MRP petitions SADC in self-determination push

The Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP) has petitioned the Southern African Development Community (SADC) calling for its involvement in the party’s push for self-determination in Matabeleland and the Midlands provinces of Zimbabwe.

MRP members, Tobias Fuyane, Chairman of Botswana South Gaborone, and Leonard Dube, Information and Publicity Secretary from the same province, personally delivered the petition to SADC offices on Thursday.

A letter written by MRP President Mqondisi Moyo and providing accompanying proof of why Mthwakazi, also known as Matabeleland, wishes to leave Zimbabwe was attached to the petition, as well as a recently signed petition paper with 25 880 signatures. 

The SADC Secretariat stamped, signed, and registered the petition under reference number 3951863.

In the petition, the MRP leader emphasized the harsh political and socio-economic conditions that the people of Mthwakazi face in Zimbabwe.

“I pointed out that the only measure, in as far as we are concerned, and towards a true relief to our people is self-determination,” Moyo said, noting that their request for self-determination is justified by a number of factors.

“First, we were a separate nation before 1923. We lost our independent existence through forced amalgamation with Mashonaland in 1923. Knowledge of our borders are as clear today as they were before 1923.”

Moyo said the Beitbridge border was signed by King Lobengula in 1887 while the Ramoqoabane and Livingstone borders were drawn in 1888. 

“These borders are recognised by the International community to this day. In 1891, three years before the invasion of our Kingdom state by imperialist forces, the Jameson Line was drawn and signed for. This was the border which separated Mthwakazi/Matabeleland from Mashonaland. This is the very border we want restored,” he said.

Secondly, the MRP leader claimed people in Matabeleland are treated as second-class citizens. “We were nearly exterminated between 1982 and 1987, in a government-led genocide against Mthwakazi (amaNdebele). About 40 000 of our unarmed people were killed in the pretext that they were either dissidents, or they harboured dissidents,” he said.

“This figure is exclusive of infants and unborn babies who were murdered whilst in their mother’s wombs.”

Moyo added that they were continually subjected to extreme marginalisation on ethnic grounds. “We face marginalisation in economic, political, social, and even cultural spheres of life. We are told in clear terms that we are not Zimbabwean due to our formerly separate statehood,” he said.

“In some instances, in 1984 precisely, Mthwakazi people were likened to cockroaches on which DDT had to be sprayed by Emmerson Mnangagwa, now Zimbabwean president.”  

Moyo further claimed in the letter there has never been a political arrangement in Zimbabwe that has benefited the Ndebele people.

“Whether the 1923 amalgamation, the 1980 Zimbabwe independence, the 1987 so-called Unity Accord, have not been in our favour, but in that of Mashonaland people. The 2017 military coup worked for the Mashonaland people. They alone were at the table negotiating exit packages for Robert Mugabe, and posts in the new government. None from among us were invited,” said the MRP leader.

“The Global Political Agreement that followed the disputed election outcome of 2008 didn’t involve us either. All principals in the deal were Mashonaland people. Whatever was discussed was for the good of Mashonaland, with nothing for Mthwakazi.”

Moyo added that even the outcome of the current 2023 election, which saw the “self-declaration of Mnangagwa” as the winner will not relieve people in Matabeleland.

“There’s no way SADC and other International stakeholders can be deliberating on recently flawed Zimbabwe elections without tackling the Mthwakazi Self determination agenda which the world has ignored for so long,” he said. 

Meanwhile, Fuyane and Dube stated that the SADC Secretariat informed them that the SADC leadership would open lines of contact with the MRP president and his leadership on this sensitive topic in due time. 

“It is on this background that we urge our people to remain calm and united as we push our self-determination agenda to the next level. We will exhaust all the peaceful means towards our total independence from Zimbabwe. The time is now or never,” said the MRP leader.

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