By Nomazulu Thata
My previous article regarding the nomination of Sibangilizwe Nkomo to contest the Zapu presidential candidacy could have come across as too emotional for some people to appreciate my perspective.
What is disturbing is that be it Matabeleland, Mashonaland, Manicaland, the Tongaland or whatever corner of the land we live in, we learn and internalise wrong things in our social settings.
We should have learnt a lesson from one “Dr” Grace Mugabe that it is improper to think that if she was the wife of former President Robert Gabriel Mugabe, it still did not mean she automatically assumes leadership of Zanu PF on the demise or exit of her husband.
Someone from Zanu PF’s G40 faction must have misled Grace when her hopes were still high that she could take over from her husband by virtue of her marriage to Bob. Do we want to page back those dark moments of our history whereby “Dr Stop It” was our household name?
In the same vein, Sibangilizwe Nkomo or his emissaries misled him into thinking that he could be president of Zapu by the same standards Grace used to try to usurp power from Zanu PF party and government.
In his maiden interview he made, humbly accepting the nomination as leadership contender of Zapu party, Sibangilizwe admitted it was not his personal wish but those of his home constituency, to stand for elections disregarding the fact that he has not been an active member of Zapu at grassroot level in the first place.
To elevate Sibangilizwe from an inactive party member to presidential candidacy spells doom for democracy. What the people of this great country can least afford is to have people who have, either by birth or marriage connections, think they can gun-jump those democratic processes leading to their candidacy for political power.
This is tantamount to urinating on our faces as if we do not have brains to think. They are surprised again when we resist this hero-worshipping of family connections by some members of the party.
This coronation flies in the face of a party whose democratic values and have been lost or have never really existed in the first place. Zapu Matobo constituency or Kezi, by allowing Sibangilizwe to contest the presidential elections is a display of nondemocratic values upon which the fundamentals of the Zapu party were hatched in 1957, even before Sibangilizwe Nkomo was born. The Zapu we know is moving away from its values it prides itself with.
What is happening in Zapu is not isolated thing. We have seen this in all other parties be it in the ruling party or the opposition MDCs – they are many of them we cannot count. We do not need to refresh us about the undemocratic activities in Zanu party and government, the very tenets they uphold.
However, it is pertinent to roughly recap the undemocratic activities in MDC-Alliance; even the MDC-T under Douglas Mwonzora and Thokozani Khupe.
In 2005, MDC split into two bitter factions for the first time because its then President Morgan Tsvangirai (May his soul rest in peace) decided to ignore the popular party view that MDC should not take part in Senate elections that were pending at the time.
It split again when the party lost elections in 2013 with some MDC politicians clamouring for what they termed leadership renewal, itself a request for Tsvangirai to surrender the post for someone else with fresher ideas to take the opposition forward.
It is an African tradition for leaders to cling on to power even when it’s apparent their ideas were no longer taking their parties forward.
As history has recorded, Tsvangirai refused to step down even in the face of dismal electoral failure. In developed countries, if a party leader lost in an election, they gracefully step down. In Africa, this does not happen. A leader remains in power except in the case of a coup or death.
Tsvangirai later died after a long illness. But before that, he became aware of his terminal condition and proceeded to impose two more deputies to make sure that Thokozani Khupe does not assume power after his demise.
Within 24 hours after the announcement of Tsvangirai’s death, some MDC-T called for an inner-party meeting to immediately fill in the leadership vacuum created by the death of the führer, Tsvangirai a man who had open disdain for democratic processes.
Tsvangirai had tested power to the point he did not realise the importance of exemplifying democracy as opposition party to the ruling Zanu PF government.
Nelson Chamisa should know that his presidency in the MDC-Alliance lacked legitimacy, was undemocratic and is playing in the gallery of Zanu PF.
He was undemocratically elected in power by those few and he ignored the party constitution because our political parties by nature are wholly undemocratic institutions much as they want the world to know about them.
They have serious problems with democratic values and principles. All these shenanigans playing out between Chamisa’s MDC-Alliance and the Zanu government are the making of Chamisa who does not take criticism from anybody, even from his kitchen cabinet.
It is for this reason that his party is failing dismally in its fights through the judiciary. How many are leaving the party and joining the ruling party for reasons known to them?
It is not clear how the Extra Ordinary Congress MDC-T came with the winner as Douglas Mwonzora. Knowing our Sis Thokozani Kupe, how she plays her politics in her favour, we cannot blame anybody about what transpired in the congress in December 27, of 2020.
What we know about the EOC election process is that it was life and death, dog eat dog, swim or sink, survival of the fittest. This the opposition that displays disdain of democratic process that is supposed to give an example to Zanu. What is democracy dear opposition parties?
We see the same modus operandi taking place in Zapu.
This hero-worshipping of individuals is still in place. Some of the traits can be traced back from Zanu PF and MDCs or all of them. The question is; if all these opposition parties replicate Zanu party by their actions and operations, they appear to sing in the Zanu PF hymn book, why can they not give us a break and do the right thing, join the ruling party. Our political problems will be done and dusted overnight.
Well, this suggestion is full of irony. I am simply expressing the obvious on the ground. I am deeply disappointed about the Zapu party and its hero-worshipping some individuals and generational appreciation also known as sexually transmitted leadership takeover.
I doubt very much, (my statement cannot be evidenced anyhow) but I will say it. If Joshua Nkomo had lived, he was not going to vote for his second son Sibangilizwe to takeover Zapu leadership.
He must be turning in his grave MHISRP. As someone coming from this region of Matabeleland, I should be the first person to understand their thought processes. This region yearns for kingship. Instead of coming up with one king, we have three kings in this region coming from a 5% population of Nguni tribes. The kingdoms of yester year were fought through and whoever won in the battlefields became king. Imposing leadership in this region is in vain running.
Democracy is a far cry in Matabeleland and to my surprise, everywhere in Zimbabwe.
To talk about democratic values in a region that still upholds monarchic values becomes a challenge. The people of Kezi do not see their failure in imposing Sibangilizwe as genuine contender but must be a coronation from Joshua Nkomo to Sibangilizwe Nkomo and it must be done without question. Whoever questions this arrangement is a traitor in as much as we have equally questioned the coronation of three Nguni kings from a minority tribe with 5% population in the region?
When I questioned the abilities and capabilities of Sibangilizwe in his last interview, I did not mean by any stretch of anyone’s imagination I could have done a better interview than him. This is how Thulani Nkala confronted my comments and he got it wrong.
I have never and will never aspire to be a presidential candidate of any political party. However, a political activist, my pen is sharp. I critique without favour and I do not fear because I am safe. In 2021, the second Millennium, I cannot not be silenced by men. If Zapu is flouting democratic principles, it must be criticised in as much as we criticise Zanu PF.
No animal will be spared from their political misdemeanours and shenanigans in this country. I shall respect Zapu if they respect democracy, no sexually transmitted leadership in Zapu should be tolerated because we had enough of it in the Mugabe era.
Sibangilizwe must tell us how he failed the family business in Bulawayo in the early hours of independence. We do not want. We do not tolerate a college-failed non-academic leader in Zapu.
He should give us a track record of being a successful businessman and should refrain from telling us how he is going to beg the white man of some donor funding to improve Zimbabwe.
These white people are not as stupid as he thinks. They know how rich Zimbabwe is; how do you again import coal to Hwange or take some water from dry Lupane and try to fill up the Zambezi River.
Young men and women in the region must be persuaded to come back and revive the Zapu party and we strategise once more. As we gear up to the 2023 elections, let us have parties in the region that will position themselves to get regional seats, implementing the devolution – a Zapu brainchild.
We need new names and young people. Where are our young dynamic Siphosami Malunga, Nso Ndlovu, Thamsanqa Zhou, Bekezela Dube, Zenzo Ncube, Zwe Ncube, Fariranai Zhou, Zanele Matiwaza and several men and women I may no know by name?
We have realised now that be it Zanu in power or MDC-Chamisa coming to power, both are not for the benefit of the development of Matabeleland. It is for this reason we stop fighting Zanu to get MDC-Chamisa in power, a wasted energy. Let us focus on region development targeting regional parliament and council seats only rather than to wait for an MDC-Chamisa Chete Chete government that will make no difference in Matabeleland.
If a devolution is enshrined in the constitution, we need to take advantage of this clause to provide bread to our societies especially in the rural regions of both Matabeleland.