THE WAY FORWARD
All people from Matebeleland come from a well-defined area, be it, Plumtree, Gwanda, Tsholotsho, Nkayi, Lupane, Binga, Beitbridge, Kezi, etc. This simple recognition applies to all locals, all Diasporans but not foreign investors. The Mthwakazi Freedom Project and Diasporans should establish contact with people from their area under the auspices of the chief of the area to form local stakeholder committees. The objective of such committees is to:
- Identify local resources that can be exploited for the benefit of local people,
- Organise clear guidelines for generating and distributing such wealth,
- Identifying investments in education (schools), health facilities, water resources, and the conservation of wild fora, and
- Establishing local institutions that respect local traditions and yet focus on modernising the area.
All these local endeavours should supersede the current indigenisation policies which are clearly stupid in form and matter. There is no logic in writing legislation that specifies a 51/49 percent partnership when the country is broke. The current ZANU-PF law as it stands militates against any rational form of foreign investment. It was clearly written by Neanderthals who have no clue how international finance works.
International finance at any point in time is about the distribution of available global liquidity. There is no logic whatsoever in assuming that Zimbabwe should be a favourable destination for foreign direct investment unless the ZANU-PF regime assumes that
- Zimbabwe is the only country competing for foreign investment under the Sun,
- That Zimbabwe is so critical to the rest of the World (the fact is that it is just a blip on the world map), and
- Foreign private investors are willing to surrender their capital to a regime that is bent on continuous plunder of its resources and profligate ability to steal with abandon from its citizens.
Once formed, the local committees within the jurisdiction of the Chief, should form working groups drawing on local expertise and Diasporas to draw a local government development plan with all relevant ministries (Treasury, Agriculture, Education, Health, Natural Resources, etc.) that should further refine a local economic development plans from different parts of Matebeleland (Mthwakazi country) should be consolidated into one Economic Development Plan for Matebeleland which can be marketed to people in the Diaspora and foreign private investors.
Based on the above, then local developed governments structures should then write clear rules relating to partnerships with foreign investors by discarding the current daft 51/49 percent rule whether the ZANU-PF regime wants it or not. The success of such a strategy is fundamental based on all reconstituted local governed committees in Matebeleland (Mthwakazi country) acting in one voice to demand this form of decentralisation of power away from Harare towards locally constituted governments which are going to be different depending on the region in Matebeleland.
However, all will have a common purpose – removing the yoke of Shona domination and charting an economic development that for the first time in 34 years serves local interest. The coordination of economic development across all regions in Matebeleland (Mthwakazi country) could be easily be organised around a regional body of all Chiefs supported by experts (local and from Mthwakazi Freedom Project and the Diaspora). For example, the exploitation of natural resources in Matebeleland, by each region, under a Chief could be coordinated by natural resource experts from each region.
In other words, Matebeleland should not entertain the current Mickey Mouse devolution which is determined by the ZANU-PF regime. People from Matebeleland who have been marginalised so long should have the right to exit from the current arrangement by developing highly localised and yet locally determined structures that benefit them without relying on ZANU-PF genocide and ethnic cleansing policies. Equally, tax revenue should be collected by various local bodies and only submitted to a regional body for the payment of public goods such as roads and other infrastructure that benefit all citizens. The rest of the revenue shall remain in the area where such revenue was generated and be used by the local Treasury to upgrade local development.
Most crucially, it is important to invite white Ndebeles to return to Matebeleland – their place of birth as returnees just like black Ndebeles doing the same. In other words, people from Matebeleland should never discriminate against white Africans – to have done so in the past 34 years reflect the twin policies of racism and ethnic cleansing pursued by Shonas. We have to be better than that since we understand that in a globalised world, genocide, ethnic cleansing and racism are practised by scoundrels.
Mthwakazi Freedom Project working closely with the Diaspora and foreign private investors should establish development institutions such as microfinance organisations that can be used as vehicles to invest in Matebeleland. The envisaged institutions could target specific sectors in an area or across different regions identified in the Economic Development Plan for Matebeleland. Such simple financial institutions could form syndicates to distribute risk if the targeted project or investment requires sizeable investment.
This is a normal practice in the financing of large scale projects. In many types of investments across the globe, it is important to identify location of where legal disputes are to be settled if arbitration fails. Initially, it may be necessary to locate the centre of legal disputes in a country with solid record where the judiciary is both fair and transparent. The present case in Zimbabwe is hardly encouraging since most judges are clearly ZANU-PF apologists.
We hope that this document represents the beginning of a process whereby people of Matebeleland can begin to construct their own future by focusing on those areas that the ZANU-PF regime has consistently undermined: jobs, land allocation, education, and a fair punishment for Gukurahundi genocide, deindustrialisation, and benefits of our people from their own natural resources. Only this way can we seriously hope to witness the establishment of our own university, the first of its kind, the University of Mthwakazi.