Zim: Sectional Interests and Democratic Survival – Part – 2.1

ThinkZim federating Zimbabwe won’t work. Too much tribalism even in the most educated. Further our inability to manage resources will mean that some regions will literally die.

People can be a as tribal as they want but ultimately must vote into the governorship an administration that will progress their state. So the choice will be relatively simple does this guy deliver or does this chap play tribal politics and is corrupt. Ultimately the pot-holes and lack of development will force the issue.

Furthermore if the governor wants to be re-elected then progress in state development will be key. In other words it is that fear of losing an election that will erode that non-progressive thinking.

We can not hide from tribalism nor can we effectively legistlate against it as it pervades so much of our society. Instead let us use it to make our people and social leaders want to be better than the guy next door. Essentially let us make the leaders’ egos work for their constituents and the state in that order


Besides, Zimbabwe can only have 2 states (Matebeleland and Mashonaland) and the colonialist did a good job already by dividing us on tribal lines.

Firstly let us move away from blaming the colonialists for everything. Their descendants are now Zimbabweans and have to be part of the solution. Furthermore, its not like the Shona tribes were all lovey dovey amongst themselves or with the Ndebele before the Europeans arrived. They merely exploited a pre-existing condition.

There is much that is negative about us (as people just as there is much that is negative about any peoples on the planet we are no different) and some of these things are deeply engrained and very illogical, but if we can find ways to harness these negative aspects perhaps in a generation or two Zimbabweans will be proud to be identified as Zimbabwean with tribe a distant second. My question is when we boil it down what makes one tribe better than another or are do we just love stereotyping.

As an MP or state governor it will be hyper-important to produce results. The Ndebele, Karanga and Zezuru in particular need to get their heads out of the tribal game and into the development game. The best man for the job rather than the closet tribal relative. Acknowledged getting to that mindset is a process not an event.


Gukurahundi and the memory of it makes some Ndebele very hostile to any Shona speakers how would you overcome this? It’s not going to be easy.

In the draft federated Zimbabwe we see at least 6 states based on population and a recutting of some of the provinces ignoring tribal lines thus forcing the issue. This should help dilute some of these tribe related challenges.

With Matebeleland the priority should be to help the state governors in those regions to bring water to from the Limpopo or Zambezi. It wont erase Gukurahundi but it will show that it is a different crowd running the country.

By federating, across tribal lines where possible, this will force people to look at the development policies rather than the tribal origins. No-one wants to come from an an undeveloped back water so we must believe it will force the issue of development if the government of the day sets out the right framework.

If central government can show that it is treating all federal states equitably, then it forces the governors, MPs and district councillors to prove themselves to their constituents.


But my problem with federating Zimbabwe is the sharing of resources

Zimbabwe has three (3) main base resources agriculture, mining and tourism, four (4) if you include human capital (manufacturing and services)

In dividing the country into federated states one looks at the capacity for production in each state. Some have mineral deposits for mining, others have good soils for agriculture and tourism is across all the current provinces. The first elected governor’s  may be given a high-level blueprint for their state as a starter for 10 but subsequent incumbents of the office will need to find their own way.

Central government can assist by providing the information technology utility that will allow new millennial industries like high-tech manufacturing or call centres (our people speak better english than most other countries especially india) to start up.



Is there anything else you would like to add

Yes just a couple of points

Zimbabwe can borrow the Indian, Chinese or Japanese economic reboot models and adapt them to suit the national circumstances and narrative. Each federal state can find something to start with and build their economy from there.

Not all federal states can be into be mining or farming and Zimbabweans seem to be genetically programmed with a “Me too…” culture which is not helpful. Each governor must set out his plan during his campaign for office, find investors and in essence sell his federal state as a CEO would market his corporation.

Central government must actively encourage the diasporans to come home.They have seen and done much and can bring a vision people at home may not necessarily have. The thing is that without the diasporan, Zimbabwe dies or at the very least takes a long time to come around to where it was on 19 April 1980. The most recent turnaround economies are India and China and they have relied on the return of their diasporan community to help resuscitate those their home economies.

Lastly legislative liberalisation, central government and parliament must open the country, encourage foreign investment but also force the recruitment and training of locals.

These papers are an open discussion and we welcome supporting or opposing views and opinions, as they help us to build better strategies. We are on Facebook and Twitter so feel free to like us or comment there.


See our last episode on what else needs to change…