People’s fear to join politics has strengthened Zanu PF: MRP
Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP) officials say fear to join politics has strengthened Zanu PF’s political standing in Matabeleland, as fewer people are willing to confront its oppressive rule.
Addressing a star rally at Lobengula Hall on Thursday, several MRP officials bemoaned how people in Bulawayo and Matabeleland are terrified of participating in politics, joining their political movement or speaking out against tyranny imposed by the Zanu PF-led government.
Their unwillingness to participate in political activity indicates how fear has become a tool used by the State to terrify people, while citizens use fear as a reason not to join their struggle to empower Matabeleland, according to MRP Bulawayo Province member, Lizzie Ndlovu.
“We have done door-to-door campaigns and the response we have received from people is they are afraid of dealing with the State. People have told us they want to join us but are afraid of being threatened. Why are people afraid to be seen and heard instead of fighting for control where you live,” Ndlovu said.
“It is painful to be oppressed where you live. People must learn to stand up for themselves, defend their voice but you find some having doubts of what they or we as a party can achieve.”
MRP Bulawayo Provincial youth chairperson, Meluleki Mguni, concurred by calling on youth who shunned political or civic processes to apply themselves in politics.
“Let’s not be afraid to challenge the system. If we don’t do that, other people will rule over us in Matabeleland while we just watch and then talk about it on social media. Let’s stand up,” he said.
MRP’s vice chairperson in Matabeleland North, Figwana Ernest Tshuma, declared that fear will not change governance.
“You hear people say, ‘we are afraid of disappearing’ but what about those who disappeared during Gukurhaundi? Do you care about them? We must fight for our area and identity,” he said, while a Matopo-based party district chairperson named Sibanda stated having experienced post-independence conflict and observed the horrors of Gukurahundi made him bolder.
“I am used to death. We have no time to be afraid, and killing us is wasting time. If you continue saying you are afraid of Zanu PF, it means you have not suffered or have no children who depend on you.”
Chairperson of MRP Women’s League, Sithembakuye Moyo, also urged people to fight oppression saying death was inevitable for everyone.
“You say you are afraid of being killed but you will die anyway because death is always there. The difference is how you die. Besides, we died a long time ago when our relatives were killed during Gukurahundi,” she said.
Deputy MRP Youth League chairperson, Mkhululi Jele, said everyone had a part to play in empowering and emancipating Matabeleland.
“We don’t want ogezasidle, people who want things to be done for them by other people. People die in different ways but it is honourable to die fighting for your rights, as people will remember you as a hero or heroine,” he said
Meanwhile, MRP Bulawayo Provincial Chairperson Sithabile Luphahla encouraged women to take up leadership roles because they were capable of running homes, families, and even successful men.
“Women should be beside male leadership as leadership requires mental capacity not physical attributes or looks. Unlike some men who, when they have power, start chasing after ‘baes,’ women often remain grounded. Women are nurturers and have shown their care for others in communities,” she said.
More female leaders, according to Luphahla, are needed because they understand the issues women face on a daily basis and the solutions required to address those challenges.
“Women wake up at 4 am to start preparing for the children and husband. Women work hard throughout the day and at night, and have to please their partners sexually. Yes, women are supposed to please their partners so what is there to be afraid of when women and men know each other? If men bite, we wouldn’t be pleasing them sexually or them us. Men said ‘I do’ to us and we also said ‘I do’ to them, so what is there to be afraid of – we all can be leaders,” she claimed.