The Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP) Youth League has announced that on June 16, 2023, it will close all ports of entry in Matabeleland to stop the smuggling of resources from the region.
MRP claimed that the smuggling of resources such as gold had become rampant, as it was carried out by individuals linked to Zanu PF, who walked away scot-free and richer than the average person on the street.
Chairperson of the MRP Youth League, Mudenda Chilumbo told CITE the party chose June 16 because it was a significant date in Africa, as oppressed black students in neighbouring South Africa stood up to the Apartheid regime on a day that profoundly changed the socio-political landscape there.
“16 June is a very important day on the African continent. African sons and daughters of the soil stood up to impunity, acrimony and apartheid rule, because of those sons and daughters who sacrificed their lives. We are inspired by such acts and we are saying we can’t allow them to smuggle our gold anymore, which is why we have pronounced June 16 as the day we will hold the government of Emmerson Mnangagwa to account,” Chilumbo said.
Chilumbo said the party had a constitutional right to protest and will on that day “bring everything to halt” in order to control smuggling.
“No take-off will be allowed at Joshua Mqabuko International Airport, no landing of any aeroplane from anywhere around the world at the same airport together with the Victoria Falls International Airport,” he said.
“No truck shall be allowed to use the Beitbridge Border Post, Ramokgwebana or any border surrounding Matabeleland.”
The MRP youth chair alleged that high-ranking authorities smuggled minerals such as gold on a daily basis and became richer while the common public remained impoverished.
“We still have people moving more than 20 km to access medical facilities including children who walk such long distances to go to educational facilities at the behest of Zanu PF and Mnangagwa. It is our standing point and in the spirit of our revolution that we are bringing everything down,” Chilumbo said.
“It’s better to go dry for two days when we are preparing for the future of the upcoming generation. We are demanding back our gold.”
Chilumbo remarked that only the aggrieved felt inspired to act against resource plundering in the country, thus as Matabeleland youth, they had to act.
“It is only the people of Matabeleland who have the right to stop this nonsense and they are stopping this through those prescribed activities. We don’t expect any movement from any truck, even those from Hwange Colliery Company to any destination, that is our coal!” he said.
“No truck shall be allowed to carry our timber from Lupane or Nkayi to any destination until Mnanagwa steps down as our president. Our airports are going to be grounded to halt on the specified date.”
This call from MRP comes after the party said action was needed to stop gold smuggling, as seen in the four-part Al Jazeera documentary, The Gold Mafia, which sparked outrage in the country claiming large amounts of gold are smuggled clandestinely from Zimbabwe every month, assisting money laundering through an intricate network of shell businesses, fake invoices, and paid-off officials, some linked to the government led by President Mnangagwa