By Evans Mushawevato, recently in Bulilima, Matabeleland South
MATABELELAND SOUTH calls itself a rainbow province and takes great pride in being so.
Last week, President Emmerson Mnangagwa was in the area for a presidential rally to drum up support for the revolutionary ZANU PF ahead of the August 23 polls and it was a communion of kindred spirits.
The venue was Nyele Primary School.
Tate, with affection and adoration, they called President Mnangagwa in Bulilima.
And President Mnangagwa was as clear as one can be with regards the trajectory the country has taken and must continue to take.
“We have to remember where we came from, the legacy we fought for; a legacy where we, as black people, rule over our own land,” he said.
It was no coincidence that the presidential rally was held on the day the country commemorates the passing on of the late Vice-President Dr Joshua Mqabuko Nyongolo Nkomo (July 1).
It was the best moment to remind each other who we are — where we have come from and where we are going.
Indeed, Dr Nkomo possessed qualities that have been worth emulating and President Mnangagwa reiterated the importance of that unity.
“You have the responsibility of building this country, you have the burden of carrying forward the vison of our founding fathers — the vision of unity, the vision of love, the vision of unity among us. There is no Manyika, no Mukorekore, no Ndebele; all of us are Zimbabweans, sonke,” said President Mnangagwa.
“As Zimbabweans, we must build our own country, at our own pace, with our own resources.”
Leading from the front with the strength of conviction, the passion of his vision and the depth of his commitment, President Mnangagwa, every time he has gone on the podium, words may differ and vary but the message has remained consistent – Zimbabwe will be built by Zimbabweans.
According to Dingumuzi Phuti, the Deputy Minister of Information and Communication Technologies, Postal and Courier Services as well as Bulilima West House of Assembly Member, President Mnangagwa’s conviction, belief and sheer industry is inspiring the nation to follow him.
“From day one, the President’s message has been very clear,” he said.
“The choice before us is not what kind of Zimbabwe will we have in the next five years, but what kind of Zimbabwe will we have in the next 10, the next 20, the next 50 years.
“Imagine for a moment, a rich self-sufficient Zimbabwe! Imagine a debt-free economy strong enough that every Zimbabwean will share in the Zimbabwe dream! Imagine a healthcare system where every Zimbabwean will receive the care he/she needs! Imagine a society that has plenty of food and a thriving agricultural sector! Imagine a clean nation with not a scrap of dirt! !magine a nation where we give all our children first-class education!
“Well, we have long stopped imagining and we are now living the reality of development. Under President Mnangagwa, so much has been birthed, bringing our bold imagination, as a nation, to reality.”
The thousands who gathered in Bulilima were evidence of a common hope, a desire to move in the same direction – towards a better future for every Zimbabwean and future generations
“Mbeli mbeli loEmmerson Mnangagwa, mbeli mbeli leZANU PF, mbeli mbeli leZimbabwe,” the people chanted.
In an interview with The Patriot at Nyele Primary School, Silibaziso Ntini said: “President Mnangagwa has attracted people’s attention, people’s interest and people’s participation.
“We are one nation, one people.
“Paying homage to the late Vice-President Dr Nkomo is proof that President Mnangagwa is about all the people of Zimbabwe.
“We will not be divided or pull in different directions. “Our enemies fail to appreciate that we have always been one people and there has never been a moment where we were divided.
“In 1893, we rose up as one and fought the British. “Again during the Second Chimurenga, ZANU and ZAPU fought as one and each of the two parties had all the tribes in their ranks.
“The First Chimurenga began in Matabeleland South, in Esigodini, in March 1896, although our enemies want to make it seem like we are different people, with different aspirations; that is a lie, we are all bound by the love for our country.
“Together, we fought the white invaders, defeating them at Umguza on April 25, barely a month after the First Chimurenga broke out.”
According to historian Mark Murindagomo, Zimbabwe’s history is a story of unity of purpose and a deep love for the motherland.
“The claim, the impression that the First Chimurenga is an exclusive achievement of one part of the country is not true, or that one particular group fought a greater war than the other; all the people of Zimbabwe fought harshly, resolutely and defeated the whiteman until he had to call for indabas,” he said.
“The spirit mediums in Matabeleland and those in Mashonaland were one.”
It is imperative to inform Zimbabweans that Mkwati, the high spirit at Ntabazikamambo, was a national spirit medium deeply involved in the organisation of the First Chimurenga in Matabeleland and Mashonaland.
According to the late National Hero, Brigadier-General Dr Felix Ngwarati Muchemwa, in his book The Struggle for Land in Zimbabwe (1890-2010): “In April 1896, Mkwati recommended the identification of a liaison male spirit medium who would be directly involved in the conduct of the First Chimurenga by liaising with the warriors in Matabeleland for the prosecution of the war in Mashonaland.
The recommendation was made to Paramount Chief Mashayamombe who subsequently identified Kaguvi’s medium Gumboreshumba.
Mkwati’s recommendation resulted in the formation of a War Council based at Paramount Chief Mashayamombe’s residence on the Mupfure River where Kaguvi would then be based and from where the medium received emissaries from chiefs in Mashonaland.
In early May, a delegation was subsequently sent to the national spirit medium Mkwati at Ntabazikamambo to work out co-ordinated plans on the simultaneous prosecution of the First Chimurenga in the two regions. The delegation came back in June with Chimurenga warriors from Ntini’s Ngoba Regiment who were to assist in the co-ordination of the war in Mashonaland.”
The reason such deep-rooted oneness among the Shona and the Ndebele is undermined, said Murindagomo, is to weaken us as a nation, so they can exploit our resources.
“People from the southern part of the nation and other parts fought the imperialists, together, in all the wars,” he said.
“The history of our people is beautiful, for it is a story of unity of purpose and a setting aside of all perceived differences to protect the motherland.”
This was the story recounted in Bulilima by just the gathering of a President and his people.
“The message of ZANU PF and Nelson Chamisa’s CCC could not be more worlds apart, for one divides where the other unites; one seeks to arouse fury and hatred where the other is coming from the heart, rousing hope and self-belief; one closes with a threat where the other closes with a wish and desire for the good of all,” said Murindagomo.
“What began as a wish and promise, in 2017, has swelled into a tangible reality that cannot be ignored while on Chamisa’s part there has been an inability and utter failure and unwillingness to communicate a presidential vision of Zimbabwe and the country’s future — no theme, no focus, no discipline
“How exactly has the formation of CCC prepared Chamisa to lead Zimbabwe other than showing how power hungry and ruthless he is with dissenting voices? Many, in and outside the party, have been impressed by his ability to cut and reduce to size colleagues and not empower them,” said the historian.
“When it comes to leading Zimbabwe, now and always, a positive message and action, deeds steeped in the masses flavoured with age-old aspirations of self-determination sells — naysayers and power-hungry characters need not apply.
“Zimbabweans now define themselves, politically, more by what they are for than what they are thought to be against.
“In the Second Republic, Zimbabweans now believe more in themselves — cynicism is out, optimism is in
Cde Phuti, on the other hand, said: “In principle and practice, President Mnangagwa is exactly the leader Zimbabweans want, someone who says what he means and means what he says.
“He is a man of relentless action with a visible record of results, especially on the economic front – a leader who has successfully salvaged the nation from the wreckage of sanctions and brought back the country from the precipice, transforming the nation.”
Zimbabwe toyida, ZANU PF toyida, tate Mnangagwa tobada!, they boldly stated in Bulilima.
No doubt Bulilima was a gathering that showed a strength and beauty which spoke of an impregnable country.
People in Bulilima stated categorically that the defence of Zimbabwe is the joint responsibility of all its people.