MLF responds to Marxist-Leninist-Maoist Mabhena over Chief Khayisa and Nkomo

MLF responds to Marxist-Leninist-Maoist Mabhena over Chief Khayisa and Nkomo
Published: 25 February 2017 | by Dr Mpiyezwe Churchill Guduza



24th February, 2017

Dear Mr Ngqabutho Nicholas Mabhena,

Re: Your Open letter In Defence of Dr Joshua Mqabuko Kanyongolo Nkomo

1. Mthwakazi Restoration Greetings

For the first time in a few days of continuous rainfall, we finally have sunlight shining over the horizon and I can indeed hear the birds singing again in my part of the world. In terms of which I am indeed honoured to receive an open letter from you Sir in your defence of the late Dr Joshua Mqabuku Nkomo. Without further ado, let me respond as best l can.

2. Divergent Views

To begin with, there is no question that although we hold divergent political views, we do indeed come a long way as members of the human race who one way or the other have continuously engaged in the struggle for freedom. We have indeed accorded each other equal respect of human dignity throughout the years within the context of the struggle for freedom. 

But again, there is no doubt that your interpretation of what the struggle for freedom entails is fundamentally different from the views I hold, yet it is the recognition of this dichotomy that has enabled us to respect each other. This of course is natural; we do not have to agree to respect each other. It is in this regard therefore that I view your open letter as beneficial for us to continuously engage regarding the political discourse that affects our people (I mean Mthwakazi people by the way) locally, regionally and internationally.

You have stated in your open letter that you find what you have termed our ‘characterisation of’ Dr Nkomo ‘shocking’. It is difficult from where we stand to see what is shocking about our stance (and not what you refer to as ‘insinuation’) that had Dr Nkomo put the interests of his people, the people from Mthwakazi first before anybody else, as well as heeded the advice not only from Chief Khayisa Ndiweni but from others within Mthwakazi, we would not have indeed found ourselves in this quagmire of suffering, whichever way one looks at it, politically, economically, socially, culturally and so on. 

3. What constitutes a Restoration Agenda for Mthwakazi?

Unfortunately, history constitutes facts in terms of how a series of events unfolded or transpired; under what circumstances in relation to what, where and why. What we do today in terms of our own actions or otherwise undoubtedly will constitute history tomorrow. We cannot wish away historical facts because they do not suit us. And as such, there is no way here on earth or in any other planet any person can or could argue that if we had fought for and liberated Mthwakazi that we would not have gone through hell inflicted by Zimbabwe and its regime on us. Not in a million years. That would not have happened. 

It is in that regard that we did not insinuate anything but stated facts as they are. Added to that, we did not write what you have referred to as a ‘long article to the MRP’. Rather we wrote an article stating the reasons why we as the MLF had no business in participating in an election of another country called Zimbabwe. Our article had nothing of interest to do with any political formation of Zimbabwe, but against any formation that seeks to identify with Mthwakazi but at the same time stating that it would participate in an election of Zimbabwe.

It was in that light that we vehemently denounced the activities of the so-called MRP, in that it purported to be pursuing a restoration agenda of Mthwakazi, but at the same time being a Zimbabwean political party. This by the way is a raging debate about what constitutes Mthwakazi and its restoration agenda. Therefore, it cannot be reduced to anything that it is not, but a contestation of a body of ideas and setting out the direction that the restoration agenda must take to liberate Mthwakazi. 

We have observed, for example, that the so-called MRP started by claiming that it was campaigning against Shona teachers in Mthwakazi, but today they are bowing down (as they prepare to take part in that country’s elections) before the very system that is deploying the same Shona teachers. To us that is hypocrisy, and this is not personal, neither is it anything else, but based on facts as they stand. This, in a nutshell, smacks of double standards; they appear not to know what it is they want. That submission therefore needs to be understood as comprising a series of debating and contestation points against any movement that employs double standards, instead of a of firm and clear position. Hence, we have said why don’t they stop confusing people and come out in the open as the Zimbabwe Republic Party, which of course they really are.

4. Your defence of Dr Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo

Regarding Dr Joshua Nkomo; we have stated clearly that he preferred advice from the people who were not part of the fabric of Mthwakazi; the people who did not either share a similar history of a brutal annexation with Mthwakazi; the people who did not share the same cultural history with the people of Mthwakazi; and the people whose political outlook was clear from the outset in defining what kind of state they envisaged from which Zimbabwe derives its meaning.

5. The treaty of Versailles 

Regarding the formation of states, it is noteworthy that the State of Mthwakazi predated the advent of European colonialism. What the Treaty of Versailles did in 1884 was to carve up Africa and its spoils among the white powers involving Britain, Germany, Belgium, Portuguese and so forth (during the scramble for Africa). These new boundaries were carved up arbitrarily to suit the interests of these European colonial powers and in so doing violated with impunity the existing boundaries of the African states. It does not mean therefore that they are acceptable and that they cannot be challenged with the specific purpose of reverting back to what they were before colonial penetration and conquest. To do so would render the whole struggle for freedom and justice irrelevant. As a matter of fact, it is the failure to address these imposed colonial boundaries that is at the heart of all conflict in Africa.   
I am aware that any challenge to colonial boundaries now usually means either extending these boundaries by encroaching on neighbouring countries or bifurcating the existing unitary state 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 regimes, are seen and perceived to be inimical to the survival life chances of marginalised groups and nationalities such as Mthwakazi, in areas such as language preservation, education, access to employment and contracts, distribution of land, and the like. 

I am also aware that the pressure to re-arrange the unitary state invariably has been met with strong arm tactics from the former European colonial powers, regional and the international community with vested interests. It is also met with plain rigid political thuggery from within the ruling regime of the country concerned that normally characterises long-serving dictatorships, aided by a compliant army and political party that is dependent on political patronage. However, for the people of Mthwakazi, the post European colonial years have been anything but daily contact with various forms of genocide, ethnic cleansing and various forms of internal colonialism.

What Dr Nkomo therefore failed to recognise Mr Mabhena, something which you have also failed to recognise as well, but which Chief Khayisa recognised was that:

A nation comprises a strong widespread feeling of identity and solidarity within a political community which equally embodies a sense of wellbeing,
Nationalism is characterised by widespread positive and negative perception of other political communities, and
Several states in Africa lack indisputable legitimacy as they are forcibly constituted by more than one nation.

You will Mr Mabhena agree with me that the Shona people have a natural widespread feeling of identity and solidarity within their political community, so are the people of Mthwakazi. Similarly, the Shona people whilst they express widespread positive perceptions amongst themselves, they equally and fundamentally hold negative perceptions about the people of Mthwakazi. Clearly therefore any country with these divergent positive and negative perceptions lacks indisputable legitimacy and must out of necessity for the ethnic groups or nationalities to co-exist, separate and revert to what they were before European colonialism.

Mr Mabhena, it is fallacy to say and I quote: ‘historically, the white minority regime used traditional leaders to divide our people. This is the strategy that the Mugabe regime has perfected over the years’. 

The undisputed historical fact Mr Mabhena is that the people of Mthwakazi and those of Mashonaland had always been separate and divided. It is the white minority regime on the contrary who sought to unite them through violence under an imposed unitary state system. Mugabe on the other hand has never at any time tried to unite these two peoples. That is false. Your argument is not supported by a single shred of evidence. What Mugabe has tried to do and done long before he even became the ruler of Zimbabwe was to impose a superiority of the Shona people over those of Mthwakazi. I find your interpretation of history and analysis thereof highly misleading.  I return to deal with this issue at great length below.

6. Your denunciation of Chief Khayisa Ndiweni

The fact that Chief Khayisa Ndiweni was in Rhodesia as a Chief under the payroll of Ian Douglas Smith is neither here nor there, after all there is no chief even in present day Zimbabwe or for that matter anywhere else in Africa, including here in South Africa who is not under the pay roll of the ruling regime of government. We need to recognise too that not everybody in then Rhodesia was in Zapu or Zanu; others collaborated with the system whilst others did not.

The same situation applied here in South Africa, yet after post 1994 suddenly everybody was either or immediately associated with the African National Congress. In the case of South Africa, prominent Chiefs like Bambatha were killed in 1906, supposedly for refusing to pay the poll tax, when in effect they were against the expropriation of their land. A few years after that, the Union of South Africa was formed in 1910, incorporating Natal, Transvaal, the Orange River Colony and the Cape of Good Hope, various pieces of legislation were passed in the new Republic of South Africa which expropriated land from the original inhabitants. The same situation happened in Mthwakazi. Not only were Chiefs forcibly used to collect poll tax, hut tax, dog tax, etc; but they were also used in the cattle de-stocking exercise (inkomo zokondenywa ngabelungu emadibheni) in which millions of cattle were stolen from the people of Mthwakazi. 

I am amazed that you locate the utilisation of Chiefs in advancing the interests of those in power only under then Zanu PF regime. Just as Judith Todd in her book, “Through the Darkness, A Life in Zimbabwe”, showed how, after Dumiso Dabengwa was humiliated by being imprisoned for no reason, he was later rewarded with bones to chew when he was appointed Minister of Home Affairs by his tormentor, Robert Mugabe. Similarly, after the destruction of the Mthwakazi state by European settler colonialists, some chiefs who did not tow the line were either killed or humiliated with bones. In most cases the original family tree of that chieftainship was totally replaced with a compliant one. President Zuma, also does the same. by awarding loyalty with cabinet posts; therefore, it is not surprising that some so-called communists are in his cabinet. It happens all over the world. That is known as the politics of realism, for how can you have an adversary as your defence minister; that would be a blatant invitation to your own overthrow and demise.

Those Chiefs who did not cooperate were either killed or co-opted to serve the interests of the colonisers. There can be no doubt therefore that throughout Africa, just as in Mthwakazi, the ancient institution of traditional leadership and power was significantly violated, manipulated and altered. It is unfortunate that you try to draw parallels between Chief Khayisa and Inkosi Mangosutho Buthelezi without showing what Khayisa did that was anti the people of Mthwakazi. The reason you cannot do that is simply because Chief Khayisa did not at any time cooperate with the Smith regime to disadvantage the people of Mthwakazi. 

To simply point a finger and say a person ngumthengisi without showing evidence ukuthi wathengisa bani is unsustainable. In hindsight, it is plausible to argue that Chief Khayisa could not join ZAPU because he knew very well that it was not advancing the interests of the people of Mthwakazi. This is perhaps the crucial reason why Chief Khayisa collaborated with the minority white regime of Ian Douglas Smith in pursuit of some kind of homeland for his people of Mthwakazi along the lines of South Africa. The fact this was not achieved must be seen within the context of labelling considerations and the negative perception that Chief Khayisa Ndiweni was umthengisi. 

Besides, it important to recognise that, at this time Nkomo was a towering political giant in the whole of Mthwakazi, an idol, a saint and a cult like figure whose support base would not hear nor see any evil to necessitate them to ditch Nkomo and join Khayisa. The fact of the matter is that there are many instances in which Nkomo himself had been brought into negotiations with the white minority regime. At times, such meetings were overt, at other times they were open. The overriding motivation for such meetings included the desire by the white settler regime to cut a deal with him to stop the war, but he would have none of it. 

Negotiating with the enemy is not necessarily a bad thing. In South Africa, we saw how Nelson Mandela took it upon himself to begin negotiating with the apartheid regime even before his own comrades knew about it, as a result of which he was called a sell-out, including from the sections of the communist party. In the case of Rhodesia, the white regime may have realised that handing over power to Khayisa who had no political base whatsoever was not worth the bother. 

Yet Khayisa continued to make noises about Matebeleland throughout his tenure within the confines of the white regime. Chief Khayisa still recognised that the Rhodesian unitary state system was:

an imposter and distant; 
that there was no legitimate agreement and consensus between state and nation
that the various ethnic groups that constituted Mthwakazi had been compelled through use of force to belong to Rhodesia, and that 
the people of Mthwakazi could not continually be forced on the same path to belong to Zimbabwe.

Mr Mabhena, here is a so-called collaborator, Chief Khayisa, who recognised these critical variables in spite of the fact that he was not only a Chief under the payroll of Smith, but most importantly even when he was being denounced as a puppet, sell-out or whatever, he still could foresee that the Shona people and the people of Mthwakazi could only live together as neighbours, certainly not under one roof or country. The fact of the matter is that his views have been vindicated whereas those of Dr Nkomo have not. It is not an imagination but a fact that the people of Mthwakazi have been decimated, inflicted with genocide and other horrors, simply for who they are, period.

There can be no doubt therefore, that Chief Khayisa even as a puppet or whatever, like so many who collaborated with the Smith regime, he could recognise that the Shona people and Mthwakazi people could not be one nation under whatever circumstances for the simple reason that they did not share the following attributes that make up a nation:

Common language and religious beliefs,
Organising and acting collectively against other groups or the ‘state nation’,
Common ideology, and
Common symbols and attributes.

It is an indisputable fact that the people of Mthwakazi do not share the common language and religious beliefs with the people of Mashonaland, nor do they organise and act together against other groups, nor do they share the same ideology, symbols, etc. The adage that says that it is not what Chief Khayisa Ndiweni was called, but what he answered to what matters most. It is in this regard that he did have the interests of the people of Mthwakazi at heart right until his last breath on earth. You all need to engage his son, who has since succeeded him on that throne to discover what he inherited from his late father’s wisdom, a real undisputed Mthwakazian son of the soil. 

You see Mr Mabhena, we are not only shouting from the hip when we talk about the Restoration of Mthwakazi. We are researchers and thinkers at the same time, in terms of which we consult broadly with the political actors of Mthwakazi past and present. It is in that regard that we speak not only emotionally but also authoritatively on this matter as some of we interacted with Chief Khayisa Ndiweni before he passed on, just as we did with the late Dr Joshua Mqabuku KaNyongolo Nkomo when he was alive. 

7. Dr Joshua Nkomo’s attributes in relation to Mthwakazi

Mr Mabhena, Dr Joshua Nkomo could not recognise the above-mentioned attributes of Chief Khayisa Ndiweni. He could not when he ought to have had and I quote what you called him ‘a Pan Africanist and Marxist-Leninist revolutionary’. Instead, he was surpassed by a so-called puppet, Chief Khayisa. This is in spite of the fact that early on from the time of the Southern Rhodesian African National Congress, right through to the National Democratic Party, the problems of identities were already a contested terrain within these political movements. Remember Mr Mabhena, the idea of Zimbabwe was not born at this stage, it was simply not there – yet for a long time it was being debated by these so-called nationalists of Southern Rhodesia.

Mr Mabhena, you need to put your heart, soul and imagination of what is being discussed by these so-called nationalists of Southern Rhodesia at this time, and who are the protagonists. Of course, Joshua Nkomo is there, from Mthwakazi, but who else?????? The idea of Zimbabwe is not yet born. But what else is happening around them in the entire world during this period? The Second World War has just been concluded. Hitler is dead and Germany is powerless as it has been forced to surrender and disarm. Western countries are rapidly democratising, so is the rise of Russia which has swept countries of Eastern Europe into submission resulting in the birth of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR). There is also an arms race under way during this period between Western Countries led by the United States of America (USA) and the Eastern Countries led by USSR. 

Next door to Southern Rhodesia, there is a mass movement led by nationalists of South Africa, notably the African National Congress (underpinned by the Communist Party – remember, Abraham Fisher), the Pan African Congress, and others. Decision making which is decidedly influenced by a one man one vote (or so-called majority mechanism) is also new during this period. It is therefore not impossible to imagine that one of the names discussed for post a Southern Rhodesian dispensation, around that time was the Republic of Matebeleland and Mashonaland. This in imaginary terms alone must have been shot down by those cunning Shona intellectuals, and again by a vote of hands. Whatever names were discussed, the name Zimbabwe was adopted. 

Whatever the scenario was, Nkomo must have been outvoted as he was basically alone when the name Zimbabwe was tabled and adopted. It is inconceivable therefore Mr Mabhena that this name/concept or idea of Zimbabwe fell out of the skies. Somebody (obviously, a Shona person) introduced it and I suppose other names may have been banded around, but what is indisputable is that Nkomo was alone at this gathering or meeting which endorsed the name Zimbabwe as the future identity of an imposed unitary state comprising Mthwakazi and Mashonaland.

From thence on the Zimbabwe African Peoples Union (ZAPU) is born. With that, the contestation of the leadership of the party is intensified resulting inevitably in the split and the birth of the Zimbabwe African National Union (Zanu) under Ndabaningi Sithole. By this time Nkomo had already pleaded with Robert Gabriel Mugabe, who was teaching in Ghana to join the so-called nationalist politics of Southern Rhodesia led by ZAPU. 

But with the split, on grounds none other than, the grounds of ethnicity, justified at the time in terms of a majority principle, the writing again was on the wall. Mr Mabhena there is nowhere you can dispute this historical fact that ZANU split from ZAPU because the Shonas did not want to be led by a Ndebele-speaking person. This split set the tone to where we are today. Underline the words National Union from ZANU as opposed to Peoples Union from ZAPU. 

In 1963, Zanu split from Zapu. The major reason why Zanu split from Zapu to chart a way forward that would result in the domination of the Shona people over the Ndebele people, was simply because they could not be led by a Ndebele person, from Mthwakazi, Dr Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo. That was the beginning of the road to genocide and ethnic cleansing by the Shona people led by none other than Robert Gabriel Mugabe. It is not surprising therefore that Ndabaningi Sithole was thrown out of ZANU and replaced by the powerhouse of this supremacist ideology, Robert Gabriel Mugabe. And when Mugabe commented many years later not as leader of ZANU by as Prime Minister of Zimbabwe in the following words and I quote:

       ‘The solution in Matebeleland is a military one. Their grievances are unfounded. The   
        verdict of the voters was cast in 1980. They should have accepted defeat then. The  
        situation in Matebeleland is one that requires a change.  The people must be reoriented’;

He was simply COVERING THE ENTIRE POPULATION OF MTHWAKAZI DEAD OR ALIVE WITH CEMENT just like what the so-called MRP is doing now with the remains of the victims of Gukuranhundi, following on a process which he (Mugabe) begun, mastered and championed since the birth of ZANU in 1963. Mr Mabhena NOTICE that our EXISTENCE AS A PEOPLE OF MTHWAKAZI ON THIS EARTH WAS BURIED UNDER THE PRETEXT OF NATIONAL UNION by ZANU just as the so-called MRP is today BURYING EVIDENCE OF GENOCIDE UNDER THE PRETEXT OF BURYING SCATTERD BONES. You see Mr Mabhena your thesis of justifying the absurd by stating that and I quote: ‘The revolutionary liberation movements understood clearly that, only unity of the African people across tribes, was key in the fight against colonialism and imperialism’ does not hold water.

One wonders what unity across tribes you are referring to when there is no evidence whatsoever to justify your assertion. It is a historical fact that since 1963 ZAPU and ZANU were never united. As a matter of fact, they prosecuted the struggle differently as separate entities. Not only that, but even the political prisoners of these movements which by the way were never at any one point REVOLUTIONARY but mass movements, were not incarcerated together. The political prisoners of ZAPU for example were incarcerated at Gonakudzinkwa and Wha-Wha prisons whilst those of ZANU were at Goromonzi and elsewhere. They never shared the same prisons or same cells. These innate differences were recognised by the regime of Ian Smith. I personally grew up visiting those prisons holding ZAPU detainees because my father was incarcerated there and there were virtually no ZANU detainees in those prisons. It is not true therefore as you put it in your open letter that these differences emerged in 1980.

Similarly, in the case of South Africa, there never was any unity across what you refer as ‘tribes’, neither was there any unity between the African National Congress (ANC) and the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC). I find your argument very weak and without any substance that simply because the after event of the partitioning of Africa and the threat it posed, therefore our forefathers resolved, and I quote: ‘the liberation movement would respect the new colonial boundaries without any changes to them’. Sir where is that resolution and by whom was it resolved; where was the venue for this 
resolution; who participated in crafting this resolution; how was the resolution arrived at; what mechanism was applied to reach such a resolution (was it by a show of hands or what; and what date was it resolved?

What you refer to as ZAPU having to wage the struggle and I quote: ‘from Zambezi to Limpompo, Ramquabane to the boundary with Mozambique’ was not Mr Mabhena as a result of the non-existent resolution that you referred to above, but it was natural and within the proximity of the people of Mthwakazi as we not only shared but continue to share boundaries as MTHWAKAZI with Zambia, Botswana and in the case of Mozambique through the Jameson Line which was signed into a Treaty Not by any Shona ruler leader, but by our own King Lobengula and Leander Starr Jameson.  
8. The Secession of Zambia and Malawi from the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland
Just before the split between Zapu and Zanu happened there were a series of meetings in Salisbury, Zomba and Lusaka to Review the Federation, under the auspices of Britain, chaired by Rab Butler, the Foreign Secretary of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. These meetings were known as the Federal Review Council Meetings. African nationalist participants at these meetings were Joshua Nkomo representing South Rhodesia, Kenneth Kaunda and Henry Khumbula representing Northern Rhodesia and Kamuzu Banda representing Nyasaland. This was around the time when Africa had begun the decolonisation process with Ghana gaining its independence in 1957.  

Among others also present at these meetings was Sir Roy Welensky, former Prime Minister. It was Kaunda and Banda who are reported to have been unequivocally and unambiguously clear about their quest to secede from the Federation, shouting ‘independence now’.  In one meeting, Banda is quoted to have shouted ‘Secession now three times’. But when Joshua Nkomo was asked about what he wanted to be done about Southern Rhodesia, he is reported to have been equivocal and not clear as to what he wanted. (This information is captured from Sir Roy Welensky’s book, 4,000 days, The Life and Death of the Federation, 1964).   

If ever there was a classic case of seceding from the federation, this is it, as both Kaunda and Banda walked away with political independence of Zambia and Malawi respectively. Northern Rhodesia was thus named Zambia at independence while Nyasaland was named Malawi. Nkomo on the other hand is reported to have shunned the meeting in the next round of scheduled talks with Rab Butler on grounds that Britain had not changed the constitution of Southern Rhodesia. 

Dr Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo could have walked away with Southern Rhodesia then and renamed it whatever he so desired, but he did not. It took many more years and bloodshed to bring this conflict to end at Lancaster. The rest you know, it has been a roller coaster of subjugation, genocide, ethnic cleansing, and name it, anything under the Zimbabwe regime. Mr Mabhena, how then, do you compare this leadership style, vision, and direction of Dr Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo with how your characterisation of Chief Khayisa Ndiweni as a collaborator?   

This is around the time in which in the former Belgian Congo, Moise Tshombe had literally run away (seceded) with Katanga, and when the plane of the former United Nations Secretary General, Hammarskjorld was shot down between Katanga and then Northern Rhodesia, when he was flying in there to seek to stop the secession of Katanga led by Tshombe. At the same time the United Nations troops had been deployed in the Congo to quell fires there, which also raised a lot of concern to the Southern Rhodesian security establishment.      

To sum up on Joshua Nkomo’s attributes, the fact of the matter is that it is the same Zambia (the former Northern Rhodesia in the Federation) which had only been granted political independence in 1964, that would both play a formidable role in the struggle for the liberation of Zimbabwe and, at the same time the one which was pressured primarily through the destruction of its meagre infrastructure because of unrelenting bombardments from the Smith regime to bring the war to an end. Effectively what this meant was that however bad the Lancaster House deal was, Zapu had to accept it as Zambia would no longer bear the costs of the war. This climate in turn provided an opportunity for Robert Gabriel Mugabe to inflict genocide on the people of Mthwakazi with impunity with full knowledge that Zambia would not under any circumstances render assistance to Zapu.

9. The role of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) now African Union (AU)

On the question of the resolution of the OAU in 1963 which you have referred to, which opposed the continued so-called minority rule in Southern Rhodesia, I have no bone to chew with you there. It is a factual statement of intent to support liberation movements including of course ZAPU which was led by Dr Joshua Nkomo. But you cannot therefore argue that because when this resolution was taken, the OAU did not subsequently support ZANU. As a matter of fact it was ZANU that received a huge chunk of support from the OAU than Nkomo’s ZAPU, and the reason for that was the animosity that Julius Nyerere had developed against Dr Nkomo. This again is a historical fact as told and witnessed by none other than Dr Nkomo himself in his book ‘The Story of My Life’ which of course was banned at one time by Mugabe. 

Mr Mabhena; where you are missing our argument as MLF is simply that there was never at any time in history where we were prevented of being who we are, not even by the colonialists or the OAU that you have referred to; but that the only people who have prevented us assuming our own identity are the Shona people led by ZANU since 1963.As a matter of fact colonialists recognised us, this is why you have schools and townships named after our heroes Njube, Lobengula, Mzilikazi and so forth, including of course the capital City of the Kings itself, Bulawayo. ZANU on the other hand has sought to change everything and alter the names: of Bulawayo to Buruvayo; Gwelu to Gweru; Kwaduma to (I can even spell the word- Kadoma); Qweqwe to I don’t know, and many other such instances, and then you think all this mess can be corrected by what you term ‘Marxisim-Leninism’, not in a trillion years Mr Mabhena. But let me return to your OAU theme now before of course dealing with ‘Marxism-Leninism’.   

Mr Mabhena, I do not think that the OAU is a good example to use especially when some of us are interrogating the question of such huge importance, the question of the restoration of our country Mthwakazi. It is a historical fact, Mr Mabhena, that in many African countries, perpetrators of genocide were and still can be chosen by their fellow despots to be Chairman of the OAU now African Union (AU). One remembers only too well how Idi Amin, Jean-Bedel Bokassa, Arab Moi, Gaddafi and Robert Gabriel Mugabe, have all been elected to this post. 

The fact that the OAU/AU Charter had a clause prohibiting a member state from interfering in the internal affairs of another served all these despots well because they committed genocide, various other atrocities and ethnic cleansing on the poor with the full knowledge that other despots and dictators would never raise an objection. This says a lot about how far we must strive to prevent those who have committed crimes against humanity in Mthwakazi from achieving the status of leading such a continental organisation as the AU. 

This continental organisation is nothing but a mechanism that was set up to pursue the interests of European colonialism in the whole of Africa. Put differently, the former colonial masters continue to rule all of Africa by remote control. The AU is therefore not different to the Animal Farm of Zimbabwe as led by the so-called MRP. Just like this club called the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), there is no basis within which they can be referred to as both mechanisms are not only dominated by Shona personnel but are there to ensure that domination and the colonisation of Mthwakazi continues unabated. 

10. The Notion/Concept of Kingdom of Mthwakazi versus Mthwakazi Republic Party

On the question of why we as MLF oppose the so-called MRP, referring to Mthwakazi as a Republic, you have stated that although you do not speak on their behalf, your ‘interest’ is against the restoration of a Kingdom. You write: The two remaining Kingdoms in the SADC region, Swaziland and Lesotho, are known for political oppression (with respect to Swaziland), instability, corruption and all the ills you can think of. The assumption to believe that, the defeat of what you call Shonalism will result in the   building of a better society, is a myth to say the least. If Kingdoms were the way to go, Swaziland and Lesotho would be an inspiration to all of us. The biggest challenge we have is the looting of our wealth by the greedy thieves in Harare’. 

Mr Mabhena, I find your thinking around this subject bereft of critical analysis. Your inference that all kingdoms are corrupt, and therefore must be rejected out of hand without any shred of evidence, is to say the least a very hollow argument. It is interesting that you only site two Kingdoms of Swaziland and Lesotho. Why not contrast these two kingdoms with Republics, beginning with Zimbabwe and various others in the North, Central, East and West Africa which are as corrupt as anything ever experienced on this earth. As a matter of fact, Mr Mabhena, if you were to use your own index of ‘political oppression, instability, corruption and all the ills you can think of’, to compare all the so-called Republics against Kingdoms, your argument is blown out of the water.

Furthermore, you cannot imply that because the Kingdom of Swaziland which you have singled out of the two, is corrupt therefore the Kingdom of Mthwakazi under both King Mzilikazi and King Lobengula was corrupt, and therefore the way forward would be what you term a ‘socialist Zimbabwe’. Besides, what you have missed from the argument as presented by the MLF is simply this, that the so-called MRP cannot distort history and fool people by implying or indeed stating that historically, Mthwakazi was a Republic. That is a blatant lie and no amount of justification can make it a fact. 

Regarding what you are striving for in Zimbabwe; it is already there, a socialist Marxist-Leninist Zimbabwe under Robert Gabriel Mugabe and his Zanu PF politburo. But to suggest that striving for the restoration of Mthwakazi is a myth is rather stretching it too far. What makes you believe that for the people of Mthwwakazi to exist in this world and therefore lead a better life they must perpetually accept to be dominated, subjugated, humiliated and brutalised by a Shona state? Is that what you envisage as a better life for the people of Mthwakazi? Why then do you think that by challenging this Rule by Conquest we are venturing into mythology or playing games? Do you really believe, Mr Mabhena, that the Rule by Conquest of the Mthwakazi people as perpetrated the Shona elite on behalf of Britain is the way to go? 

11. Your Marxism-Leninism thesis

Let me turn now to respond to your thesis and I quote: ‘Dr Nkomo as leader of a Pan Africanist, Marxist-Leninist liberation movement, ZAPU, understood the importance of unifying African people around a common agenda for liberating the oppressed African people and the need of building international support in engaging in the struggle against colonialism’. This Mr Mabhena is very loaded. You cannot be serious really by saying Nkomo was a Marxist-Leninist. What informs that assertion? 

It is a historical fact that Nkomo was a leader of a mass movement which was never at any time a Marxist-Leninist movement. It may have been perceived as such, but it was not. It is a known fact that ZAPU received support from the former USSR and other so-called socialist countries, but that alone did not qualify Zapu and its leader to be a Marxist-Leninist movement. Rather it must be understood within the context of the proxy wars that were fought and supported by the super powers at the time consisting of Western Countries led by the USA on the one hand and the USSR on the other. It is true that we in Zipra were indoctrinated with this baggage of Marxism-Leninism at the time as we were not at any time made aware of our historical beginnings. On the other hand, as you may be aware, Zanu received its support from Mao’s Zedong’s China.

This in a nutshell was precipitated by the doctrine of intended and unintended consequences. The intended consequences in this case effectively meant that as Zapu was fighting against the so-called white minority rule, there was no way in hell Britain could render military support to groups that were fighting against the status quo. The unintended consequences in the sense that, what was being imported into the mass movement of Zapu (whether by way of what you call Marxism-Leninism or Socialism’ had never been implemented even in the USSR itself. It was simply a pie in the sky kind of poisonous ideology that had no practical applicability.

As a Marxist-Leninist student, yourself Mr Mabhena, you should know that it may have been the intention (consistent with the doctrine of intended consequences) of Vladimir Lenin to implement socialism or communism in Russia following the 1917 October Revolution which swept the Tsars away, but that changed in 1924 following the death of Lenin.  The person who was supposed to have succeeded Lenin, Trotsky, and thousands of other Bolshevik revolutionaries found themselves being hunted down like dogs by Joseph Stalin. Some were exiled, but thousands, and thereafter millions were butchered by Stalin.

To spread this terror far and wide Joseph Stalin deified Lenin into some kind of God. Almost overnight the Statues of Lenin were developed and mounted all over the place throughout Russia; freedom of speech became synonymous with invitation to be shot; firing squads became the norm; the stench of death was everywhere, disappearances, torture and untold brutality as the concept of human rights had been outlawed with impunity. This modus operandi was exported and applied throughout all the countries that Russia had annexed or liberated such as Azerbaijan, Chechnya, Georgia, Ukraine, Estonia, Poland Hungary and so forth, following the defeat of Nazi Germany and death of Adolph Hitler.  German itself was divided into east and west, and so of our ‘comrades’ actually trained there in what was known as the German Democratic Republic.

In all these countries, which became part of the USSR, Lenin was the tool that was invoked to instill in every soul the stench of death. Likewise, liberation movements such as Zapu also employed those tactics, where any dissent was met with outright imposition of a death sentence or disappearance. This after all was what was called the vanguard of the proletariat. Almost every person in those so-called Socialist Republics of the USSR had a file on them; in terms of where they were going, who they talked to and why. This is the kind of system that Mugabe employed and applied in his country Zimbabwe as well as imposed by proxy in Mthwakazi. As a matter of fact, Mugabe’s rule is defined by himself and others as Marxism-Leninism, hence his picture is everywhere: in the toilets, on trees, on walls, and virtually everywhere. 

The difference with Joseph’s Stalin’s Russia or USSR is that Lenin was reproduced in statues, whilst Zanu could not afford such a colossal cost, hence pictures and frames of Mugabe were deployed everywhere, and that Mr Mabhena is still the case. Let us not forget that Zimbabwe continues to embody the Politburo Structure copied from the so-called communist countries. Is this the type of system that you envisage for the people of Mthwakazi in what you call a ‘socialist Zimbabwe’, Mr Mabhena? Genocide, ethnic cleansing and all the hell imposed on the people of Mthwakazi has been driven by these so-called ‘Marxist-Leninist’ of Zimbabwe, so is the Grand Plan, and everything under the sun that the Zanu regime has robbed the people of Mthwakazi. 

I am really amazed and extremely shocked Mr Mabhena, that you would wish for an oppressive system such as the one you purport to belong to and a student of, for the people of Mthwakazi. But most important of all, I am shocked to my knees that you would invoke a system like this one (Marxism-Leninism) as a justification not to play your part in the liberation of the motherland, Mthwakazi. What is even more shocking is to want to take cover under a system that does not recognise individual talents of human beings. How would, for example, Marxist-Leninist treat the inventor of a mobile or cell phone, what about of the internet with which I am communicating with you right now, or a lap top – would such a person have to share the wealth derived from any of his/her inventions with everybody else? What about a bottle of whiskey which is a darling of so-called communists? 

What about pent houses, aeroplanes, cars, etc; all inventions that Karl Marx, including Lenin died without having been exposed to. How would you control the means of production of these products, including those that comprise the food chain in the supermarkets: yogurt, amahewu, pencils, rulers, books, matches, and so forth, just to mention a few? The point of the matter is that, today, all the products in the capitalist world are no longer labour intensively produced, but through some mechanisation processes and technological innovations. 

This same production process has been embraced by former communist regimes such as Russia, China and so forth, and as such capitalism and indeed its highest form, imperialism is effectively globalised without any exception. What about the thinking part of individuals that results in the production of what you call the means of production? Must that too be nationalised, communalised or socialised, whatever Marxist-Leninist terms are applicable? 

Surely, to invoke Marxism-Leninism when communicating with me is to invoke a beast out of me. I became a so-called Marxist more than 40 years ago, and within Zipra I am among the first critics of this dogmatic ideology because it lacked relevance and applicability on the ground, unless of course you were imposing your will on others. It is an excellent song, but that brings about all hell when applied. There is basically no synergy between theory and practice; in other words, where theory and practice meet they remain diametrically opposed to each other.

Therefore, even in the USSR, this system finally collapsed in 1989 during the time of Michael Gorbachev, who was himself rescued by Boris Yeltsin after an attempted coup de tat. Millions of people marched from Russia right up to the Berlin wall that had divided east and West Germany, with many countries along the way regaining their freedom, in Poland, Romania, and so forth. Is this the system that you want the people of Mthwakazi to be ruled under in your ‘socialist Zimbabwe’? A system that has not be workable since 1917, a system that even Kruzhev, nor Brezhnev could not reconcile to remove the ghost of Stalinism and the stench of death from the entire Russia and the USSR; a system that was finally discarded after seven two (72) years of inflicting horror. 

In Mthwakazi, we are already 36 years into that hell hole under Mugabe’s Marxism-Leninism, half way to the years experienced by Russians. Are you saying that is not enough? Are you saying that we still need to experience more of the same, Mr Mabhena? Are you saying, the loss of our identity, our humanity, our land, our sanity, our future, our very existence can only be guaranteed under the continuation of such a brutal genocidal and ethnic cleansing environment? What you need to underline, Mr Mabhena, and perhaps this is the sole reason why the so-called community party can never ever be voted into power ever again in Russia or anywhere else (not that it ever achieved power through the ballot since the Bolshevik revolution) is because in most instances the millions of victims of Stalin’s death squads have still not found closure to this very date.

In a nutshell, therefore, before I turn to address some of your concerns Mr Mabhena, what transpired or was implemented not only in Russia but in so-called Marxist-Leninist countries including China, was and has always been STATE CAPITALISM, in which the apparatchiks, those with state power enjoy all the privileges of capitalism at the expense of the entire population at large. In any study of comparative communist systems there can be no other findings other than that these systems benefit only those at the top at the expense of everybody else, in ways far exceeding the normal capitalist systems which entrench individual freedoms, individual choice and so forth. 

It is noteworthy in summary that before Karl Marx came up with the communist manifesto in 1848, he was first and foremost a German. He had an identity which the people of Mthwakazi lost in 1893 and which through the MLF the people of Mthwakazi are determined to restore. Besides when Karl Marx wrote and published that treatise (communist manifesto in 1848) Mthwakazi was already a fully-fledged sovereign state. Why then must the people of Mthwakazi pursue unworkable ideas at this stage, after more than a century under the Rule by Conquest first, before recovering their lost identity and country, Mr Mabhena? Why should we focus on ideas produced by a German who died before seeing their disastrous implementation in Russia and elsewhere in this world, which by the way will never ever see the light of day again in present Russia, than paying attention and struggling for our own survival, space and identity as the people of Mthwakazi, Mr Mabhena?

You also argue that ‘the restoration of Mthwakazi does not mean that wealth will be fairly distributed among the working class and the poor. It is only when the working class controls the decisive means of production for it to drive back, the frontiers of poverty in our society’. Unfortunately, I do not know which society you are referring to.  But I can surmise that you are referring to Zimbabwean society and not Mthwakazi because of your storyline throughout your open letter. You are indeed a Zimbabwean, but just like me a Mthwakazian who is not recognised in your own country. If this is the reason why you think that in Mthwakazi we will not take care of our own citizens, then you are indeed mistaken. 

Mthwakazi is very rich. It has everything in terms of human and economic resources. It has basically everything for everyone, but it cannot be that we will promote laziness by seeking to grab other peoples’ ingenuity, creativeness and the like to reward those who are lazy or doing nothing. We will embrace the capitalist mode of economic organisation both in theory and practice. We will not act like so-called communists and socialists who preach socialism and communism but practice capitalism. We are not going to behave like Zanu PF or China and preach socialism and communism when we own everything at the expense of the poor. We are not going to allow any practices of free riding at the expense of others. Therefore, it will not happen that wealth will be shared equally, but like all developed economies, the State of Mthwakazi will have a responsibility of taking care of its citizens by any means possible. 

Various models will be explored such as exist in developed economies, including of course a system of grants that is offered in South Africa. But it is worth pointing out Mr Mabhena, that Mthwakazi does not have what you would call a working class, neither does our neighbour Zimbabwe. The majority of the people not only in Mthwakazi, Zimbabwe and most of Africa, including in South Africa live in rural areas. They are basically what your socialist terminology terms peasants (povo’ in Portuguese or Spanish). How then do you realise a socialist Zimbabwe without a formidable industrial base and without a working class? At any rate an industrial base has long been overtaken by technological innovations of today, television, WhatsApp technologies and a multiplicity of others.

Those are the conditions for a take off to a socialist utopia. How do you industrialise Mr Mabhena without the means of production? In your Zimbabwe, you only have land, but do not have machinery and capital, and you do not yet have the requisite skilled labour force for the conditions of the development of a working class; how then do you achieve a ‘socialist Zimbabwe’? Remember when Fredrick Angels examined the conditions of the working class in England more nearly two hundred years ago, which were mainly characterised by squalor, your Zimbabwe has not yet reached that stage; how long do you think the conditions of a viable working class in Zimbabwe will take off? Is it  not a myth therefore to be talking about a utopia of a working class at this stage? What about greed which is endemic in your society which is characterised in your own words as ‘looting of’ your ‘wealth by thieves in Harare’, will they stop and provide you with space to develop those take off conditions for a working class?

12. The devastating impact of Xenophobia

Turning to the issue xenophobia, I am surprised why you only point out to its impact and consequences rather than the source. Xenophobia goes with the territory Mr Mabhena. The adage that charity begins at home is true. It is normal not only for human beings but the entire animal kingdom to start with feeding their families before they can share the left overs with strangers. What makes you think it is a right for a stranger to come to your home and eat the food of your children before yours can eat it? 

In the case of America, xenophobic sentiments are openly advocated for and advanced by the incumbent President Donald Trump. The same situation is experienced in France and as that country prepares for Presidential election. The question of immigrants and strangers coming to steal jobs, houses and the like is at the heart of the election campaign and will undoubtedly influence the voting patterns and results. This is happening too in Britain and basically across Western and Eastern Europe. As you will know already, Europe is becoming a fortress against African migrants thousands of whom have been swallowed and drowned by the seas. 

The question of Xenophobia illustrates vividly why we in the MLF want our country back, a country where we will be safe from any sort of dictatorship, violence, infliction of genocide and ethnic cleansing, rape, torture, any form of brutality, disappearance and any other form of intended harm. There is no sane person (akula muntu olengqondo ezikwanileyo) who can choose willingly to be a slave; who can leave his home to be humiliated; who can literally entertain any sort of abuse and at times death at the hands of a mob; who can choose to be labelled as an undocumented unit (I mean statistically who is referred to not as a human being but a number just like being in prison); who can choose to be raped by the police in the host country so as not be deported; who can turn into prostitution simply because of lack of identity; who can choose not to be educated for the simple reason of being a migrant, and so on and so.

The question of Xenophobia is very emotive Mr Mabhena. Many of our boys and girls (pardon me for focusing on our people, it goes with the territory) having escaped the brutality of your Zimbabwe (which in due course you want to turn to a socialist entity) arrive in the neighbouring countries such as South Africa and Botswana alive, only to go back to their motherland dead. You Mr Mabhena can attest to that as you clearly point out that at the time of starting a conversation with myself, you had already received threats of ‘xenophobic attack in Mamelodi, Diepsloot’ and elsewhere.

It is in terms of the foregoing that I agree entirely with you that it xenophobic attacks do ‘not discriminate in terms of ethnicity, but attacks everyone who is said to be a foreign national in South Africa’. But what you fail to recognise is that the infliction of genocide and ethnic cleansing by Mugabe’s Zimbabwe on the people of Mthwakazi was in effect and practice a higher variant of Xenophobia, so is the Grand Plan, so is the violent dispossession of our land which has been given to the chief drivers of Zimbabwe’s Xenophobia. There is no escaping the fact that xenophobia affects the people of Mthwakazi, not only in South Africa, but elsewhere in the world as well. Xenophobia is essentially a result of the unintended consequences of those who put us in this hell-hole pot called Zimbabwe.

In the final analysis, it is the Organisation of African Union (now the African Union) that must be ultimately be held responsible for xenophobia, not only as it affects the entire African population in Africa, but in other continents as well. Just like those thieves that you easily identify as being responsible for ‘looting’ your ‘wealth in Harare’, the AU (through its member states) has been nothing but a disgrace club from inception, as it not only protected but actively participated in promoting all forms of violence meted out by dictatorial and brutal regimes against own citizens and those ruled by conquest throughout Africa. The AU has been a looter of human consciousness, well-being and the survival strategies of all the citizens of the African continent, with impunity, irrespective of identity, ethnicity, and nationality.

Had the AU been concerned about the imposed unitary boundaries, governance, human rights, rule of law, infrastructural development, free speech and free press, employment, poverty, and a range of equally important developmental issues affecting the people of this continent, instead of paying attention to the pursuit of looting and endless corruption, no one throughout Africa would have been forced to come to South Africa, or to go to any other country for that matter to irk a living. Rather only those in pursuit of greener pastures and skills development without having been compelled by life and death situations to survive on mother earth, would be migrating out of their countries.   

Mr Mabhena, why is it that it is only in Africa that millions of people are forced out of their countries and habitat, not because of poverty, but because of the brutish nature of their governments or those that rule them by conquest, but this is not happening elsewhere in other continents? Fundamentally of critical importance to this conversation is why did you think as argued in your letter, it was important for OAU to resolve to, and I quote: ‘support the then Southern Rhodesia and other African States that were still under colonial occupation’ without this support being tied to the respect of human rights, rule of law, recognition of diversity of ethnic groups, freedom of speech and so forth? 

Specifically, as also mentioned Mr Mabhena, why do you think, and I quote; ‘It was resolved that the liberation movements would respect the new colonial boundaries without any changes to them’, without there being a recognition that within those imposed boundaries there were different ethnic groups and nationalities with own identity, culture and way of life? I posed this question elsewhere within the context of this conversation. Whether you agree with me or not, I have demonstrated that by invoking the OAU in your letter as one of your major planks, you only exacerbated your weakness in political discourse and analysis. 

The OAU is one of the worst disasters to have been witnessed on mother earth. It has not only condoned but also supported the slaughter, rape, torture, and disappearances of millions of Africans in this continent, and in so doing has singularly aided the domination and underdevelopment of this continent by the Caucasian (White) race. Why? Because it has been run most of the times by despots who are under the payroll of former colonial masters and, to use your own words ‘thieves and looters’ whose only concern has been fat bank accounts, hundreds of properties and violation of the sanctity of women with impunity. 

If we are to develop and put an end to the xenophobic attacks throughout the continent and abroad, we in the MLF strongly argue for the establishment of a new continental body, a rival organisation if you like, which will vigorously pursue several strategies simultaneously. Of these, the first would be to accord recognition to the different ethnic groups and nationalities whose countries were woven together in unitary state systems that suited and benefited the Rule by Conquest of the powers that be. Why?  Because, genocide, ethnic cleansing, brutality and rape, including being given a false identity like Rhodesian, Zimbabwean, and all that pain does not wash away our identity as the people of Mthwakazi. 

Even if, in your own thinking Mr Mabhena, you believe that struggling for the restoration of Mthwakazi is ‘a myth’; that alone still does not and would never ever change our feelings of belonging to the Mthwakazi community in soul and spirit. Even the holocaust did not change the identity of the Jewish people. Similarly, even under an imposed ‘socialist Zimbabwe’ over Mthwakazi, that situation will not change who we are; on the contrary we continue to remain as a people of Mthwakazi perpetually. Put differently, no amount of pain or of happiness can ever change our proud Mthwakazian identity. 

Secondly, the recognition of ethnic groups, and nationalities and their original boundaries within Africa by such a new continental body (and not the OAU or AU) would reverse all the biased development strategies that favoured the political community in power, such as the Zanu PF regime. Mthwakazi would therefore oversee its resources. We are equally capable of charting a new destiny for ourselves and we don’t need a ‘so-called socialist Zimbabwe whatever that means to chart a developmental paradigm for us. In this way, the Shona dynasty under Zanu PF or socialist Zimbabwe would not have any opportunity in imposing its will over the people of Mthwakazi. Likewise, all the colonised nations and ethnic groups throughout Africa, including the people of Barotseland would be free to chart a developmental path that would benefit their citizens. 

It is only in this way that the incidence and scourge of xenophobia as it affects all of us can become a thing of the past. Sadly, as things stand, there is a lot of money to be made from our misery through various corrupt activities that include human trafficking, prostitution and outright bribery for the procurement of documentation. Clearly therefore such a Continental body, for which I am one of the people who is ready to not only formulate its framework and synopsis, but to drive it together with like nations without states in Africa specifically to found our own states (Mthwakazi included). It is only in this way that we would pursue both the perpetrators of the brutality that was inflicted on our people and the recovery of our resources that were, again to use your own words, ‘looted by the thieves in Harare’. 

Only by revisiting the nature and question of separate identities and associated rights to exit as members of the human race on this earth without fear, favour or prejudice; that the scourge of xenophobia could be efficiently and effectively addressed. Sadly, in the meantime, you are unfortunately likely to continue dealing with the effects of the failure by the OAU now AU to accord everyone in this continent respect for human dignity. I am afraid, if the South African government does not rise to the challenge of assuming its responsibility as a continental power here in the South, in ensuring that all these evil regimes to the north of here are brought to order and accountability, incidents of xenophobia can only continue. 

Even the Shona people have finally recognised that ‘the pamberi neZanu PF slogan’ does not put food in their mouths; hence they have continued to flee that wretched country in millions as well, only to be equally exposed to incidents of violence and xenophobia. Is it not hypocrisy therefore, for you Mr Mabhena to think about fighting for a ‘so-called socialist Zimbabwe’ instead of your own homeland, Mthwakazi? When we fail to interrogate the environment objectively from the heart, one wonders whether it is one’s design or mere self-convincing that says a lot about the complexity of our collective humanity. 

Jacob Zuma, for example has been campaigning for a permanent seat for Africa at the United Nations Security Council in New York, with equal vetoing powers, yet he has continued to condone the behaviour of dictators like Mugabe and King Mswati (whose so-called citizens have flooded South Africa in ways never imagined historically) and a resulted triggering xenophobic violence, pain, injuries, disabilities and deaths. How then does Jacob Zuma reconcile the behaviour of his nemesis, the leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) who has called him so many things with the voiceless of Swaziland, Mthwakazi and elsewhere? Given a chance, would Jacob Zuma be a dictator, if for example he was President of a country without a constitution in which the rule of law is unequivocally embedded? 

Answers to these questions should help you Mr Mabhena to rediscover who you really are and not what you want to be. It is painful to live a life that is imaginary, to live a dream that you have been continually warned against, and only with hindsight wish you had taken a different path that is just and unequivocally in the interests of generations of your folks. Do you really think that if Nkomo had foreseen all this mess he would still have continued to lead the people of Mthwakazi in the same direction of a hell-hole which epitomises everything that has been thrown against us? What then are you in defence of Mr Mabhena? Is it only the name divorced from this leadership actions?

13. Understanding the International Political System

It is important to introduce you at this juncture to perhaps the key perspectives in understanding World Politics throughout the world. The first is the ‘politics of power and security’. In terms of this perspective (something which Dr Nkomo should had been advised about), the world is full of anarchy and therefore states are concerned with their national security. In other words, we need to restore the state of Mthwakazi first and defend it before we can pursue any other programmes including your Marxism-Leninism. The second is the politics of interdependence and transnational relations. Under this perspective, we co-exist, interact, sign treaties and trade regulations as neighbours both within the region and internationally. 

The third is the politics of dominance and dependence in which Mthwakazi has been subjected to for so long. It is as a result of this scenario that we are perceived as nothing, but subjects to be ruled and ridiculed even by our fellow citizens who in order to survive, just like Mpoko, Simon Khaya Moyo, Obed Mpofu, and now of course, the so-called MRP by its collusion with Zanu PF in hiding the genocide evidence, and indeed your own vision of a ‘socialist Zimbabwe’, we are up against a global system that perpetually disadvantages us and sees us a myth, not as a people of Mthwakazi.
With these perspectives, you can go back to the ancient Greek City, to the times of great philosophers before Karl Marx, such as Plato, Aristotle, Socrates right up to and beyond Kant to understand the Peloponnessian War by Thucydides, The Prince by Machiavelli, The Leviathan by Hobbes and others. These primarily answer to what you have referred to and I quote: ‘The Zulu nation was born through military conquest including the Mthwakazi state itself’. That is exactly the point, Mr Mabhena, many states were born not primarily out of power and conquest, but out of the pursuit for power and security. What is true however is that at no time were the people of Mthwakazi ever been conquered by the people of Mashonaland, we have never been defeated historically and contemporarily? 

Of course, we were butchered but never defeated in battle. The state of Mthwakazi similarly was not born out of conquest, Mr Mabhena, that is simply not true and you are kindly referred to Maphenduka’s book, The Rule by Conquest, The struggle in Mthwakazi, 2015. The emphasis with the history from the Greek City to this day is that there have always been wars, therefore we cannot be confined to something that you clearly state was crafted by so-called nationalists perpetually. We are not and will not be Zimbabweans under what characterisation, whether by capitalist or socialist terminologies.  Even Britain was at one time it was under the rule of the Vikings and then again of the Roman Empire. But they did overcome those types of conquest only to conquer most of Africa in the late 19th century, why then must we give up by citing all sorts of unworkable excuses? 

14. Conclusion

I only have a few points by way of conclusion and these are, Mr Mabhena: you have failed dismally to present a case in ‘Defence of Dr Joshua Mqabuko KaNyongolo Nkomo’. As I have clearly articulated during this Treatise on Mthwakazi, there is virtually no shred of evidence that you have presented by way of your argument. Even in emotive terms alone, there is virtually nothing to defend. You know, Mr Mabhena, when you defend you should be able to articulate clearly what are the tangibles that Nkomo’s leadership rewarded the people of Mthwakazi with? Is there anything there we can hold on to as the people of Mthwakazi? What are the benefits and gains that the people of Mthwakazi derived from that leadership? Remember, maybe you are confusing Nkomo’s leadership for the liberation of Zimbabwe with what it ought to have been in relation to that of Mthwakazi.

As far as Zimbabwe is concerned, I myself have argued consistently, citing irrefutable evidence without fail that Dr Joshua Mqabuko KaNyongolo Nkomo was really was a dinosaur of that country’s liberation without any shadow of down. He sacrificed more than anybody, not even Robert Gabriel Mugabe can match that sacrifice and contribution. But the question is, do the people of Zimbabwe themselves, namely the Shona people recognise that sterling, effortless and towering contribution? If that is the case, what are they doing to defend it? Why must Nkomo’s contribution only be defended by people of Mthwakazi origin, such as yourself Mr Mabhena, and not the Shona people who benefitted most from his tireless efforts? 

Is it not the other way around that since inception from 1980, they have all been hell-bent in destroying his legacy; contribution and sacrifice to the liberation of that country? Is it not the case that he is not recognised even in their history books? When exactly are, they going to be teaching about Nkomo in all the schools throughout Mashonaland, and for that matter in Mthwakazi? Must it take an eternity for that to happen? Is it not the case that they have continuously pursued a path designed to erase his contribution? Now as defenders of his contribution yourselves, what is it that you are doing about it? Are you shouting over the roof tops in Harare and elsewhere throughout Mashonaland; as well as in Mthwakazi; holding workshops and seminars to put the record straight? Of course, not; there is absolutely nothing that you are doing about his legacy!

Apart from people of Mthwakazi origin, do you know of a single Shona person who is defending Nkomo’s contribution as it pertains to the liberation of Zimbabwe? Why then must you find it fitting to defend his legacy only amongst the people of Mthwakazi, and not in Zimbabwe? These are some of the questions that should provide you with a proper accurate perspective when interrogating Nkomo’s contribution for the struggle of Zimbabwe.  Because it is only yourselves, namely people from Mthwakazi (as second class, third class, fourth class citizens in that country) who are defending Nkomo’s contribution; but sadly, these are distant and very faint voices. The Shona people in power do not hear you.

It is such questions which guide us as the MLF, solely to prevent a repetition of history in which the people of Mthwakazi are used only to be dumped in the dustbin again. We are therefore determined to guard against being led astray into believing that Mthwakazi is synonymous with Zimbabwe. It is in that regard that we oppose what the so-called MRP is doing, but on the one hand confusing the people of Mthwakazi into believing that they are evicting Shona teachers in Mthwakazi (something that we do not support); and at the same time saying that they want to be elected into the Zimbabwe parliament. Shona teachers are Zimbabweans. The Parliament that these guys want to go to is also a Zimbabwean Parliament! Why then make people of Mthwakazi fools, and why bring the name of Mthwakazi into disrepute? It is in those terms that we believe that the so-called MRP is a CIO project, a smokescreen, aimed at irreparably damaging the Restoration Agenda of Mthwakazi  

It is precisely because of the failure to answer some of these questions as the people of Mthwakazi that we decided; it was indeed a futile exercise to seek to continue to devote our energies in a system that will never recognise us at any time. If the powers that be and their followers are hell-bent in destroying that contribution, why the hack should we waste our time in investing our energies in a system that out rightly rejects us. If a figure of Nkomo’s stature and charisma can be ridiculed and humiliated, who are we to stand a chance of any recognition other than as sell-outs and nonentities?

There is a saying in English that says: ‘once beaten twice shy’. Like many people of Mthwakazi origin, we lost countless loved ones for nothing, not even for a name or walk in the park, in the struggle for Zimbabwe. After that we were brutalised, inflicted with genocide and all other ills, should we therefore pray that one day we will be recognised. Of course not! It is then that we decided to review our history which, by the way we were never taught anywhere: whether in schools or, at refugee camps. What we found was a proud history of a warrior nation with strong human values. Hence, we embarked on the Restoration Agenda for Mthwakazi.

In a nutshell, we heeded Karl Marx’s advice when he observed that before his time, ‘philosophers only interpreted the world as it was’ but the point was to ‘change it’. But to change our circumstances as the people of Mthwakazi, we were guided by ‘what is to be done’ question from Vladimir Lenin. It is then that we came up with the idea of Mthwakazi Liberation Front as a vehicle that would assist us endeavour to enter a conversation such as this one from you Mr Mabhena. And what a conversation has it been, in defence of Mthwakazi Restoration Philosophy! 

If Southern Rhodesia died in the minds of the vanquished people of Mthwakazi; then died also the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, followed by the death also of Rhodesia; after which Zimbabwe-Rhodesia also experienced the same death. So why do you think what we are about is a myth? Zimbabwe too will also die in the minds of the people of Mthwakazi, when the rebirth of the State of Mthwwakazi is realised in our lifetime. 


Dr Mpiyesizwe Churchill Guduza
MLF Vice President & Mthwakazian Scholar

- Source: MLF, published by


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