WHY MTHWAKAZI FREEDOM PROJECT

During this period the entire region of Matebeleland and Midlands (Mthwakazi) has not experienced any development at all. On the contrary, Robert Mugabe’s regime systematically embarked on a path of destroying the infrastructure that was left behind by the Rhodesian regime of Ian Smith. Yet in spite of all this destruction, Robert Mugabe’s regime has continued to claim sovereignty and supremacy of final legal and political authority over the will of the people of the region.

Today there is virtually nothing, resembling development and progress within the region of Matebeleland and Midlands (Mthwakazi). There are no roads to talk about. The education and health system long collapsed with the demise of the European colonial regime of Rhodesia. The economy is non- existent. The rule of law is something that the people of this region have imagined and continued to dream about during the last 34 years. Thirty four years of independence in Zimbabwe have comprised a succession of deliberate measures aimed at denying the people of the region their social, economic, political and cultural rights.

It is the view of Mthwakazi Freedom Project that there are three critical challenges: the constitution, the economy and the rule of law and order. Within this context, access to land, essential services, housing and participatory democracy constitute basic human rights for the people of the region. In this context development has to be contextualised as an interdisciplinary process aimed at transformation. Mthwakazi Freedom Project will play a decisive role in liberating the people of the region and the country at large, socially, economically, politically and culturally.

We need to begin organizing workshops and conferences critically focusing on the rights of the citizens, the repeal of various pieces of legislation which violated the rights of citizens and the crafting of new legislation on local, provincial and national governance of Mthwakazi country, around fundamental issues as education, health, economic and infrastructural investment and development, and a whole range of developmental issues that will significantly impact transformation.

Manuals on strategic planning around issues of budgeting as a critical tool of public policy, on evaluation and monitoring have to be produced urgently, in order to inform public policy debates in Matebeleland and Midlands (Mthwakazi country). It is also noteworthy that we need to pay particular attention to the development of our own currency. The whole structure of our society needs to be overhauled. It must change. For change to be realized it is the people who will be driving those change processes who must be engaged and thoroughly equipped on participatory democratic values and systems. This can only be achieved at the level of a strategic planning workshops or conferences where the experts will impart and transfer knowledge and skills. It is only through managing this process that we can successfully achieve collective purposes of truly a new beginning.