Does Mathebeleland need three Kings of Nguni tribe?

Does Mathebeleland need three Kings of Nguni tribe?
Published: 05 February 2018 (444 Views)
It is hard to ignore what is happening in Mathebeleland regarding Kingships. We now have three potential Kings claiming to be the rightful owners of the throne. Which is which, is one million dollar questions, who is the rightful person to the throne? The Nguni tribe constitute barely: circa 5% of the population of Mathebeleland. There are many other Kingdoms in Mathebeleland who will want their Kingdoms to be reinstated equally. Who are going to be subjects of Khumalo Kingdom? Who in Mathebeleland either than the Nguni tribe is going to honour the King of Mathebeleland and pay king-tax? Do we need three of them? Why a king now, what is the purpose of a king in 2018 in the first place?

Are those that are not of Nguni tribe going to be forced to be subjects of any of the three kings who are now frantically claiming Kingship? How are they going to fight it out so that one of them becomes the winner, the accepted king? Do these verbal fights already existing in Mathebeleland not reflect badly on the other tribes in Mathebeleland, reflect worse on how fragmented we are in this wish to have a king despite serious other problems bedevilling the region? In this day and age, no other tribes in Mathebeleland are going to be forced to be subjects to the King Mzilikazi or King Lobengula. I can assure you this because I have made my own due diligence. These institutions called Kings are not innovative by any account but a liability to their subjects. They have to be serviced by the very merger national treasury: the tax payer. Alone Zimbabwe cannot service foreign and domestic debt. The economy is in shambles to say the least, and yet we have people who still want to have some status symbol: a King. Are these not kind wishes?

We are a developing country and not Great Britain or South Africa to emulate. The United Kingdom can afford it because they are a developed country. Kingdoms in any case have been outdated and systematically removed in most countries of the world. Kingdoms are mostly emotions that seek identity more than anything else. We have suffered enough in this region yes but Mathebeleland is so diversified in terms of tribes; there are about 8 tribes in the region. Are the Nguni tribes saying they are nobler than other tribes in the region to impose their kingdom on all of us? To speak isiNdebele or to be called Nomazulu did not in any way mean that we are all of Nguni tribe.

We have serious problems in the region to attend to, think about the marginalisation of the region, and think about our women and children who are living in the margins of the society. We are a disadvantaged lot in terms of social and economic development. We have a problem too, the painful past: Gugurahundi genocide of the 1980s we really do not know how even today how the government is going to tackle it. Most of the population still do not have birth certificates and national identity documents. There are all signs that to get justice we want from the Zanu PF government will not be a walk in the rose garden. We are going to put a big fight to get justice for those who are living and the dead. No washy washy solutions no pseudo justice in our life time.

This is the time all the people in the region and beyond came together and speak with one voice to demand justice for the atrocities committed in this region. This Hullaballoo about who is the rightful King of Mathebeleland is the least problem we can still afford regarding the painful challenges we have in the region. This choice of kingships is getting nastier by the day. Most countries in the world are getting rid of monarchs; on the other hand, the people of Mathebeleland are yearning for a King. Is that not development in reverse gear? What we know about Kings is that they are absolute, non democratic in their rules and regulations and not constitutional. Who is going to bow down to a self proclaimed King in exponentially developing global economies?

Who is going to fiancé the entire kraal of the King or three Kings? Is Mathebeleland that resourceful enough to still maintain Kingdoms and the several wives and many children? Who is going to adhere to those back of beyond traditions of yesteryear in 2018? Are our young girls going to dance umhlanga nak'd as we see this happening in the neighbourhoods of Zululand and Swaziland? All regional resources should be channelled into developing the region and not to sustain a not so productive, old and out of touch with the world institutions called Kingdoms of Mathebeleland.

We are deeply concerned about this development that appears to be dangerous if it's not handled with the sensitivity it deserves: the three camps ready for a fight. We do not need a monarch in the first place. We need our equal rights we cannot be second class citizens in our country. We demand devolution in the provinces so that we develop and empower ourselves and be part of national, regional, continental and global changes facing humanity. We want truly sustainable development in this region in accordance with sustainable development goals of the UN.

We hope in your royal-constitution you shall make it explicitly clear that the subjects of the King are the Nguni tribe and never force any other tribes in the region to be subjects of three potential kings of Mathebeleland. It could be that those I have spoken to and indeed myself we are missing the importance of the King in our lives. It should however be made categorically clear that the Nguni kingdom are not blanket kingdoms this time round. Their Kingdoms cannot forcefully constitute all those tribes in the regions of Mathebeleland. Those times are gone!

I humbly ask the people of Mathebeleland to regroup and fight immediate and present challenges we have at hand. At the moment the burning issues are the genocide atrocities and the marginalization we face in the region. The government of Mnangagwa Zanu PF wants to renege the constitution by denying us devolution enshrined in the national constitution. We demand devolution that will give us a golden chance to development the region and empower our diverse societies. Devolution empowers the region evidently as it has happened in other countries: precedence available. These tasks we have already in our hands are of great importance, will cost us two generations to ever manage it and contain it. In the midst of our regional challenges the least we want to have are wars regarding the Kingships in the region, and the fragmented Mthwakazi parties.

 This dimension of fighting royal wars, who is to be King of Mathebeleland, should never be generalized to be a regional problem by any account. It will take us back if our problems we want to resolve are divergent and disparaging antithetical by the day; it defeats the purpose of ever fighting for our equal rights in the region, right to self-empowerment.

Already we have three distinct camps potentially at war with one another. They are going to fight it out who is to be the rightful king of Mathebeleland and one will come out as winner: is that not fertile ground for war inside the region or inside the Nguni tribe alone? How is that war going to be fought, by combat or democratically? To put it mildly, how are democratic processes going to be implemented to declare one as winner and the two others as losers? Can we afford this already brewing conflict in the region?

Can we not look around precedence's in other parts of the world: the wish of people to secede from the main state and become autonomous: I have South Sudan as a practical example? There is no peace in South Sudan despite the fact that they successful seceded from the mainland Sudan. Is that we need in Mathebeleland, conflicts again after those horrendous atrocities of genocide nature in the same region? I should never be understood as capitulating but any combat conflicts, the women and children suffer more than men.

Alone the political parties of Mthwakazi are fragmented, we have lost track of how many they are in Mathebeleland region, a recipe and fertile ground for conflicts in the future. I am aware of the fact that this article will invite many insults; by no account am I a sympathizer of Zanu PF, I have never been Zanu PF the whole of my life. It is galling to read in social media conflicts resonating from the selection processes of the future King of Mathebeleland. For goodness sake we have much more painful problems that need urgency to solve.

We also do not know how many princes will come up and self impose themselves as Kings of Mathebeleland in the near future. How long will this circus go on? In all those fightings the women and children will be losers of it all. Women are going to be parcelled as cannon fodder of internal displacements and servants of the monarchs. We do not know how many virg'n girls will be married every year in the yearly Mhlanga dances to attract tourists. I rest my case while I wait for the curse upon me!


- Nomazulu Thata

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