Political activist Masarira stirs tribal storm

HARARE - Critics came out guns blazing yesterday as they heaped scorn on #Tajamuka/Sesjikile civil movement leader and political activist Linda Masarira after she made tribal remarks against Ndebeles.

The anti-government activist reportedly claimed at a Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CZC) discussion in Harare this week that “Ndebele people are cowards and cry-babies.”

Masarira — who recently spent 80 days in jail for protesting against President Robert Mugabe’s administration –— was responding to a devolution plea by Word of Faith International Ministries pastor Englestone Sibanda.

In his plea, Sibanda said Matabeleland was underdeveloped.

Masarira’s response raised the ire of many Bulawayo-based activists, forcing Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CZC) and #Tajamuka to issue a statement distancing themselves from her remarks.

“Tajamuka is a national movement that is rooted in democratic values of democracy, justice, fairness inclusivity, tolerance and diversity,” the #Tajamuka movement said yesterday.

“#Tajamuka/Sesjikile campaign shares the deep scars of the people of Matabeleland which were inflicted by the criminal Zanu PF government and will walk all the way with the people of Matabeleland in pursuit of justice, forgiveness, reconciliation and closure on one of the most tragic genocides of our recent history...,” the lobby group further said.

“We therefore implore the nation to please forgive Masarira for whatever misunderstanding her statement may have caused...we know Linda to be a fearless and genuine fighter for democracy. We . . . believe that although her statement may have raised eyebrows, she still believes and subscribes to the values and principles that Tajamuka stands for.”

CZC said it condemns Masarira’s remarks in the strongest terms possible.

However, Masarira rejected the tribalism charge saying: “As a participant, I responded to the presentation as a former NRZ employee. I responded that the people from Matabeleland (not necessarily the Ndebele speaking people). I am on record saying most Ndebele speaking people were reluctant to participate in efforts to confront the system in fighting for their rights.”

She said whether Ndebele, Shona, Kalanga or otherwise, Zimbabweans must be able to confront bad governance and stop playing the victim card.

She said she was a “believer of reconciliation and Zimbabwe needs us to work together as Zimbabweans without dividing ourselves on ethnic, tribal, racial and religious lines”.

Comments (2)

Yes, the Ndebeles are cowards. No demonstrations, no picketing, no nothing infact. However, Matabeleland has been "Shonanized" big time by Mugabe & ZanuPf, but the nedebeles don't do anything to counteract that. So, yes, they are cowards.

Homo Erectus - 18 December 2016

I fully agree that Ndebeles are really cowards , i am from Mzingwane district , did my seconary educartion at Bedza Secondary School and i have got no reason to blame Masarira at all , she is very correct that Matebeleland have got BIG cowards .I have notedly seen more demonstrations taking place at Mashonaland provinces and nothing happens at our land . Matebeleland South , what have you done about people coming all the way from other provices to occupy your own land , we have got a big dam ( Dondoriyo dam/Mwanakurira dam ) which was built at our community and suprisingly the dam doesn't benefit our community but trenches all the water to Bulawayo and our community leaders have never disputed that . Our education system is up to hell , how do you expect Shona teachers to teach our lower grades ,does that make sense ?? , pupils at lower grades must understand proper explanations even in their own home language . We Ndebeles, we are not only cowards but Big FOOLS . Lokho vele ngeke sikuphikise kunjalo nje , singamagala futhi siyathengisana . ZUNU PF and PF ZAPU liberated the country yes , but that doesn't mean that we should continue supporting dead donkeys , honestly ZANU PF is now another dead donkey which should be thrown to dustbins .

Khalabemgeza - 19 December 2016

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