HomeUncategorizedMatabeleland is marginalised: Ncube

Matabeleland is marginalised: Ncube

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MDC-M secretary-general Welshman Ncube says there is a strong feeling in Matabeleland that people from the region were being regarded as second-class citizens.
Ncube said the according of state-assisted funerals to heroes from the Matabeleland region as opposed to national hero status has fuelled such perception.
“On Wednesday last week I was at (the late Gibson) Sibanda’s house where community leaders were discussing the now common inclination to treat people from this region (Matabeleland) as second-class citizens,” Ncube said.
“Clearly there is a strong perception within the region of such marginalisation and it does not matter whether that is the reality or not, but there are obvious
actions that have given rise to this belief and that ought to be addressed.”
His sentiments come in the wake of President Robert
Mugabe’s refusal to accord national hero status on ex-political detainee and former trade unionist Gibson Sibanda, who was also vice-president of MDC-M and a member of the Organ on National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration.
Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai, who is MDC-T president, and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara, the MDC-M leader, had recommended that President Mugabe — who in terms of the law has the power to grant such honours — declare Sibanda, who died last week, a national hero.
Sibanda was given a state-assisted funeral, courting the ire of the Matabeleland region.
Another powerful figure from the region, Ndebele Paramount Chief Khayisa Ndiweni — who was the longest-serving traditional leader in the country and died last month — was denied national hero status and was similarly accorded a state-assisted funeral.
“Every Zimbabwean — whether in Bulawayo or Bindura — should have an equal stake in this country at all times,” Ncube said.
“People should be treated fairly and equally but in the minds of the people of Matabeleland, this is not happening.
“Personally, I have not sat down and confirmed that nowadays if you are from Matabeleland you cannot be made a national hero. But, even without the study the belief from the region is that it is so.”
Ncube said although they were aggrieved as a party at the failure by President Mugabe to declare Sibanda a national hero, they would hold back their anger and not be drawn into verbal wars on the criteria of the status as they were still in mourning.
“We also do not want to defile the memory of the kindest and nicest person in the mould of Sibanda who in such a situation, were he alive, would have counselled calm and told us to look at the bigger picture,” he said.
“However, facts speak for themselves and Sibanda is a hero with or without the formal recognition. When the correct history of this country is written that fact will emerge and those who presided over its distortion will be judged harshly.”
Ncube said although in the initial Global Political Agreement (GPA) blueprint the issue of hero status was not included, it was agreed on in discussions in April this year.
“There was an agreement that there should be an independent board that should look at these honours as it is wrong for such a national issue to be decided by one party,” said Ncube, who is also co-chairperson of the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee, tasked with checking that the GPA is being enforced both in letter and spirit.

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