The Royal Kingdom of Matebeleland versus Republicanism: Finding Our Way Out of an ideological Maze

The Royal Kingdom of Matebeleland versus Republicanism: Finding Our Way Out of an ideological Maze
Published: 24 September 2018 (297 Views)
Some time ago, writing as a columnist for titled: The Restoration Drum Today, under the pseudo name Khumbulani Moyo, I pencilled at the time a long article on the Politics of The Principles of Restoration found in this link: The article made an attempt to give the Restoration Agenda a Conceptual Framework upon which the Restorationist lobby could build and advance the agenda in a measured, re-assuring and calibrated way to achieve a critical mass it hopes to gather along the way for it to gain value and currency as a serious implementable ideology short term and long term.
The above article however set out to define and frame the Restorationist Concept in a broader and simple way in order to set in motion its advancement, by Restorationist Roaders, at individual, family, community, regional and National level in Matebeleland. It is the reason why today we recast our eyes to the above article so as to recapture the essentials contained in it before zeroing-down to explore the ideological maze faced by the two distinct camps in the Restoration Lobby, namely the Conservative Reformist Royalists on one hand and Republicans on the other.
For the purposes of this brief and snapshot article, it is therefore important that we recapture a discussion on the Restoration Concept that was given at the time so as to frame insights to be given on this topic and hopefully suggest a way out of the ideological maze that the two camps above find themselves in.
As stated previously, Moyo contended that,
"Restoration is about recovering and restoring that which has been lost or bringing back into existence that which used to exist but is no longer there in good shape. It is therefore about repairing damaged things and putting them back into originality. The repairing of such items also includes cleaning them and ensuring they do not have rust that has built over years on them. The aspect of cleaning and removing rust adds the concept of quality in that which is being restored. There is no doubt that quality of a restored item is lost if it is not cleaned and made presentable. This is what Restoration is about. Anything other than this falls far short of the meaning of Restoration."
Beside the issue of merely restoring an item that used to exist and adding quality to it, Khumbulani Moyo further argued that, "Restoration of such an item needs one to have full knowledge about the item and indeed the skills and tools of repairing and restoring such an item. These are very crucial for the repairer to have in order for the repairer to do a good job of repairing and restoring the item. Any lack of understanding and knowledge about the item and lack of competent skills and necessary tools to repair and restore the item is bound to damage the item further rather than restore it. Therefore, Mthwakazi's Restoration Agenda needs all the ingredients above to be a successful adventure."
Moyo's argument above points us to the importance of knowledge about the history of our state in order to frame and advance our strategies in an informed way. Our historical knowledge of our state points us to a state that existed as a Kingdom led by a King and never a Republican state. Therefore if we are to talk and discuss Restoration, the name Matebeleland Kingdom must sit comfortably next to the Concept of Restoration.

Our state existed as a Kingdom and therefore must be restored FIRST as a Kingdom and not a Republic State. Matebeleland never existed as a Republic State and therefore one cannot Restore something that did not exist into existence. We therefore cannot Restore a Republic that never existed. It is only logical that one can only Restore First that which  used to exist before Transforming it into something new, in this case a Republic if the masses so wish.
Since Matebeleland existed as a Kingdom and was led by a King, it makes logical and legal sense for it to be Restored as a Kingdom First before it can be Transformed into a Republic if the Public so wishes using a democratic process to do so. Since the Kingdom was led by a King, it also makes logical and legal sense that the demand for the Restoration of this Kingdom be led by a King in the interim until the Kingdom is Restored.
King Lobhengula was the executive authority and or the legal figurehead of that Kingdom. It therefore makes sense to Restore the executive, the custodian and the legal figurehead of that Kingdom in order to advance the Restoration Agenda within the ambit of International Law under the sacred UN's Right to Self-determination Principle, which is the Right to Sovereignty, Independence, and Autonomy etc.
 Matebeleland, I contend, has a good legal case on this issue provided it assembles huge resources and top-notch lawyers to handle this under the tutelage of a Matebeleland King.

As regarding the legal ins and outs of this, it's left to international law experts to do the job walking within the parameters of the permits of international law on Right to Self Determination and Equal Rights. It however does not need a tikoloshe to figure this out that this is possibly the best way to go.
However, for argument's sake and indeed when the Kingdom is Restored, a parallel program must be put in place for a Referendum to be held immediately after the Kingdom is restored to decide on 4 distinct issues:
1. For the masses of Matebeleland to decide whether they wish to continue to have their state as a Kingdom   along the Reformed British system or they wish to be a Republic

2. For the masses to decide the separation of powers of a government and powers of a King if it were to continue being a Kingdom along the United Kingdom.

3. If it were to be Transformed into a Republic, a referendum must be held to decide the status of traditional leadership including Kings and Chiefs, alongside the RSA example.

4. For masses to decide on the type of governance: Provincialisation Versus Devolution
These views and opinions were gained after lengthy discussions and interactions with the Modern Father of Restorationism in Mthwakazi, the late Dr Mkwananzi.

It must also be stated clearly and without any aorta of doubt that the good Dr was never a Republican at heart but leaned heavily towards Royalism but equally kept options open on the way forward via the idea of a Referendum Proposal post the Restoration of the Kingdom that would empower the people of Matebeleland to decide their own destiny and the way forward. The only time he stretched and strayed towards Republicanism is when proposals for Matebeleland to join the Union of South Africa were made. Therefore any claim that he was a Republican does not hold water.
According to the above ideas, the Restoration of the Matebeleand Kingdom has no permanancy after its fulfilment unless the people decide otherwise. It is a road that needs to be travelled before any Transformation of the State from Kingdom to a Republic, legally and otherwise.

The permanancy will only be based on an outcome of a Referendum on whether it continues as a Kingdom or the people of Matebeleland decide to Transform it into a Republic via a Referendum where the people shall exercise their Democratic Right to choose what state they want and the system of governance they need.

- Thembani Methembo Dube


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