Tsvangirai Admits Tribal Exclusion Among Minorities

Friday, 10 March 2017  Radio VOP

HARARE – MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai has admitted the existence of tribal exclusion among minority groups in the country, adding that there was need to “detribalise the country”.

He was speaking during a press conference in Harare on Thursday.

The former prime minister said it had come to his attention during his recent nationwide tours to meet ordinary citizens there were some ethnic groups which felt they have never been considered as part of the Zimbabwean nation.

“I heard the cry of the minorities that how they do not feel they are part of the country. The Venda, the Ndebele, the Kalanga, the Ndau, the Tonga and the Shangaan all told me sad stories of abuse that confirm the ignominy of the tyranny of the majority,” Tsvangirai said.

“There is a legitimate concern about exclusion and domination by those that feel they are the majority tribes in our country.

“I asked some people if they would defend the country if it was to be attacked and many of them said they would not.”

Tsvangirai’s tours, according to his spokespersons, were meant to gauge the mood of ordinary citizens and to hear to their views on the proposed coalition among opposition forces.

However, during the tour, the country’s southern provinces of Matebeland and part of the Midlands did not lose the opportunity to tell the leader of the country’s most popular opposition they were not pleased with how they have been marginalised under the Zanu PF led government.

The restive region has in recent years seen the proliferation of pressure groups and political parties that are calling for autonomy from the Harare based administration.

While some have been on the extreme through calling for complete secession, most want devolution incorporated as a governing model in the country to allow them control over their resources.

Although devolution is enshrined in the country's constitution, the current government has given subtle resistance to the demands.

A just released US state department report on Zimbabwe’s human rights situation says the Zanu PF led government was stirring tensions between the majority Shona and the Ndebele ethnic groups. 

Zimbabwe is multi-ethnic nation although Shona and Ndebele remain the most dominant tribes.

Academics have opined that Zimbabwe is a “strong state with a weak nation” as a result of the ethnic nature nationalistic politics created by the liberation struggle.

Even among the majority Shonas, there is scorn and suspicion among the different ethnic groups that make up the tribe with the Karanga, Zezuru and the Manyika feeling that the Zezuru are dominating the political and economic spheres of the country.

Former Zanu PF Mashonaland West chair and now independent Norton MP, Temba Mliswa last month vowed never to vote for a Zezuru candidate arguing the Zezurus have been oppressing minority groups for a long time.

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