Ndebele vs Shona tribal animosity must cease

Nine years ago, more than 1,400 people were murdered in Kenya. To date, no one has been prosecuted for these crimes – and, following the dismissal of the last Kenyan case at the International Criminal Court, it doesn’t look as though anyone ever will
Nine years ago, more than 1,400 people were murdered in Kenya. To date, no one has been prosecuted for these crimes – and, following the dismissal of the last Kenyan case at the International Criminal Court, it doesn’t look as though anyone ever will

By Mlondolozi Ndlovu

As much as the international community has stood firm against racial discrimination, taking the move as far as the sporting arena, our country is yet to fully remove racism cousin – intolerance.

We still yearn for tribal tolerance. To date, medieval tribal conflicts still haunt the nation. Conflict is the tapeworm that needs to be eliminated in this society if we are to enjoy the fruits of our hard won independence.

Our leaders must lead by example. Unfortunately, through hate speech and inflammatory language, our leaders fuel tribal hatred. We are led by tribal individuals who pretend to be tolerant yet they are not.

Since the infamous tribal genocide of the late 1980s, people from different tribal backgrounds still view each other with scorn and suspicion, the nation is suffused with tribal hatred because our leaders are intolerant.

As a Ndebele speaking Zimbabwean I have always been emotional about the Gukurahundi episode and each time the issue is mentioned myself and fellow Ndebele speaking Zimbabweans get angry and at times some feel they need to revenge, something which is totally unacceptable in the modern day African society.

Politicians in Zimbabwe have always used this issue as a campaign strategy, something which must not be tolerated.

Launching her party in Bulawayo over the week former Vice President Joice Mujuru noted that her party would deal with the genocide if they were to be elected. Hopefully that turns into fruition.

Claiming that Gukurahundi was just a moment of madness as Zimbabwe’s President once said, is deducible that our leaders behave like leopards- leopards normally accuses their young ones of smelling like goats in order to justify their cannibalism.

Zimbabweans need to appreciate each other and accept that differences in tribes do not matter at all. People must know that languages are just noises coming out of our mouths.

Change on tribalism should start with our leaders.

In Robert Mugabe, it is funny and sad that we have a leader who has led the country for more than three decades yet can hardly construct a single sentence in other local languages.

As concerned individuals, we still wonder whether other local languages are hard to learn or it is simply because they are of less significance to our president.

Interestingly, the president has been to the southern region for many occasions; some of his political acolytes, including the late vice presidents Dr Joshua Nkomo and John Landa were fluent Ndebele speakers, but he still cannot construct a Ndebele sentence.

This is true of how he struggles to directly communicate with his own people in the southern region. It took an interpreter to take his messages to his masses during the campaign period, hence one of the reasons his party Zanu pf has struggles to win a single seat in Bulawayo.

Tribal tension originates as far as before colonization, with the belief that the Ndebeles were a very violent tribe, thus to date others are taking this as a mythological justification for the conflict that still exist to date.

This is another factor that triggered the tribal genocide of the late 1980s.

The two combined had left a permanent scar in the Zimbabwean society, but we still have a question to answerer- Should generations continue to suffer for the frailties of their ancestors.

We need to BUILD our country, and to do that, we must eliminate all tribal hostilities. Zimbabwe we are one, and as Reason Wafawarova says, together we shall overcome.

  • Mlondolozi Ndlovu is the local correspondent for Khuluma Afrika