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Why Shona speakers cannot teach Ndebele in Matabeleland

By Daniel Chigundu
Pelandaba-Mpopoma legislator Joseph Tshuma says the government must immediately stop Shona people who are teaching Ndebele in Matabeleland because they are not properly qualified and are distorting the language.
Debating on the President’s speech in the National Assembly, Honourable Tshuma said he was not being tribalistic or regionalistic, but people in the region are not happy with Shona people teaching Ndebele.
“There is another issue again which the President touched on, the issue of education. There is a reality that people want to run away from. Right now in Matabeleland, if you go to most schools, we are beginning to have a situation whereby the Ndebele language is not going to be taught properly because there are no properly qualified teachers who are supposed to be teaching that language.
“I want us to understand each other because we are not being tribalistic or regionalistic, but what I am saying is that a Ndebele teacher must be a Ndebele person so that it is easy. A Shona teacher must be a Shona person and it is simple and straightforward.
“There is no way that you are going to expect a Shona person to go and teach Ndebele in Matabeleland. It is distortion. So, whoever is doing that in the Ministries must be warned because they are bringing unnecessary divisions because our people will not accept that,” he said.
Honourable Tshuma said the issue is like a time bomb and deserves to be resolved with the serious attention to avoid throwing the country into a crisis.
“One day you will find people that are going to make an uprise there and chase those people away and what will then happen. That is reality and that is the truth. We need to look at it and face it because if we ignore it, that is a time bomb that is just waiting to explode one day.
“Let us be sincere about these things as we approach them because we want to be people that are known to be using our brains to think. Do not use any other thing, but use your brains to think. Do not be emotional or any other things, the brains were meant for that and let us use them,” he said.
Last week, Bulawayo East legislator Tabitha Khumalo told the National Assembly that it was not acceptable that people from other regions are the ones who are being given jobs in Matabeleland at the expense of the local people.
Khumalo urged the government to fully implement the issue of devolution mentioned in the constitution to prevent creating a Rwanda-like situation.
Outspoken legislator Priscilla Misihairabwi Mushonga also told the National Assembly that continued marginalisation of Matabeleland will one day result in a war.
“There is one thing that has been very worrisome; it is the issue that when you talk about issues of marginalization, it is always equated to issues of tribalism.  It is almost as if we have taken a position as a nation that a particular group in this country is not allowed to say anything without that being equated to tribalism and I think that is unfortunate.
“We are not trying to do political mileage, we are not trying to be tribalistic but we are actually talking about something that is so serious that unless it is addressed, and I keep saying this in this House, unless we address this thing, one day we are going to be in a civil war in this country.
“You cannot continue to treat a particular people in a particular attitude and expect that they will not stand up to that kind of oppression,” she said.

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