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Embassy tribalism exposed!

21 Apr 2021 at 07:08hrs | Views
The uncivil dance of tribalism is arguably the most wobbly and unentertaining spectacle at our embassies. This primitive practice of ethnicity is a debilitating epidemic currently eating into the intestines and lungs of the social fabric of Zimbabwe in the broader context. It maliciously strangulates the little remaining social cohesion. Alarmingly, the scourge has grown into a monstrous pandemic with its wings now spread globally through, among other ills, the systematic but shamelessly selective deployment of Shona-speaking people in government-jobs in all ministries locally, and internationally as ambassadors and consul generals. Presumably, the same applies to junior staff on other assignments at these embassies as undeniably exposed by the recent protest march by the Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP) in Pretoria, South Africa. These wizardly Stone Age deployments unequivocally qualify the teapot-shaped village as an outright ethnic clay-pot that should be rejected with the disdain it deserves by even the aroma-starved food it cooks.

Lucifer's dancing stage
The institutionalization of tribalism by the Zimbabwe government and its like-minded primitive individuals since the attainment of independence from Britain in 1980, has catastrophically strained social and tribal relations between the people of Mashonaland and Matabeleland with the former having become the self-baked superior tribe over the latter. In levels far worse than during the colonial era, the people of Matabeleland find themselves economically, politically, culturally and socially disempowered by the predominantly Shona government which has overtly portrayed itself as an advocate for Shona interests and a symbol of the recolonization of Matabeleland by some black ethnic master. Unbelievably, Lucifer's dancing stage is sadly set. All areas of existence in Matabeleland are now under the unwelcome control of the people from Mashonaland. Government departments are led and staffed by them, be it registry, education, land affairs, health or any other applicable sector. Interestingly and inalterably, the history of oppression and deprivation shows that when faced with the monster of exploitation, people stand up. The peacetime violence and Lucifer's clumsy dance on the Matabeleland stage is further strangling and amputating social cohesion, and should be castrated as a matter of urgency.

The sad dance of cousins!
Like the situation in all the local ministries and various aspects of life and existence in Matabeleland, the Zimbabwe diplomatic missions are unaccountably Shona-dominated, thereby shamelessly exposing the thread-bare disenfranchisement of the people of Matabeleland. Diplomatic missions are the microcosm of the larger world of each country and depict what happens in the country concerned. Indeed, the Zimbabwe diplomatic missions unfailingly paint the sorry and desolate picture of the everyday political, social and economic exclusion of Matabeleland in all aspects of existence. It is the case of some form of boring dance by boney and melancholic cousins. One wonders, who appoints or gets appointed to lead or work in our diplomatic missions and why? What criteria is used or what qualifications are required?  One can hardly avoid wondering at the coincidence that grants only a certain tribe to possess those qualifications or credentials. The confused frenzy of mothers-in-law and the cousins' husbands and wives should simply be halted!

Mother-in-law's lungs exposed!
If anything exposed the tribal diplomatic appointments, it is the Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP)-led protest march held on the 8th of April, 2021 at the Zimbabwe Embassy in Pretoria. Among the litany of issues, the march was held to express the disgust of the people of Matabeleland about their unending inhumane treatment by government as second-class citizens even at international level. Viewed as a gigantic violation of human rights, the discrimination is in collision course with the country's constitution which is being molested at any given opportunity. Empirically, the demonstration effortlessly unearthed the unappealing and primitive world of tribalism that appears rife at all the country's thirty-nine (39) embassies and consulates worldwide. The watershed revelation should be owl-egg on the face of the ZANU PF government. The manner of staffing at the embassy in Pretoria fails to speak to any of the languages and cultures of Matabeleland. On meeting the protesters, the ambassador confirmed that none of his staff could speak any of the languages of Matabeleland. In that vein, the protest march laid bare the thinnest threads holding the relations between Mashonaland and Matabeleland and justified the demands of the protesters. Unquestionably, the story of the veiled cousins and mothers-in-law was acted live on stage, thereby displaying their lungs and intestines for all to see! However, for the doubting Thomases, the list of Zimbabwe's diplomatic missions (as per the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, 2018) may suffice.

List of Zimbabwe's ambassadors globally!
1.    Angola:    Major Gen. (Rtd) Tando Madzvamuse
2.    Australia:    Mr T. Mhishi
3.    Belgium:    Mrs A. Mashingaidze
4.    Botswana:    Batiraishe Henry Mukonoweshuro
5.    Brazil:        Mr G. G. Gapare
6.    Canada:    Mrs R. M. Chikwira
7.    China:        Lt. Gen. (Rtd) M. Chedondo
8.    Cuba:        Mr I. G. Mudzimba
9.    DRC:        Mr W. Chinenere
10.    Egypt:        Air Marshal (Rtd) S. Shumbayaonda
11.    Ethiopia:    Mr A. R. Chimbindi
12.    Germany:    Mr P. Chikawa
13.    Ghana:        Mr K. Chinoza
14.    India:        Dr G. M. Chipare
15.    Indonesia:    Ms S. Nyamudeza
16.    Iran:        Mr C. Mapanga
17.    Italy:        Ms M. Chauke
18.    Japan:        Mr T. Abu-Basuthu
19.    Kuwait:    Mr Chrispen Toga Mavodza
20.    Malawi:    Mrs H. Mafudze
21.    Malaysia:    Mr G. Magwenzi
22.    Mozambique:    Lt. Gen. (Rtd) Douglas Nyikayaramba
23.    Namibia:    Mr R. Chikava
24.    Nigeria:    Mr M. Ranga
25.    Russia:        Brig. Gen. N. M. Sango
26.    Rwanda:    Prof. Charity Manyeruke
27.    Algeria:    Mr V. Ntonga
28.    Senegal:    Mr James Maridadi
29.    Singapore:    C. D. Nhema
30.    South Africa:    Mr D. Hamadziripi
31.    Sudan:        Dr E. B. Runganga Gumbo
32.    South Sudan:    Brian Bere
33.    Sweden:    Mrs Alice Mashingaidze
34.    Tanzania:    Anselem Nhamo Sanyatwe
35.    Turkey:    Mr Alfred Mutiwazuka
36.    UAE:        Mr J. Ndlovu (late)
37.    UK:        Rtd Col. C. Katsande
38.    USA:        Mr A. M. Mutembwa
39.    UN:        Dr F. Shava
40.    Zambia:    Ms G. R. Takawira

List of Zimbabwe's consular officers
1.    Johannesburg:        Chengetai Murahwa
2.    Cape Town:        Mrs E. T. Mudambo
3.    Beira:            Mr S. Kudarawanda
4.    Lubumbashi:        Mrs S. Muteta
5.    Hong Kong:        Mr Alfred Mutiwazuka
6.    Milan:            Mr George EI Badoui (Honorary Consul General)
7.    Seoul (Korea Republic): Mr Young-chul Baik (Honorary Consul General)
8.    Bangkok (Thailand):    Dr Kriengsak Charoenwongsak (Honorary Consul General)

In the circles of diplomatic professionalism, embassies and consulates should represent the policies and interests of their home countries. However, with reference to the nature and cultural orientation of the names above, can we strongly argue that the above list adequately represents the multicultural society that Zimbabwe should be? What policy are the appointments premised on?

In the National Assembly Hansard of 24 April 2021, Vol. 47 No. 37, Hon. Themba Mliswa (MP for Norton Constituency) argues that the appointments of rugby personnel for the Zimbabwe team are both racial and tribal because the appointees are from Matabeleland. More so, he states: "My supplementary question… is that the policy of this Government is to look inside first and not outside". Lensing the ambassadorial list into context, one wonders what "to look inside first" means as the esteemed parliamentarian does not seem to view the appointment of coaches from Matabeleland as being in adherence to government policy, yet for example, the deployment of Shona-speaking teachers to teach ECD in Matabeleland schools has not been condemned by him and the supposedly tribally-sensitive parliament. It is interesting why the generality of the august house has been deafeningly silent on the culturally cannibalistic deployment of diplomatic missions. Is it because the hellish deployment excludes those classified as "foreigners from South Africa" by the crab-like Monica Mutsvangwa and her superior mahumbwe tribal club in their lawless goose play of ethnicity? Considering the culturally diverse nature of the country, the ten provinces could have been accorded say, four (4) diplomatic appointments each. This could provide a semblance of a balanced pendulum boasting at least twelve ambassadors and/or one consul general allocated to Matabeleland; meritocracy being the guiding principle. Sadly, that cannot be.

Ultimately, the wobbly dance of tribalism in our embassies and elsewhere by all concerned is a menace that should be frowned upon, tail-docked and decisively fettered for the benefit of not only the marginalized communities, but "the second round of the first republic" as well. Zimbabwe's embassy tribalism, like any other, should be seen for what it is: a disaffecting tale of a clique of cousins, village-boys and mothers-in-law.

Those who can, let them hear!

Nhlanhla Moses writes in his personal capacity and can be contacted on:
WhatsApp:    +27 73 386 2303

Source - Nhlanhla Moses
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