In Zimbabwe, we have the armchair political analysts blaming polarization for the wrong things. They suggest that everyone should join forces with the ruling party, for things to go well. This was the terrible mistake initially made by ZAPU forging a Patriotic Front arrangement with ZANU. While appearing as noble, this was as wrong as going into bed with a venomous snake.
Polarization needs to be understood in its proper context. Life is portrayed in dichotomies. This is why life is opposed to death. Good is opposed to evil, just as what is right is opposed to what is wrong. These dichotomies exist for all eternity. The wrong thing is combining the two, assumed as necessary for unity. Forging unity between dichotomies is playing with disaster.
In electric engineering, the positive and the negative have to be insulated against each other. Otherwise, one would be peddling with disaster. The factors of unity should always be driven by what benefits the majority, rather than the minority. This provides the mechanics of separating what is good from evil. In Christianity, this is what Paul inferred, when writing to the Corinthians:
“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: ‘I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.’ Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you’”(1 Corinthians 6:14-17) (NIV).
There is no need to misunderstand Paul as advocating for disunity. The principal viewpoint is avoiding combining what is wrong with what is right. Good things are represented in what benefits the majority, rather than the minority. The challenge for most people seems to be in distinguishing between good and evil.
This is just as there is no absolute rightness and absolute wrongness in this universe. Either ZANU PF or MDCA represents evil. This cannot be a problem for ordinary people to decide when given chance to analyze for themselves. This can be easily handled when appreciating that goodness aligns more with goodness than evil.
When hearing a state president chanting, “Pasi ne mhandu!” (Down with enemies!”). Then any normal person concludes that the country would be led by a psychotic. This is not, necessarily, meant to upbraid anyone. Psychosis is a mental illness, identified with those unable to move from the past. Such people are dangerous to themselves and society, possibly, without them knowing about it.
Just as war, itself, is a product of insanity, all wars are precipitated and perpetuated by the insane people. Mental illness is a disease that does not necessarily require vindictiveness. Such people need rehabilitation more than vindictiveness. To loath such people is identifying with them, though appearing as opposed to them.
There cannot be a disease as worse than mental illness, further complicated by its contagious condition. A leader, chanting against those considered as enemies, is out of sync with the leadership principles. In the world of insanity, you have the opposing side also chanting similar slogans.
This is viewed as a game, whose winning side is identified by inflicting more casualties against the opponent. There is no other material gain exhibited by the winning side. While ZAPU did a wrong thing in pursuing unity with ZANU in 1976, the opposite was true of the 1987 unity accord.
The Patriotic Front arrangement led to the Gukurahundi fiasco, which was as evil as Satan is evil. ZAPU should not have been drawn to form the Patriotic Fron with ZANU. However, to save lives, it became gracious and noble for ZAPU to capitulate, leading to a 1987 unity accord. That unity was necessary to save lives.
The ZAPU contingent, still identified with ZANU PF, even in its apparent decadent condition, should still be appreciated by the peace-loving Zimbabweans. They are a cog to maintain the current stability in the country. They are inadvertently paying the price for wrongly forging the PF arrangement with ZANU. As appearing impossible to resuscitate ZANU PF, the former ZAPU should perish with them.
What now appears as most disturbing is the formation of the Mthwakazi movement, apparently failing to calculate the repercussions of their actions. It is on public record that evil things happened in Matabeleland, through Gukurahundi. There can be no denial that ZANU PF was formed, principally, for advancing the tribal agenda.
Those criminals could not confront Nkomo through normal channels. Nkomo may have failed to appreciate where their actions were leading to. The newly formed ZANU hated Nkomo more than they hated Ian Smith. The hatred was, simply, on the basis of Nkomo’s association with Matabeleland.
This may have been initiated by one or two disgruntled individuals, peddling propagandistic falsehoods. But like any contagious disease, ZANUism easily spread through the rank and file. There are those supposing that the PF arrangement was necessary for forging unity among the liberation forces. But that type of unity was like getting into bed with a cobra.
This was as dangerous as would be the case if MDCA decided to forge a coalition with the Mthwakazi movement, today. The agenda of the Mthwakazi movement is primitively destructive. Even during the Patriotic Front arrangement, ZANU PF never regarded ZAPU as an ally. Except for purposes of taking advantage of Nkomo’s international popularity.
The Mgagawo debacle resonates well, with this narrative. In his book, Nkomo seems to lay blame on Mugabe, without realizing that the problem, went deeper than the personality of Robert Mugabe. Sadly, ZAPU was ill-advised in forming the Patriotic Front with ZANU in 1976. Yet in 1987 ZAPU was properly advised to accept conditions of the unity accord, for purposes of saving lives.
There could not have been any other way out after the tribal agenda had taken its roots. The worst thing Nkomo could have done may have been to entertain the Mthwakazi idea. The future of this country could be bleaker, if ZAPU withdraws from that Unity Accord, at this stage. Their fusion with ZANU PF ameliorates the invalidation of the tribalism agenda.
The ZANU PF’s underlying factor in creating a one-party state was tribalism. The recent singling out of a Bishop Ndlovu, among other Catholic Bishop critics, by Minister Mutsvangwa, reeks of the true nature of ZANU PF. The presence of former ZAPU members within ZANU PF is a necessary cog, in preserving peace, under the circumstance.
The modicum of sanity, symbolized in that irritable 1987 Unity Accord, sustains this country at peace. Without that Accord, we would not be different from countries like Somalia, if not worse. It could not have been possible, even to establish a strong political outfit like the MDC.
Currently, the entire country pins its hope on the MDCA, unattached to the insanity of Gukurahundi. Thanks to the 1987 Unity Accord. We are not as bad. But, by accepting the GNU arrangement in 2009, the MDC succumbed to what befell ZAPU in 1976. Luckily for the MDCA, Douglas Mwonzora and his cabal seem to have rescued them.
This is the only time for the MDCA to completely disconnect from the Tsvangirai legacy, as highlighted in one of my previous installments. Like ZAPU, the poisoned MDC T under Mwonzora now carries MDC’s past sins. Under Douglas Mwonzora, MDC is now poised for demise, just as their principal, ZANU PF, has to be eradicated. See [Morgan Tsvangirai in the lenses of pragmatists]
My viewpoint is anchored on understanding the aberrative human mind. What is said here represents truthful information. When subscribing to violently confronting psychotics, one becomes like them. Violent confrontation should be avoided at all costs, as resonating well with the psychotics. This is perfectly illustrated in anonymous parable, which I recently picked up, as circulating on social media:
“A donkey was tied to a tree. A demon came and released it. The donkey entered the field of a farmer, eating maize. The farmer’s wife decided to shoot and kill the donkey. On discovering that his donkey had been killed, the farmer angrily took a rifle, killing the killer of his donkey. In revenge, the farmer, whose wife had been murdered, decided to kill the donkey’s owner. The sons of the donkey’s owner burnt the farmer’s field. In retaliation, the farmer killed those sons. When someone tried to accuse the demon, for everything, the demon simply stated:
“I did nothing, I just released the donkey.” Do you get it? The devil doesn’t have the power to do much but serving to trigger the evil intentions of men’s hearts to harm one another. So, think before seeking revenge! Be careful with your heart, because many times, the only thing the devil does is “release the donkey”. So don’t be fooled into fighting people. Do the simple thing. “With love, tie back the donkey” to disarm the devil…..” (Author unknown).
The Zimbabwean politics, before independence, had a different meaning, for some people. It seems some blacks never respected themselves. Tribalism was mistaken for political activism. Today we see the emergence of the Mthwakazi movement, ascribed to disgruntlement over the perceived ill-treatment by the Shonas. This reveals the work of insanity.
Who are the Shona People, and who are the Ndebele people, other than languages? In this country, no-one can claim to be a pure Shona or pure Ndebele, except as demarcated by languages. Does the Mthwakazi movement represent the Matabeleland region or the Ndebele tribal populace? If representing the region, which people, and against who?
But, if seeking to liberate the Ndebele people; that puts people like me in a quandary. I have always identified myself as of Ndebele origin, by virtue of my paternal identity. But my great-grandmother was Chief Charumbira’s daughter so that I am Chief Charumbira’s “muzukuru.” The Shona blood cannot be extricated from my genes. The totem of my own mother, although Ndebele-speaking, is Mbano, whose origin is Mutoko area, or Goromonzi.
My wife is a Ndau, from Chimanimani. My children cannot speak Sindebele, as born in Harare, identifying with the Shonas. The upshot of it is, how insane can I be, when labeling Shonas, my “enemies,” without declaring enmity against my own family? I suppose my own case represents the entire population of Zimbabwe.
This does not condone evilness perpetrated by ZANU PF, against my relatives, using the tribal card. The most reasonable question should be: How can one deal with the insane when having become dangerous to themselves and society? I suppose the constitution ought to functionally deal with such mental illness problems?
This write-up seeks to expose the sting, as venomously threatening our existence. We are a troubled nation, as long as those of the older generation, fail to adequately expose the evils of tribalism. Initiated in the early nineteen sixties, this problem threatens the next generations. Those doing social studies at universities should be granted resources to effectively deal with this.
The future of this country remains bleak, as long as the tribal problem is not adequately handled. There is a lot of disgruntlement in Matabeleland, over what happened during Gukurahundi. But the worst thing is to plant this tribal poison into the minds of the younger generation. The mistake was committed at the formation of the Patriotic Front, in 1976.
ZAPU should never have come into a coalition with ZANU. The Patriotic Front ought to have been codified by the objectives of the armed struggle, minus party interests. Clearly, the formation of ZANU in 1963 sought to block Nkomo from power. Had Nkomo been from Mashonaland, there might not have been the emergence of ZANU.
ZANU and ZAPU had nothing in common, and both have collectively, become anathema to Zimbabwe. I hope the younger generation avoids the nasty experiences of the past and take a different trajectory. When concerned about the future, we need to put all our resources in seeking to effectively address the delinquency of tribalism.
There is a difference between advocating tribalism as compared with advancing meritocracy. It is impossible to avoid succumbing to insanity when raising issues of tribalism. This sounds arbitrary, but true when carefully analyzed. Peace-loving Zimbabweans appreciate that evil begets evil.
How can polarization address our problems in Zimbabwe? Polarization enables people to choose what is right from what is wrong. The existing confusion is caused by ordinary people’s inability to distinguish between right and wrong.
A party as aberrated as ZANU PF cannot have sufficient supporters. It thrives on confused people in our society. Only the truth sets people free. The spread of information to maintain polarization could go a long way in educating ordinary Zimbabweans.
Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from the current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing relief to those having witnessed the strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social decay. In a simple conversational tone, most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long-awaited providential oasis of hope.
The Print copy is now available at Amazon.com for $13.99