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ZAPU finds President Robert Mugabe’s recent public outburst against “Kalangas” to be built on the same dangerous stereotypes of old that brought about the serious tribal divisions that continue to tear the nation apart today.

It is so unfortunate that at a time when he should be have sought help to arrest the political and economic rot that he single-handedly caused and which he has presided over since he first controversially got into power 35 years ago, Mugabe decided to single out one of the country’s tribes for ridicule in front of the African and indeed the international community.

Instead of taking the opportunity to explain his governance failures that have continued to drive Zimbabweans out of their country to seek political and economic solace in other countries – where they are being exploited, Mugabe exposed them to further ridicule when he gave a hate-driven insinuation that Kalangas are involved in crime in South Africa.

Coming barely a week after his spokesman and state media columnist, George Charamba aka Nathaniel Manheru, seemed to celebrate that people from Matabeleland had also been attacked during the xenophobic violence that gripped South Africa in the past few weeks, the latest statement by the master of deceit further cements the already widely-held belief that Zanu PF will always treat as sub-human ordinary Zimbabweans, especially those from the western part of the country.

There is no gainsaying the fact that it is such bigotry and tribal hate that brought about Gukurahundi- the bloodiest episode in the post-independent Zimbabwe, which killed an estimated 20,000 civilians and displaced thousands of others, opening the first mass exodus by the people of Matabeleland-including the Kalangas, into South Africa, where they sought refuge.

The extent of Mugabe’s brutality and bigotry is demonstrated in that the people of Matebeleland, the Kalanga included, found it safe to be under Apartheid South Africa than to be under a supposedly democratically elected African leader!

It is, therefore, unfortunate that the same Mugabe, responsible for the same genocide that he later on called “a moment of madness”, would come on a re-bound and add salt to injury by offending the victims of the same genocide.

The oxymoron of it all is that the greater Kalanga migration into South Africa only began during Gukurahundi, and that the Kalangas are “uneducated” today as a result of the age-old tribal bigotry displayed by Mugabe.

While it has always been clear that public schools are far and wide between in Matabeleland as part of a well-orchestrated Grand Plan by Mugabe and his cronies to deny the people of the region their fundamental right to education, it comes out of taste when the same architect of that modus operandi comes back wielding the lack of education rod to smash the remaining iota of dignity of his victims.

If the Kalangas were indeed “uneducated” as Mugabe wants the whole of Africa and the world to believe, who else should shoulder that blame than the man who sent soldiers to kill in the goriest of methods the breadwinners of their families? Where does Mugabe expect Kalanga children to learn when the nearest of the few day schools in some communities remains 35kilometers away?

Instead of gloating at the “uneducated” Kalangas, Mugabe, if he was half the national leader that he is supposed to be, should have celebrated the many Kalangas that have continued to fly high the Zimbabwean flag in South Africa, including Professors Mthuli Ncube, Sabelo-Gatsheni Ndlovu and Tawana Khupe for contributing to both the South African and continental cause.

It is also strange that Mugabe would today turn around and claim that the same South Africa – where he at some stage in his life went to seek education, is “not heaven”. South Africa may not be heaven, but for ordinary people, it is far much better than the hell-hole that Mugabe has turned Zimbabwe into since he took power in 1980.

We, therefore, find Mugabe’s recent reckless display of narcissistic and flamboyant hedonism coupled with what have now become incessant state media jibes at the people of Matabeleland by his spokesman, should give the people of Zimbabwe an insight into how the nonagenarian’s tribal dementia holds sway in Zanu PF. Demented as he is, Mugabe is Zanu PF and vice-versa so what comes out of his mouth is always a reflection of what is agreed upon within the walls of the Munhumutapa Building, and every Zanu PF member sings in sync with that.

Zimbabweans should remember that Mugabe insulted the people of Matabeleland again when he addressed a rally in 2013, accusing them of rushing to South Africa at every turn. That insult was followed by similar provocation from his wife, Grace, when she addressed a rally in Gwanda last year. Disrespect for the people of Zimbabwe, especially those from the country’s Western Region, now seems to be entrenched in the DNA of not only the Mugabes, but the whole of Zanu PF as well.

That is why senior Zanu PF members will not go public and admit that their leader has wronged the nation. Zapu notes that the statements by Mugabe, his wife and his spokesman have been followed by action on the ground, where Zanu PF is sending people from other regions and state security agents to displace villagers as they occupy the most fertile farmland. All this, happening in the very region where Zanu PF supposedly won the majority of seats, is a clear indication that the political fossil is moving fast towards the completion of his project to not only try and drive the people of Matabeleland out of Zimbabwe, but also squeeze them into extinction by turning them into enigmas in the countries where they seek protection from his hounds.

He is following the same methods used by his equal and former German dictator, Adolph Hitler, when the latter hounded the Jews.

We implore Mugabe’s clueless leadership to take a drive around rural Plumtree, where the same Kalangas have developed their home areas to commendable levels that the Mugabe leadership has failed to match in any other rural area in Zimbabwe. Instead of insulting Zimbabweans and inciting more public hatred against them in the countries where they have continued to toil for their well-being, Mugabe should be preparing to vacate State House and allow better brains to restore Zimbabwe to its bread basket of Africa status.

Instead of dividing them further, this should however, jerk the people of Zimbabwe off their laurels to fight these continued attempts by Zanu PF to further segment them along tribal lines. The time has come for the people of Zimbabwe to show Mugabe and his ruining party the middle finger in every coming election, beginning with the forthcoming by-elections, for voting Zanu PF will always translate to voting disaster.

It is high time the people of Zimbabwe saw through Mugabe’s attempts to try and divert their attention from real issues through tribalism-a method he has used since he controversially assumed power in 1980. He wants the people of Zimbabwe to start poking each other in the eye on tribal lines instead of holding Zanu PF to account for their continued governance failures. He wants to turn Zimbabwe into a nation that majors on minors and minors on majors.

As a party that fought to end white racist rule in Zimbabwe, Zapu has now taken it upon itself to fight the tribalism and racism that the Mugabe regime continues to peddle in Zimbabwe. We have realized that Mugabe will always rely on the divide and rule tactics to strengthen his stranglehold on power, but the time has come for Zimbabweans to identify with Zapu, a party that will always uphold the true values for which the country’s liberation war was waged and won.

Source : New Zimbabwe

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