THE POLITICAL STRUGGLE FOR MTHWAKAZI’S NATIONHOOD

IMPI YEHAWU LESIZWE SOHLANGA

 

Kuyini Impi YeHawu YeSizwe SoHlanga?

We have called our political struggle Impi YeHawu yeSizwe SoHlanga, the Struggle for Mthwakazi’s nationhood. Or simply, Impi yeHawu. Our forebears called theirs Imfazwe or Umvukela. We have called ours Impi yeHawu. The shield/ihawu is a weapon of defence. In our political struggle, it symbolises the defence of our nation, our people, against an undeclared war of aggression crafted to destroy uMthwakazi’s nationhood. It is also a defence against state terrorism, against state-induced starvation of our people and against an insidious system designed to slowly eat away uMthwakazi away from the glare and scrutiny of the international community.

In using the shield/ihawu, we are emphasising that we are defending NOT creating the nation of Mthwakazi. We are asserting uMthwakazi’s prior existence as a nation, a state. This is no present or wild claim. The nation of Mthwakazi is political fact, known internationally, and as further made clear by the system of repression and domination against uMthwakazi set up by Mugabe and Zanu (PF) since Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980.

Impi yeHawu is NOT an armed struggle. It is a political struggle. Yes, we want to create our new state of UMR without resort to violence and war. This is the principle which will guide us as the political movement of MTHWAKAZI. We reject violence and war as means for attaining our goal. But in stating this principle, we do not deny or reject war as a means for self-defence. We claim the right of self-defence as it is recognised in international law and practice. We will do everything in our power to defend our people against being killed and starved by Zimbabwe, as they have until now. We will stop Zimbabwe’s right to kill and starve our people with impunity. The world has done nothing about both. We only have ourselves to do so.

As MTHWAKAZI we fully understand the militancy, anger and frustration in our people. We acknowledge the view amongst some of our people that armed struggle is the only means open to us to achieve political justice for the people of Matebeleland and Ndebele-speaking parts of the Midlands, indeed even in Zimbabwe of today. As MTHWAKAZI we acknowledge this view as authentic and as dictated by the political circumstance of national tragedy and unrelenting repression under Zimbabwe’s rule. Nonetheless, as uMTHWAKAZI our view is that armed struggle must be a last resort, a last resort we hope we will NEVER have to exercise. Let us harness the existing political processes and mechanisms available to us. We are sure freedom and justice will prevail in the end.

UMTHWAKAZI therefore rejects armed struggle as a strategy in our struggle but we reserve our right to defend ourselves by all means available to us if attacked militarily. As a movement, we promise the Gukurahundi adventure will never happen again on our soil. To the peace and security of Mthwakazi we are committed as a movement. It is our collective responsibility.

We are sure that through our political struggle, through Impi YeHawu, we will deliver uMthwakazi’s independence and sovereignty through peaceful political process. As uMTHWAKAZI President says in his/her message, let us internationalise our political struggle. That is the first task we have to achieve. And each one of us has a part we can and should play in that endeavour. Let us all play our part. The following words by Winston Churchill are worth noting from the outset of your contact with this website:

If you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed, if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly, you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a small chance of survival. There may be even a worse case: you may have to fight when there is no hope for victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.” (Winston Churchill, The Gathering Storm).

Mthwakazi, this is our time. There will never be a better time!

Political steps possible through ImpiYeHawu

So what political processes are possible under Impi YeHawu? The following are just some, and not all, of the processes that are available to MTHWAKAZI to kick-start the political struggle for independence under Impi YeHawu. We appeal to Members of the movement to give us more ideas on the best and shortest ways to achieve our independence through political means. This information can be provided through our Debating Forum (Enkundleni) or through our information portal info@mthwakazionline.org or through the organs of the movement where a person may be registered as a member:

1. Agreement on the Political Independence and Territorial Sovereignty of UMR

Beginning immeditely, uMTHWAKAZI through uMhlahlandlela (presently the National Convention of MTHWAKAZI), must seek agreement on a MEMORANDUM OF AGREEMENT FOR THE POLITICAL INDEPENDENCE AND TERRITORIAL SOVEREIGNTY OF MTHWAKAZI. UMTHWAKAZI sees this as the very first step we must fully explore and exhaust. Were this to be achieved, it would represent victory for all the sides involved in this matter. The precise mechanisms of going about this strategy will be discussed with MTHWAKAZI’s membership as we go along.

Where such a Memorandum of Agreement is signed, the issue of Mthwakazi’s independence will no longer go through Stages 2, 3 and 4 below. In other words, there is no need to proceed to the Constitutional Conference and to the New Constitution stages. The process can go straight to Stages 5, 6 and 7 discussed below.
It is hoped that such an Agreement will be underwritten by the UN, major powers and other organisations.

2. Transitional Government (TG)

If agreement cannot be reached in terms of 1 above, it may mean proceeding to the stage of a transitional government.
At the formation of the Transitional Government the people of Matebeleland and the Midlands (Mthwakazi), together with other interested political formations, must insist on the appointment of politically neutral persons to head the TG, persons who not contesting for political office in the new elections. We must particularly reject and resist the appointment to the Transitional Government of certain individuals who are responsible for the Gukurahundi Genocide and any other human rights violations perpetrate in present-day Zimbabwe.

3. Constitutional Conference (CC)

During the Transitional Government, uMTHWAKAZI through Mhlahlandlela, must insist on a Constitutional Conference (CC) prior to the writing of a New Constitution. The purpose of the CC will be to identify, and where possible agree, on a list or inventory of Constitutional Issues (CI) to be included and written into the new draft constitution as Constitutional Points (CP). Here, uMTHWAKAZI, again through uMhlahlandlela, must insist and seek agreement on the inclusion of UMR’s independence as a constitutional issue. If agreement is reached at this stage uMthwakazi’s independence will become a Constitutional Point. Failing agreement, the matter of Mthwakazi’s independence must be deferred to the Independence Referendum outlined in paragraph 5 below. Essentially the CC must be configured in such a way that it will not have power to block any issue considered by any of the parties to be a constitutional issue.
These Constitutional Points will become Constitutional Provisions upon adoption of the New Constitution.

4. New Constitution (NC)

All Constitutional Points must be converted into Constitutional Provisions as the new Draft Constitution which once adopted will become the New Constitution. The legal basis of the New Constitution will be the Political Agreement signed by all political parties and participating organisations which it is hoped will include international actors such as the UN and major world powers. A lot can be learnt from Iraq’s unfolding constitutional arrangements in the post Second Gulf War period.

5. UN Special Mission for Matebeleland (UNSMM)

Either once a Memorandum of Agreement is signed or once the New Constitution providing for UMR’s independence is adopted (if the matter has proceeded to the Constitutional Conference) the UN must immediately dispatch the UN Special Mission to Mthwakazi (Matebeleland and allied parts of the Midlands), UNSMM. The purpose of UNSMM will be to ensure that the international community, through UNSMM, engages all the political processes necessary to formally constitute UMR to existence and extend international recognition. UNSMM’s role will be:

To oversee the writing of UMR’s independence constitution;
To supervise and run the independence referendum outlined in 6 below;
To run and oversee UMR’s first independence elections.

Prior to the steps above being taken, it is expected that UNSMM, perhaps with the assistance of the Commonwealth, will deploy a full-strength UN Stabilization Force in Mthwakazi (UNSFM) whose purpose will be to remove all destabilization and intimidatory forces that have been continuously active in Matebeleland and the Midlands since 1980 and create conditions conducive for a free and fair independence referendum to be held. Another role for UNSFM will be to deploy along the provisional border between Zimbabwe and the new UMR, pending agreement or arbitration on permanent borders between the new UMR and Zimbabwe.
Please note also that UNSMM can precede both the Memorandum of Agreement and the adoption of the New Constitution. A lot will depend on the political responsibility of the international community, the Zimbabwe Government and the people of Matebeleland and the Midlands acting through MTHWAKAZI.

6. Mthwakazi Independence Referendum (MIR)

Once provisional borders are secured, the Independence Referendum in Matebeleand and Midlands must be held. MIR must be an internationally-underwritten and supervised process, preferably by the UN, world governments and other interested organisations such as the Commonwealth and SADC.

7. Elections

Once all the 6 Steps above have been met, the first independence elections will be held and power handed over to the newly-elected government. Effectively that will end the UN’s role on the ground. Nonetheless it is expected the UN and other international organizations will continue to play a role for some time on issues regarding security, permanent borders and division of assets between the new UMR and Zimbabwe.

8. MGTA

UMthwakazi Government Transitional Authority (MGTA) is another possible formula between Memorandum of Agreement and new elections for UMR. Its advantage is that it would relieve the UN of the direct financial and practical burden of running the affairs of the upcoming UMR as governments and international organisations will be able to provide funding directly to the MGTA much as the Palestinian Authority is such a formula. MGTA will also be a good measure of the way the new UMR will be governed.
UMTHWAKAZI would welcome this formula but with the proviso that definite timetables are agreed for each stage of the process leading to UMR’s independence.

NOTE:
These steps are by way of example only and are DESIGNED TO GENERATE INFORMED DEBATE ON THE BEST AND FASTEST MEANS POSSIBLE TO ACHIEVE UMR’S INDEPENDENCE AND TERRITORIAL INTEGRITY PEACEFULLY. THE PRECISE MEANS TO ACHIEVE THESE GOALS WILL BE DICTATED AND DIRECTED BY THE PEOPLE OF MATEBELELAND AND THE MIDLANDS (MTHWAKAZI), AS WELL AS BY POLITICAL AND OTHER DYNAMICS AT PLAY THROUGHOUT OUR STRUGGLE.

We also emphasise that, how soon we get our independence and by what processes, will depend largely on our innovation and creativity. Obstacles will always be placed in our way and we must face them bravely, and with imagination and creativity. The world we live in today accepts nothing less.


 

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THE POLITICAL STRUGGLE FOR MTHWAKAZI’S NATIONHOOD  

 

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