As I am not an Inkundla forumite I have asked uKirth Dube to upload this contribution for me. Kirth does not therefore have any connection to this contribution. The contribution is also written in my private capacity and is not the opinion of MPC.
I wish to thank all you Inkundla forumites who have made contributions with regard to our new site and the message I put out in my capacity as MPC's interim president. I extend my thanks both to those that support me and MPC as well as those that criticise us. Sizakwakhiwa yini. I read iNkundla a lot and I think it is a wonderful thing that this forum exists. I cammend its administrator.
First things first. I have come to Inkundla really just to drive the point home that MPC is about political engagement between and accross all divides, as Kirth said in his posting yesterday. I have come perhaps also to say things more freely than I would if writing in an official capacity. Hopefully, all you forumites will not see this as a 'superior' body muscling in.
Reading through all of your contributions I cannot help but notice an under current of either staunch supporters or very angry opponents of MPC. Clearly, MPC has hit a raw nerve. (Notice, I don't say a right or wrong nerve). Senwaye lapho okuluma khona, as someone recently said. That is what we intended.
But for me, it is not whether we are supported or opposed. What is important is that we see people engaging politically with this difficult issue of our time. Some of those so opposed are not doing so out of hatred, though some of them are. I believe some of those criticising MPC are doing so out of a genuine fear that this project might not be practical and attainable and will only sap our people's energies to go for options that are 'achievable' and 'practical'. Those that support us perhaps already appreciate the practicality and the attainability of MPC's project. Those are two different viewpoints and positions.
I see our role as being persuasion, to win people over, not just by what we say but critically by what we will do. It is never an easy to be defining and to challenge the mainstream. You can go back as far as you can in history. You will see that what made history and will continue to make history is the defining and not the mainstream. Barak Obama was only right to remind his fellow Americans at his inauguration that America's greatness comes through when America is challenged by difficult time. It must be with all nations. So must it be with ours.
What we see as settled today, and take for granted, was built through blood and sweat. America's democracy is an example. Our own history is proof of that. Estimates are that Mzilikazi started off with around 2000 or so men, women and children. Here we are today. The world abounds with such examples.
I also note that there are concerns with MPC's methods of work and whether there is a difference between partition and secession and whether those two positions entail different working methods and whether this implies MPC should now enter Zimbabwe's elections.
First, let me say there is a lot we are learning from contributions to Inkundla that make us think twice and reflect. We can only express our appreciation to those contributions. Second, I don't wish to engage these issues directly because these are matters MPC's NEC are discussing and fine-tuning. I do not therefore wish to pre-emptthose discussions.
However, I can comment generally about our working method because that is now in the public domain. I do so not by advocating MPC's position but by a general statement why we should not and cannot choose any other method - armed struggle, for example - which has been banded about in the past and which I comment on briefly in my message posted on our site.
See, the international political architecture that facilitated armed struggle has long gone. What we have seen inn recent years as armed movements have really been relics of that old order. But if you look at the post-Cold War history of all those movements, right accross the world, all those armed movements have begun unravelling. Closer home, look at Unita, Renamo, Polisario Liberation Front, just to mention a few in Africa. Further afield look at Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso), ETA, IRA in Europe. In Asia one of the last remaining such movements, Tamil Tigers, was only some two weeks routed by the Sri Lankan army. The last time I saw something about them, their capital was surrounded by the Sri Lankan army. I could go on ......
The critical question is why these setbacks? Critically for us, why go where everybody is coming from, and has failed? Granted, there are others who succeeded but it is critical to know when?
My point is, politics is about judgment (which you can get right or wrong) and vision. I think MPC's reading of the world is the correct one and holds promise. Our region is rebuilding after years of war in the region, quite rightly, and it is simply the wrong idea to think that any other method would work. MPC believes that it can work with and within the mechanisms and governments in the region and further afield and achieve what we want to achieve. I think MPC is right.
There is also the point about whether being MPC and fighting for Mthwakazi makes anyone enemies or excludes them. Nothing could be more disgusting. What is happening in present-day Zimbabwe affects everybody inside it, whether they are Ndebele or Shona, Indian or Coloured, Khalanga or Xhosa, Tonga or Tshangani etc.
But here is the crucial difference. The rest of Zimbabwe is only a recent addition to this suffering. UMthwakazi has suffered since 1980 and is still suffering today.
And there is a further difference. By its very construction, Zimbabwe says you and I are excluded from the leadership of present-day Zimbabwe because we are not the right tribe. So, even if you had the right ideas you should keep quiet or if you need to advance them you should find a Shona person who should then talk on your behalf. Look at Zanu-PF and both factions of the MDC. They are paradigms of Zimbabwe's own construction. I beg to differ.
Discrimination is discrimination, whether it is on the basis of race, tribe, gender, disability, sexual orientation, age, background, place of origin etc. Each leads to its own detrimental consequences. Rhodesia's discrimination was race. It led to a war. Zimbabwe's, is tribe, and if handled carelessly has ominous prospects for future generations (it already does). Had Zimbabwe been constructed differently, perhaps MPC would not have existed and had Rhodesia been constructed differently we would not have had Zapu and Zanu, and a war.
Therefore, contrary to what people might say MPC's agenda is also Zimbabwe's agenda. It would be a failure of political judgment if in our work as Mthwakazi and MPC we failed to engage and accommodate those we consider our political adversaries in our debates and aspirations. We should win them over to the wisdom (note, I don't say 'goodness') of partition.
To those who are concerned about how long this 'political process of MPC' will take, I can only remind them that they are today the consumers of an end-product some of whose creators never saw, whether it be Mzilikazi or Zimbabwe's independence. Its sacrifice for just causes. The selfishness of our time must give way to the selflessness and sacrifice of old, which has enabled all of us today to enjoy the political labour of others who have left us.
Finally, I need to say this: those of us who have come out openly to advance uMthwakazi's agenda will be attacked by the whole apparatus of Shona domination, with all the might it has at its disposal, to defend its advantage and opportunity. (The use of the word 'Shona' is regrettable but unavoidable). I think it will be foolhardy of all of you Mthwakazians if you failed to come to our defence and hold the fort with us becuase when that machine starts rolling it will not care nor know that you don't support or you despise MPC. It will roll with merciless efficiency over all of you as it has done in the past. This is fact. The system politicises anything you do, whether its a football club, a co-operative, a sewing club etc etc. How else could it be if it politicises uMthwakazi's very being?
Above all, I think we should shape ourselves as we want to. My message was that we should not allow anyone to force us to shape ourselves in their image, as most of us have tended to over the years. We have a character. Let us let it show and speak. We are who we are. I am not afraid or apologetic to say I am Ndebele and proud to be so.
The future lies with political dialogue and engagement, regardless of the enormity of the task at hand. Once we get this wrong with MPC, as we did with Zimbabwe, we will have made a costly mistake. Debate and engagement begin now and not later. And we should guard against the creation of a personal cult. It is the begin of the end. These are my personal opinions.
I hope to join Inkundla soon and become a regular contributor.