The devastating impact of Xenophobia
Turning to the issue xenophobia, I am surprised why you only point out to its impact and consequences rather than the source. Xenophobia goes with the territory Mr Mabhena. The adage that charity begins at home is true. It is normal not only for human beings but the entire animal kingdom to start with feeding their families before they can share the left overs with strangers. What makes you think it is a right for a stranger to come to your home and eat the food of your children before yours can eat it?
In the case of America,xenophobic sentiments are openly advocated for and advanced by the incumbent President Donald Trump. The same situation is experienced in France and as that country prepares for Presidential election. The question of immigrants and strangers coming to steal jobs, houses and the like is at the heart of the election campaign and will undoubtedly influence the voting patterns and results. This is happening too in Britain and basically across Western and Eastern Europe. As you will know already, Europe is becoming a fortress against African migrants in particular, thousands of whom have been swallowed and drowned by the seas.
The question of Xenophobia illustrates vividly why we in the MLF want our country back, a country where we will be safe from any sort of dictatorship, violence, infliction of genocide and ethnic cleansing, rape, torture, any form of brutality, disappearance and any other form of intended harm. There is no sane person (akulamuntu olengqondo ezikwanileyo) who can choose willingly to be a slave; who can leave his home to be humiliated; who can literally entertain any sort of abuse and at times death at the hands of a mob; who can choose to be labelled as an undocumented unit (I mean statistically who is referred to not as a human being but a number just like being in prison); who can choose to be raped by the police in the host country so as not be deported; who can turn into prostitution simply because of lack of identity; who can choose not to be educated for the simple reason of being a migrant, and so on and so.
The question of Xenophobia is very emotive Mr Mabhena. Many of our boys and girls (pardon me for focusing on our people, it goes with the territory) having escaped the brutality of your Zimbabwe (which in due course you want to turn to a socialist entity) arrive in the neighbouring countries such as South Africa and Botswana alive, only to go back to their motherland dead.You Mr Mabhena can attest to that as you clearly point out that at the time of starting a conversation with myself, you had already received threats of ‘xenophobic attack in Mamelodi, Diepsloot’ and elsewhere.
It is in terms of the foregoing that I agree entirely with you that it xenophobic attacks do‘not discriminate in terms of ethnicity, but attacks everyone who is said to be a foreign national in South Africa’.But what you fail to recognise is that the infliction of genocide and ethnic cleansing by Mugabe’s Zimbabwe on the people of Mthwakazi was in effect and practice a higher variant of Xenophobia, so is the Grand Plan, so is the violent dispossession of our land which has been given to the chief drivers of Zimbabwe’s Xenophobia. There is no escaping the fact that xenophobia affects the people of Mthwakazi, not only in South Africa, but elsewhere in the world as well. Xenophobia is essentially a result of the unintended consequences of those who put us in this hell-hole pot called Zimbabwe.
In the final analysis, it is the Organisation of African Union (now the African Union) that must be ultimately be held responsible for xenophobia, not only as it affects the entire African population in Africa, but in other continents as well. Just like those thieves that you easily identify as being responsible for ‘looting’ your ‘wealth in Harare’, the AU (through its member states) has been nothing but a disgrace club from inception, as it not only protected but actively participated in promoting all forms of violence meted out by dictatorial and brutal regimes against own citizens and those ruled by conquest throughout Africa. The AU has been a looter of human consciousness, well-being and the survival strategies of all the citizens of the African continent, with impunity, irrespective of identity, ethnicity, and nationality.
Had the AU been concerned about the imposed unitary boundaries, governance, human rights, rule of law, infrastructural development, free speech and free press, employment, poverty, and a range of equally important developmental issues affecting the people of the this continent, instead of paying attention to the pursuit of looting and endless corruption, no one throughout Africa would have been forced tocome to South Africa, or to go to any other country for that matter to irk a living. Rather only those in pursuit of greener pastures and skills development without having been compelled by life and death situations to survive on mother earth, would be migrating out of their countries.
Mr Mabhena, why is it that it is only in Africa that millions of people are forced out of their countries and habitat, not because of poverty, but because of the brutish nature of their governments or those that rule them by conquest, but this is not happening elsewhere in other continents? Fundamentally of critical importance to this conversation is why did you think as argued in your letter, it was important for OAU to resolve to, and I quote: ‘support the then Southern Rhodesia and other African States that were still under colonial occupation’ without this support being tied to the respect of human rights, rule of law, recognition of diversity of ethnic groups, freedom of speech and so forth?
Specifically, as also mentioned Mr Mabhena, why do you think, and I quote; ‘It was resolved that theliberation movements would respect the new colonial boundaries without any changes to them’, without there being a recognition that within those imposed boundaries there were different ethnic groups and nationalities with own identity, culture and way of life? I posed this question elsewhere within the context of this conversation. Whether you agree with me or not, I have demonstrated that by invoking the OAU in your letter as one of your major planks, you only exacerbated your weakness in political discourse and analysis.
The OAU is one of the worst disasters to have been witnessed on mother earth. It has not only condoned but also supported the slaughter, rape, torture, and disappearances of millions of Africans in this continent, and in so doing has singularly aided the domination and underdevelopment of this continent by the Caucasian (White) race. Why? Because it has been run most of the times by despots who are under the payroll of former colonial masters and, to use your own words ‘thieves and looters’ whose only concern has been fat bank accounts, hundreds of properties and violation of the sanctity of women with impunity.
If we are to develop and put an end to the xenophobicattacks throughout the continent and abroad, we in the MLF strongly argue for the establishment of a new continental body, a rival organisation if you like, which will vigorously pursue several strategies simultaneously. Of these, the first would be to accord recognition to the different ethnic groups and nationalities whose countries were woven together in unitary state systems that suited and benefited the Rule by Conquest of the powers that be. Why? Because, genocide, ethnic cleansing, brutality and rape, including being given a false identity like Rhodesian, Zimbabwean, and all that pain does not wash away our identity as the people of Mthwakazi.
Even if, in your own thinkingMr Mabhena, you believe that struggling for the restoration of Mthwakazi is ‘a myth’; that alone still does not and would never ever change our inner feelings of belonging to the Mthwakazi community in soul and spirit. Even the holocaust did not change the identity of the Jewish people. Similarly, even under an imposed ‘socialist Zimbabwe’ overMthwakazi,that situation will not change who we are; on the contrary we continue to remain as a people of Mthwakazi perpetually. Put differently, no amount of pain or of happiness can ever change our proud Mthwakazian identity.
Secondly, the recognition of ethnic groups, and nationalities and their original boundaries within Africa by such a new continental body (and not the OAU or AU) would reverse all the biased development strategies that favoured the political community in power, such as the Zanu-pf regime. Mthwakazi would therefore be in charge of its resources. We are equally capable of charting a new destiny for ourselves and we don’t need a ‘so-called socialist Zimbabwe whatever that means’ to chart a developmental paradigm for us. In this way, the Shona dynasty under Zanu-pf or socialist Zimbabwe would not have any opportunity in imposing its will over the people of Mthwakazi. Likewise all the colonised nations and ethnic groups throughout Africa, including the people of Barotseland would be free to chart a developmental path that would benefit their citizens.
It is only in this way that the incidence and scourge of xenophobia as it affects all of us can become a thing of the past. Sadly, as things stand, there is a lot of money to be made out of our misery through various corrupt activities that include human trafficking, prostitution and outright bribery for the procurement of documentation. Clearly therefore such a Continental body, for which I am one of the people who is ready to not only formulate its framework and synopsis, but to actually drive it together with like nations without states in Africa specifically in order to found our own states (Mthwakazi included). It is only in this way that we would pursue both the perpetrators of the brutality that was inflicted on our people and the recovery of our resources that were, again to use your own words, ‘looted by the thieves in Harare’.
Only by revisiting the nature and question of separate identities and associated rights to exit as members of the human race on this earth without fear, favour or prejudice; that the scourge of xenophobia could be efficiently and effectively addressed. Sadly, in the meantime, you are unfortunately likely to continue dealing with the effects of the failure by the OAU now AU to accord everyone in this continent respect for human dignity. I am afraid, as long as the South African governmental does not rise to the challenge of assuming its responsibility as a continental power here in the South, in ensuring that all these evil regimes to the north of here are brought to order and accountability, incidents of xenophobia can only continue.
Even the Shona people have finally recognised that ‘the pamberineZanu-pf slogan’ does not put food in theirmouths; hence they have continued to flee that wretched country in millions as well, only to be equally exposed to incidents of violence and xenophobia.Is it not hypocrisy therefore, for you Mr Mabhena to think about fighting for a ‘so-called socialist Zimbabwe’ instead of your own homeland, Mthwakazi? When we fail to interrogate the environment objectively from the heart, one wonders whether it is one’s design or mere self-convincing that says a lot about the complexity of our collective humanity.
Jacob Zuma, for example has been campaigning for a permanent seat for Africaat the United Nations Security Council in New York, with equal vetoing powers, yet he has continued to condone the behaviour of dictators like Mugabe and King Mswati (whose so-called citizens have flooded South Africa in ways never imagined historically) and a resulted triggering xenophobic violence, pain, injuries, disabilities and deaths. How then does Jacob Zuma reconcile the behaviour of his nemesis, the leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) who has called him so many things with the voiceless of Swaziland, Mthwakazi and elsewhere? Given a chance, would Jacob Zuma be a dictator, if for example he was President of a country without a constitution in which the rule of law is unequivocally embedded?
Answers to these questions should help you Mr Mabhena to rediscover who you really are and not what you want to be. It is painful to live a life that is imaginary, to live a dream that you have been continually warned against, and only with hindsight wish you had taken a different path that is just and unequivocally in the interests of generations of your folks. Do you really think that ifNkomohad foreseenall this mess he would still have continued to lead the people of Mthwakazi in the same direction of a hell-hole which epitomises everything that has been thrown against us? What then are you in defence of Mr Mabhena? Is it only the name divorced from this leadership actions?
13. Understanding the International Political System
It is important to introduce you at this juncture to perhaps the key perspectives in understanding World Politics throughout the world. The first is the ‘politics of power and security’. In terms of this perspective (something which Dr Nkomo should had been advised about),the world is full of anarchy and therefore states are concerned with their national security. In other words, we need to restore the state of Mthwakazi first and defend it before we can pursue any other programmes including your Marxism-Leninism. The second is the politics of interdependence and transnational relations. Under this perspective we co-exist, interact, sign treaties and trade regulations as neighbours both within the region and internationally.
The third is the politics of dominance and dependence in which Mthwakazi has been subjected to for so long. It is as a result of this scenario that we are perceived as nothing, but subjects to be ruled and ridiculed even by our fellow citizens who in order to survive, just like Mpoko, Simon KhayaMoyo, Obed Mpofu, and now of course, the so-called MRP by its collusion with Zanu-pf in hiding the genocide evidence, and indeed your own vision of a ‘socialist Zimbabwe’, we are up against a global system that perpetually disadvantages us and sees us a myth, not as a people of Mthwakazi.
With these perspectives, you can go back to the ancient Greek City, to the times of great philosophers before Karl Marx, such as Plato, Aristotle, Socrates right up to and beyond Kant to understand the Peloponnessian War by Thucydides, The Prince by Michiavelli, The Leviathan by Hobbes and others. These primarily answer to what you have referred to and I quote: ‘The Zulu nation was born through military conquest including the Mthwakazi state itself’.That is exactly the point, Mr Mabhena, many states were born not primarily out of power and conquest, but out of the pursuit for power and security. What is true however is that atno time were the people of Mthwakazi ever been conquered by the people of Mashonaland, we have never been defeated historically and contemporarily?
Of course we were butchered but never defeated in battle. The state of Mthwakazi similarly was not born out of conquest, Mr Mabhena, that is simply not true and you are kindly referred to Maphenduka’s book, The Rule by Conquest, The struggle in Mthwakazi, 2015. The emphasis with the history from the Greek City to this day is that there have always been wars, therefore we cannot be confined to something that you clearly state was crafted by so-called nationalists perpetually. We are not and will not be Zimbabweans under what characterisation, whether by capitalist or socialist terminologies. Even Britain was at one time it was under the rule of the Vikings and then again of the Roman Empire. But they did overcome those types of conquest only to conquer most of Africa in the late 19th century, why then must we give up by citing all sorts of unworkable excuses?
I only have a few points by way of conclusion and these are, Mr Mabhena: you have failed dismally to present a case in ‘Defence of Dr Joshua MqabukoKaNyongoloNkomo’. As I have clearly articulated in the course of this Treatise on Mthwakazi, there is virtually no shred of evidence that you have presented by way of your argument. Even in emotive terms alone, there is virtually nothing to defend. You know, Mr Mabhena, when you defend you should be able to articulate clearly what are the tangibles that Nkomo’s leadership rewarded the people of Mthwakazi with? Is there anything there we can hold on to as the people of Mthwakazi? What are the benefits and gains that the people of Mthwakazi derived from that leadership? Remember, maybe you are confusing Nkomo’s leadership for the liberation of Zimbabwe with what it ought to have been in relation to that of Mthwakazi.
As far as Zimbabwe is concerned, I myself have argued consistently,citing irrefutable evidence without failthat Dr Joshua MqabukoKaNyongoloNkomo was really was a dinosaur of that country’s liberation without any shadow of down. He sacrificed more than anybody, not even Robert Gabriel Mugabe can match that sacrifice and contribution. But the question is, do the people of Zimbabwe themselves, namely the Shona people recognise that sterling, effortless and towering contribution? If that is the case, what are they doing to defendit? Why must Nkomo’s contribution only be defended by people of Mthwakazi origin, such as yourself Mr Mabhena, and not the Shona people who benefitted most from his tireless efforts?
Is it not the other way round that since inception from 1980, they have all been hell-bent in destroying his legacy;contribution and sacrifice to the liberation of that country? Is it not the case that he is not recognised even in their history books? When exactly are they going to be teaching about Nkomo in all the schools throughout Mashonaland, and for that matter in Mthwakazi? Must it take an eternity for that to happen? Is it not the case that they have continuously pursued a path designed to erase his contribution. Now as defenders of his contribution yourselves, what is it that you are doing about it? Are you shouting over the roof tops in Harare and elsewhere throughout Mashonaland;as well as in Mthwakazi; holding workshops and seminars in order to put the record straight? Of course not; there is absolutely nothing that you are doingabout his legacy!
Apart from people of Mthwakazi origin, do you know of a single Shona person who is defending Nkomo’s contribution as it pertains to the liberation of Zimbabwe? Why then must you find it fitting to defend his legacy only amongst the people of Mthwakazi, and not in Zimbabwe? These are some of the questions that should provide you with a proper accurate perspective when interrogating Nkomo’s contribution for the struggle of Zimbabwe. Because it is only yourselves, namely people from Mthwakazi (as second class, third class, fourth class citizens in that country) who are defending Nkomo’s contribution; but sadly these are distant and very faint voices. The Shona people in power do not hear you.
It is such questions which guide us as the MLF, solely in order to prevent a repetition of history in which the people of Mthwakazi are used only to be dumped in the dustbin again. We are therefore determined to guard against being led astray into believing that Mthwakazi is synonymous with Zimbabwe. It is in that regard that we oppose what the so-called MRP is doing, by on the one hand confusing the people of Mthwakazi into believing that they are evicting Shona teachers in Mthwakazi (something that we do not support); and at the same time saying that they want to be elected into the Zimbabwe parliament. Shona teachers are Zimbabweans. The Parliament that these guys want to go to is also a Zimbabwean Parliament? Why then make people of Mthwakazi fools, and in particular why bring the name of Mthwakazi into disrepute? It is in those terms that we believe that the so-called MRP is a CIO project, a smokescreen, aimed at irreparably damaging the Restoration Agenda of Mthwakazi
It is precisely because of the failure to answer some of these questions as the people of Mthwakazi that we decided; it was indeed a futile exercise to seek to continue to devote our energies in a system that will never recognise us at any time. If the powers that be and their followers are hell-bent in destroying that contribution, why the hack should we waste our time in investing our energies in a system that outrightly rejects us. If a figure of Nkomo’s stature andcharisma can be ridiculed and humiliated, who are we to stand achance of any recognition other than as sell-outs and nonentities?
There is a saying in English that says: ‘once beaten twice shy’. Like many people of Mthwakazi origin, we lost countless loved ones for nothing, not even for a name or walk in the park, in the struggle for Zimbabwe. After that we were brutalised, inflicted with genocide and all other ills, should we therefore pray that one day we will be recognised. Of course not! It is then that we decided to review our history which, by the way we were never taught anywhere: whether in schools or, at refugee camps. What we found was a proud history of a warrior nation with strong human values. Hence we embarked on the Restoration Agenda for Mthwakazi.
In a nutshell we heeded Karl Marx’s advice when he observed that before his time, ‘philosophers only interpreted the world as it was’ but the point was to ‘change it’. But in order to change our circumstances as the people of Mthwakazi, we were guided by ‘what is to be done’ question from Vladmir Lenin. It is then that we came up with theidea of Mthwakazi Liberation Front as a vehicle that would assist us endeavour to enter into a conversation such as this one from you Mr Mabhena. And what a conversation has it been, in defence of Mthwakazi Restoration Philosophy!
If Southern Rhodesia died in the minds of the vanquished people of Mthwakazi; then died also the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, followed by the death also of Rhodesia; after which Zimbabwe-Rhodesia also experienced the same death. So why do you think what we about is a myth? Zimbabwe too will also die in theminds of the peopleof Mthwakazi, when the rebirth of the State of Mthwwakazi is realised in our lifetime.
I THANK YOU
Dr Mpiyesizwe Churchill Guduza
MLF Vice President &Mthwakazian Scholar.
MLF Vice President &Mthwakazian Scholar.