MDC-T President Nelson Chamisa has reiterated his call for an end to deploying Shona speaking teachers and health personnel into the Matabeleland region.
Addressing a huge crowd of about 40 000 people who thronged White City Stadium in Bulawayo on Saturday, Chamisa said that when his party comes into government after the elections in August it will bring an end the deployment of teachers and nurses who fail to speak local languages of where they are working.
“We are not saying that Shona speaking people must not come to Matabeleland,” he said. “What we are saying is that when they come to work in the schools and clinics in the area they must be able to speak both Ndebele and Shona.”
Chamisa who sporadically battled throwing in a couple of IsiNdebele words in his speech, castigated former President Robert Mugabe and his successor President Emmerson Mnangagwa for being at the helm of the country’s leadership for thirty eight years but still failed to speak IsiNdebele one of the main languages in the country.
Chamisa who himself is married to a Ndebele speaking wife said that he was still perfecting his Ndebele declaring that his government will make it compulsory for all national leaders to speak in the three main languages spoken in Zimbabwe, English, Shona and Ndebele.
“In our government no one will be allowed to be a national leader and not be able to speak the three main languages,” said Chamisa giving co MDC Alliance coalition principal Tendai Biti an ultimatum for him to start learning Ndebele.
“Cde Biti you have to start working on your Ndebele. You can not be a national leader and lack leadership,” said Chamisa to the PDP leader.
“Leadership entails being able to connect with people through their culture and language,” he said.
People from the Matabeleland region have through the years been complaining about government deploying non local languages speaking teachers to teach in schools in the region.
Meanwhile, MDC Alliance coalition co principal and Spokesperson Professors Welshman Ncube has apologised to Matabeleland people for having the Bulawayo rally being dominated by Shona speaking people.
In a Facebook post responding to complaints that have flooded social media by people in the region complaining on the Shona dominance at the rally, Ncube said that the Alliance realised it late into the rally that Shona was dominating the proceedings after noting live social media complaints.
MDC President Prof Welshman Ncube response about the Bulawayo MDC Alliance’s leaders speaking in Shona
“Concerns which were filtered to us during the rally were not in vain. There was an inadequate attempts to correct which included having Rita Ndlovu who speaks Ndebele becoming the anchor MC towards the end,” said Ncube.
“We considered introducing translation but then Cde Biti was already in the middle of his presentation and we thought since I would speak next in Ndebele that might be enough. We knew that Cde Chamisa would speak in as much Ndebele as he could master and that he will also use as much English as he could under the circumstances. However we fully accept the criticism and we will correct,” he said.