and broadcasting, economic development and the whole issue of local government revenue-sharing with the central government. In addition, these people from the marginalised regions need clear, legally-binding rights to redo-revenue demands by the central government and any public expenditure reductions by the central government.
Below some possible strategies that could be improved on and implemented are outlined, as a way of planning for economic development in Mthwakazi in spite of a hostile environment. Whatever one’s cause of departure from Mthwakazi for different destinations around the world, it is important to devise an economic development strategy that reflects the following principles:
Ø No one in Mthwakazi regardless of race, ethnic group, religion, gender, and political affiliation shall be dispossessed of tangible and intangible property without recourse to an independent judiciary.
Ø White and black Mthwakazians who were forcibly divested of their properties under Zimbabwe’s ZANU-PF’s genocidal and ethnic cleansing policies should either get their properties back or obtain adequate compensation from thieves who stole their properties.
Ø Locals must forcibly recover all land located near their traditional homes or areas from Shonas who illegally obtained such land with connivance of local politicians. It is obscene that children in Lupane have no furniture in their schools when timber is located in their areas. In other words, local communities must be seen to benefit from resources located in their areas. Similarly, people in and around Wankie must directly benefit from coal, methane gas and tin before people from Mashonaland.
Ø Local stakeholders, Mthwakazi people (black and white) in the Diaspora, and foreign investors should enter into partnerships in order to develop their own areas. Unlike in Mashonaland where chiefs are appointed, Chiefs in Mthwakazi derive their history from time immemorial. Thus, local partnerships should work with Chiefs to exploit local resources for the benefit of local people while allowing foreign investors to repatriate profits to their preferred habitat. The current indigenisation programmes are inimical to the interests of people in Mthwakazi should be discontinued.
Ø It is also absolutely vital that Mthwakazi people start their own schools and colleges that would aid the realisation of the education of their children. To this end, I can confirm we are on course in starting a college that will offer a range of programmes from under graduate diplomas right up to higher degrees.
Ø It is similarly imperative that we also develop Mthwakazi children from an early age through a range of sports development programmes and facilities: football, netball, rugby, tennis and others.
Ø It is also noteworthy that as people of Mthwakazi, we need to highlight our plight to the regional and international communities without fear of favour. Just like the ZANU-PF regime which has friends across the world, the people Mthwakazi also need to make and have their own friends throughout this world.
Ø Not least, we can sharpen our survival skills as the people of Mthwakazi by learning from the struggles of other Nationalities, such as the Jews who kept on knocking on the doors of power all over the world until they triumphed.
The conclusion that is drawn from this submission is that a people without a history are nothing in the face of this earth. As has been argued in the course of this Mthwakazi Restoration speech, it is absolutely vital that all the peoples of Mthwakazi origin devote all the energies at their disposal in pursuit for the Restoration of Mthwakazi. Most importantly to note is that the politics of deception which for so long have affected the collective psychic of people of Mthwakazi origin into believing that they are Southern Rhodesians, Rhodesians, Zimbabwe-Rhodesians and Zimbabwean since 1980, are simply that, deceptive and conspiracy politics.
What is most tragic about these politics of deception is that those who should have been providing leadership to Mthwakazi peoples, so-called intellectuals, leading lights and professors have instead been at the forefront of leading our people astray. Instead of providing requisite decisive leadership that would indeed result in the restoration of Mthwakazi, they have instead been at the forefront of rationalising deceptive politics for personal and selfish gain at the expense of their own people of Mthwakazi. Our message to such selfish so-called intellectuals is that we now know of their destructive intentions which will never ever succeed because although we were blind yesterday, from now onwards our eyes are open, and will continue to be open as we chart forward the Mthwakazi restoration agenda. It is important as I conclude to underline that we will ensure that not a single soul of Mthwakazi is lost ever again for an alien idea. Colonialism knows no colour. We the people of Mthwakazi are truly in perpetual bondage and continue to be victims of Shona domination and hegemony as espoused by the Zanu-PF regime.
Finally, this speech concludes by presenting the Chitawa Declaration below which was drawn up and agreed to a multiplicity of views representing the RESTORATION AGENDA OF MTHWAKAZI.
9. THE CHITAWA DECLARATION
Sarturday 10th October 2015
We, the people of Mthwakazi, united in our diversity hereby declare that:
1. We are a free and independent Nation forth with and with immediate effect.
2. We have an undeniable right and God given right to self-determination and we are exercising that right without fear or favour.
3. We are the rightful heirs of Mthwakazi state herein after also known as Matebeleland, which was ruled by the Kings Mzilikazi and Mambo before colonization.
4. Our state was wrongfully and unjustly incorporated into the then British colonial state of Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe without consultation and our consent.
5. We pray that the whole world knows and accept that from the date of this declaration we wish to be known as Mthwakazi and have a right to establish our own institutions of self-governance in accordance with world standards of statehood where Democracy shall prevail.
6. We are not a violent Nation, neither a terrorist Nation and we endeavor to achieve our Nationhood through all peaceful means that are universal acceptable.
7. With all due respect we shall continue to treat Zimbabwe and Zimbabweans as our brothers and sisters, neighbours and economic partners. We hope and pray that our fellow neighbours in Zimbabwe will accept this good gesture and not misconstrue it as an act of antagonism as we share a history of struggling and defeating colonialism together.
8. We reserve the right to defend our territorial integrity and National sovereignty against any form of aggression like any independent state.
9. Our Nation has undisputable boundaries that are supported by historical facts which are accessible to all and sundry.
By appending our collective signatures below, we consent to the establishment of Mthwakazi state as the only just and lasting solution to the colonial and post-colonial suffering endured by the people of Mthwakazi.
This Declaration is an organ and cornerstone to end all the suffering and marginalization we have endured to date as a people with a universal right to self-determination.
SO HELP US GOD
MLF President ……………………………………………..
MLF Deputy President ……………………………………
MLF Secretary General………………………………….....