May I join in the debate around Joshua Nkomo, Khupe, Chamisa, Welshman, Mtambara etc etc. Apparently I happen to have worked under JN and with the rest in my political career. Without taking a neutral position in the discourse my experiences with all the persons mentioned above are as diverse as a double rainbow colors. Some bitter-sweet experiences in the words of Dr Johnson.
Nkomo’s commitment to nation building is yet to be matched by any one of us. Sadly it is this commitment that Mugabe and ZANU took advantage of to inculcate a toxic tribal consciousness, hinged on ethnic superiority at the expense of the people of this region, among the Shona people that negated all that Nkomo had worked so hard to achieve. Many of them in politics bought Mugabes teachings hook, line and sinker and it is in this realisation that whenever any of them especially those who rides on Mugabe’s divisive ideology of hatred like Chamisa says they recognise Nkomo’s contribution that leaves some of us with goose pimples.
This is cheap politicking. There is no doubt that Chamisa rose to power in the MDC on a tribal ticket, contradicting meritocracy Nkomo believed in. Is it possible that someone who consciously benefited from a tribally acquired privilege, violating the constitution of his party becomes suddenly averse to tribal hatred towards Nkomo promising a reversal of all done to minimise his contribution? And as if its the first time he has sided with his tribesmen in the abuse of the people of Matabeleland. In 2001 I was asked to work with two other people to investigate intraparty violence in the MDC. Chamisas name features prominently in the report and coincidentally Thokozani Khupe was one of the targets. When the MDC split in 2005 October 12, Chamisa went with his tribal group even as they had violated the party’s rules.
Chamisa will be remembered for heading the onslaught on the other faction especially on Welshman despite what we had heard that his fees at the Harare Polytec at some point was paid for by Welshman. Are we suggesting NKOMO should have joined the Rhodesia Front in order to bring independence. This is weird. People who have all these years associated themselves with the benefits of tribal inequalities cannot be the undoers of the consequences of tribal discrimination. That is why I think the whole Mnangagwa NPRC is an absolute fluke. He did the genocide . He can’t unmake it’s consequence . There would be something wrong with us to believe he can. I just find it outrageous.
When a lion and a zebra start sharing a watering hole at the same time raise your eyebrows. I think Nkomoists should fearlessly defend Nkomo’s integrity and his vslues from being soiled by political vultures who have chequered CVs seeking undeserved mileage from false and pretentious recognition of Nkomo’s stature. If we can be deceived by such pervasive lies surely we should also in the same vein accept the lie that Joice Mujuru now regrets insulting Nkomo when he insisted that she give Strive Masiyiwa a licence to operate the econet company. We should also believe Robert Mugabe when he says Zapu is the only revolutionary party he could vote for.
There is dignity in standing for truth. But when truth is told by those who are habitual liars the audience must become suspicious and sceptical. The story of Thokozani starts in 2000 when the top leadership of MDC in Matebeleland including Ncube rigged the primary election in Makhokhoba constituency in her favour leaving the other contestent Dr Mthupha disgusted but without recourse. She left the party quietly. The 2005 MDC split saw Khupe defying and betraying the same people who had gotten her into parliament when she lied about the cause of the split telling the public that Morgen was being villified by the Gibson Sibanda led group on tribal grounds, covering the tribal split by taking Morgens MDC faction deputy position to project a different narrative to the public.
The acrimonious political relationship between her and Ncube was further worsened when the two battled it out in 2009 in the same constituency when Ncube lost to her and she bragged that she had ‘eaten him’. In a way Thokos hounding out of the MDC-T leadership is a continuation of the unfinished battles with Welshman that started in 2005 or before.
The question as to whether she deserves sympathy from the people of her region should take into account her opportunistic tendencies at every turn but neither can it ignore the unjust way she has been treated by her friends turned enemies because the treatment reflects a generally held perception in that party about the people of this region that we are dispensable and disposable second grade citizens though I Dont think the way NCUBE has gone back to eat his vomit by shielding the Chamisas of this world from criticism over the practice of tribalism is the best way to preserve our dignity.
While I have nothing to do with him politically I feel embarassed that he is one of us in the region working hard to reinforce the tribal prejudices and tribal inequalities in exchange for position and personal glory. The statement he made in Plumtree about the Njelele shrine annointing a dubious character like Chamisa is an extremely unfortunate defilement of our traditional beliefs, beliefs central in Nkomo’s life in the struggle for independence.
It is time we took a hollistic view of events because in isolation they may look innocent but when globally viewd they tell an ugly story. For me one is dubious when he lies that he has been promised 15 billion dollars by a foreign Head of State immediately followed by a denial by that country. I see ZANU fingerprints in all this. Sorry for the lengthy submission.