On dealing with Marginalization and Tribalism
By Amutjilani Celesani Gula-Ndebele
It is no secret that the people of Matabeleland have suffered marginalization and that the non Shona blacks in the region have suffered even more because of politically engineered tribalism, subjugation and disenfranchisement.
The use of some state institutions to entrench the subjugation and disenfranchisement over the years has created a strong sense of apathy towards national issues. It has thwarted progress and robbed many of opportunities as fundamental as education and employment. Many resorted to crossing the border. The effects of the injustice are visible to any who comes to this region.
As a region Matabeleland needs a government that will ensure inclusive development and efficient/equitable delivery of services. Considering that the region has residents of different races, tribes and affiliations, one has to acknowledge cohesion between tribes or races and various affiliations is necessitated by our shared geo-socio-economic space and the mutual suffering of all in the region in terms of developmental and service delivery marginalization.
In terms of tribal subjugation and disenfranchisement the Ndebele have suffered most notably than others, given the horrors of Gukurahundi, systematic exclusion of Ndebele’s from employment in state institutions in the region.
The difficulty many face in getting into some of our education facilities and so on. What Ndebele’s, Kalanga’s, Tonga’s and other minority groups need is a government that doesn’t discriminate them when it comes to justice, matters of development and opportunity on the basis of tribe or race. We also need a government that acknowledges past disadvantages and has tangible restorative programmes and measures.
I am a young Ndebele who is old enough to know of relatives lost during the massacre, lived and worked in the region during so many industry closures and lack of opportunities. Old enough to see the effects of political agendas taking advantage of public institutions to subjugate minorities and destroy our sense of national belonging.
Aware enough to see through my peers and so many across the country that no one is born a tribalist or racist and many indeed are not. It is a disposition that is created and/or acquired to which some are victims of a system that has made them feel superior or inferior or not belonging but there is many of us who see humanity in each other.
The many intermarriages, friendships, partnerships and associations in our social sphere testify to this fact. I go to churches and hear many sing praise and worship songs in whatever language, I see many become good families, I see business partners etc. And yet in all this no government that can truly work FOR them or WITH them. More troubling no government that can heal the divide, create unity and cohesion.
I joined many encouraging Dr Nkosana to answer the call to lead the country as head of state and have had the opportunity to engage with him till the announcement and launch of APA.
As a person from Matabeleland region and Ndebele, I am convicted Dr Nkosana will address issues affecting my tribe and the region. I say this because of his stand on cohesion and unity being a fundamental key to national harmony and development.
His practical approach to national development indicators. His expressed regard for how real the issues of marginalization and tribalism are. His approach of engaging the people to collectively construct the way forward. His clear stand on how state institutions should be run in service to all regardless of race, tribe or association. His clarity on the need for RESTORATIVE not RETRIBUTIVE justice.
In his meetings last week, Dr Nkosana Moyo confirmed that a manifesto for APA and his presidential bid will be out soon, I eagerly await clear communication to all on how APA will go about this and ensure our nation can heal, unite, be restored and prosper for all that are its citizens, the rest of humanity and the environment.