My appeal to President Robert Mugabe,
President Robert Mugabe is presiding over a population of about 20 million people. 14 million of these are resident here in Zimbabwe and another disgruntled 6 million living as economic refugees all over the world.
Of the 14 million resident in the country, the President is overseeing an angry 5 million people from South Western Midlands Province and Matabeleland regions. Of the remaining 9 million there is another 3 million from the eastern parts of the country also with their own anger raising issues.
I am not going to talk speak for or about the other unhappy people but will talk about the 5 million from the Matabeleland and Midlands provinces which is where I also come from. I am very much aware that anyone who speaks to the issues of Matabeleland is immediately termed a tribalist but I really careless to that tag as my commitment is to fight for an equal recognition and understanding of all the people of this great nation.
A story is told of a man who somehow "knew' that his wife was cheating on him with another man but never had enough evidence to substantiate his conviction. The man had to endure a life full of anger so much that even just a look at the wife provoked his emotions.
Nothing from the wife was ever right. Even when she was happy and smiling trying to bring joy at home, to the man all that happiness was celebrations from the other relationship.
One day the wife cooked the husband's favorite meal hoping to impress the ever angry husband but she made a mistake and put a little too much salt into the relish. The husband thoroughly beat the wife shocking everyone how the little extra salt in the meat would warrant such a beating.
We all know without a measure of doubt that the beating was not for the excess salt in the relish but for the suspected infidelity on the wife.
Cde President Mugabe is leading a country with 5 million angry people. People who are all angry because of a known cause which has never been attended to leading to the "extra salt fights."
It is no secret that people from this region are out rightly living with Gukurahundi atrocities induced anger. Whatever the reason was for bringing Gukurahundi to this region but its result was leaving behind so much hate and anger amongst the people.
It is fact that 90% of the people who actually took part in the killings and those who engineered the killings were Shona speaking people. It is also fact that in all their acts they demanded from their victims’ confirmations of Shona and ZANU superiority.
As a result of this activity, the people of Matabeleland and Midlands South have a strong rival and hatred of the Shona speaking people from the north. Any movement by Shona speaking people is hugely microscoped by the people from this region. Similarly, anyone from this region found in any form of relation with a Shona speaking person is viewed as a sellout.
All Shona speaking people are painted with blood in the hands and incidental enemies to the people of the region.
President Mugabe has in his own confessions called the Gukurahundi period a moment of madness and regretted the incident. Meanwhile, there however appears to be no corresponding remorse from the greater parts of the people of Mashonaland origins to the people of Matabeleland Regions as matters of inflicting Shona superiority and dominance remain in order.
It is therefore not surprising to find people of this region believing the authenticity of an unverified so called Grand Plan document forcing some to demand for a separation of the Matabeleland region from the mainstream Zimbabwe.
This is why we find ourselves settling scores on such issues as football matches and even the latest Chronicle Newspaper Cartoon by one Musapenda who unfortunately forgot to take regard of his Shona origins in passing a joke on a predominantly Ndebele issue of outcry.
My appeal therefore to President Mugabe is that as he approaches the end of his tenure as President of this great nation it is imperative that he seriously considers leaving this country in a truly united form. A united form as the country was during the early struggles for independence under the great leadership of Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo, where every Zimbabwean was a son of the soil and was an equal citizen in the country.
During the constitution making process, we were consulted intensively as Zimbabweans on our possible way forward out of our squabbles and we agreed that a Truth and Reconciliation commission was our only way forward. We agreed to have this commission as a matter of urgency within the first ten years of our new constitution of which indeed some of us viewed this period as very short period. Already three of the ten years have since elapsed and nothing has been done yet we remain with the two major tribes of the country at each other’s throats over a known but ignored issue.
Mr. President, it will extremely be unfortunate if you had to leave governance of the country in which ever way without having people sit down and talk this matter over and bring unity, truce and reconciliation between the people. We don’t want a situation where those who will remain in charge after you would try to absolve themselves and throw all the blame on you and some who have since passed on or retired from the politics of the country.
It will further be very unfortunate if the matter of the Gukurahundi atrocities would be left in the hands of generations who never experienced them as it will certainly be wrongly handled based on the extremely distorted history of this country or based on information passed over to our children by us angry parents of the generation that experienced or witnessed the Gukurahundi times.
This is my genuine plea as a concerned citizen of the country to President Mugabe who we would love to see leave behind a great legacy not a legacy which will be followed by a nation left behind with anger and hatred of each other. We are certainly tired of fighting the excess salt fights when we all know where our real issue lies.
By Bekezela Maduma Fuzwayo