I spent most of my life in Mutare even though I was born in Bulawayo and I am now a permanent resident of Bulawayo. This places me at a distinct advantage: I am very familiar with both the Shona and Ndebele worlds. There are a lot of things that both sides do not know about each and wild assumptions that damage relations are made.
Considering the history of Matabeleland: The slaughter of about twenty thousand people, there is always suspicion between Ndebele and Shona and a number of times I have to pull two warring sides apart as I happen to see things in a clearer light than a person who is exclusively Shona or Ndebele. I have a friend who believes every Shona person in Matabeleland is an enemy, planted in Matabeleland as part of the Gukurahundi agenda (the total disempowerment of the Ndebele people by flooding the region with Shona people and making sure that Ndebeles do not get any opportunities).
I cannot say for sure that the Gukurahundi agenda does not exist, but I believe individuals should be judged on individual merit not broadly based on the sins of a few mad people who did not have the people’s mandate to do what they did.
When my friend suggested that I happen to get opportunities because I have one leg in the Shona world and the other in the Ndebele world I knew the Shona-Ndebele thing had gone too far; I happen to have worked abnormally hard and continue to do so to get to where I am. The so-called Gukurahundi agenda is now being used by lazy people who do not exploit opportunities as a crutch.
Whilst it is important to address past and current injustices, we have to remember that were we come from matters less than where we are going.