After failing to get jobs in the Zimbabwe labour market where people are employed based on their tribe, Matebeles would quietly sneak into South Africa, Botswana or any other country in the world for survival. But that is about to change now as countries in Africa and the world over are taking an anti-immigration stance.
As part of YouGov's research into authoritarian populism (AP) people from European countries have been asked how far they agreed with a series of positive and negative statements one of which was: "There are so many foreigners living round here, it doesn't feel like home anymore"
52% Italians, 47% French, 44% Germans and 37% Britons agreed with the statement. This is clear evidence that masses in Europe no longer want to share their boundaries with immigrants.
One of the pushing factors for Brexit "leave voter" was for UK to regain control over immigration and its own territory and boundaries.
In America, well known businessman, Donald Trump, pulled a surprise win against popular and seasoned politician, Hillary Clinton, to become President of United States. His campaign was centred on anti-immigration sentiment. Calling for a high border wall between America and Mexico. The results of the elections showed that the majority of Americans approve of his anti-immigration policies. Besides, he has anti-immigration Executive Order that is pending albeit appearing to be targeting Muslims but eventually would affect everyone.
The success of Brexit has triggered renewed calls for independence in Scotland and Catalonia. Scotland is demanding a new referendum to exit Britain not later than 2018, the same year earmarked for Matebeleland exit from Zimbabwe.
Catalan autonomous government has taken bold political steps towards independence from Spain by unilaterally calling for a binding referendum which is to take place in September of this year. In a non-binding "mock referendum" held in Catalonia in November 2014, out of 2 million Catalans who voted, 90% of them voted in favour of secession.
The principle that "decisions about the UK should be taken in the UK" was top motivation for Brexit just above immigration. In Matebeleland we have learnt the hard way that if decisions about one's country are taken somewhere in a foreign country they will never be in your favour. All decisions taken in Harare are against our political interests and aspirations.
So, the message is simple for the people of Matebeleland. Decisions about Matebeleland must not only be taken in Matebeleland but we must also regain our statehood, independence and sovereignty. Regain the control of our territory, borders, resources and culture. Why not, when everyone in the world is doing it besides having suffered genocide and continuing segregation? No wonder why one of Matabele visionaries, Cde Paul Siwela, has set 2018 as the best year for Matebeleland exit from Zimbabwe. Itself a fictitious successor of another mythical construct named Rhodesia whose false lifespan ended abruptly on 18 April 1980.
Scotland has also earmarked 2018 as the year when the new referendum to leave Britain will be conducted. Catalonia which seeks to secede from Spain has chosen 2017 as the year when a binding referendum to leave Spain would be held. They want theirs early. Is that not so? The sooner the better, the same should apply to Matebeleland. In fact, ours is overdue.
South Africa which has been a getaway for Matebeles seeking political and economic refuge since 1980 is slowly but surely taking drastic measures against immigrants. Irresponsible DA leaders like Herman Mashaba who stoke xenophobic attacks, by criminalising all immigrants and advocating for the closure of SA borders, make South Africa a dangerous place for foreigners including Matebeles, to live in.
Just imagine your children caged and stuck in a fake and failed state called Zimbabwe. Where they are not wanted, viewed as thrash to be periodically eliminated through genocide. Their language and ethnicity making them to be targets of cold hearted murderers and rapists.
Discriminated against and marginalised politically, economically and socially. Denied the right to work, to higher education, to freedom of speech and expression. The only jobs readily available for them being that of garden boys, cattle herders, garden boys and house girls for Shona people.
In the 21st century masses in the independent and sovereign states in the world want to regain control of their space including their borders. Those that entered unions that are not working for them like Scotland, Catalonia in Spain, Barotseland in Zambia, just to name a few, are now seeking secession.
Matebeleland that was combined with Mashonaland by colonisers without the consent of Matebele and Shona people missed the opportunity to regain her independence in the 19th century due to an imperfect decolonisation process.
We cannot afford to miss this opportunity again which has presented itself in the 21st century when all countries in the world that remain under the yoke of bondage are demanding freedom.
Self-determination is our God given right. Our demand for the restoration of Matebeleland statehood is God's call.
As MLO we do not expect miracles. We know for the fact that Matebeleland will not come on a silver platter. All good things do not come easily. But nothing is impossible. "It always seems impossible until its done," Nelson Mandela.
Matebeleland Republic by 2018 is very much possible and alive.