AN INDEPENDENT STATE IS THE ONLY VIABLE OPTION FOR THE PEOPLE OF MTHWAKAZI
MTHWAKAZI LIBERATION FRONT PRESIDENT
CHURCHILL MPIYESIZWE GUDUZA
10 JANUARY, 2021
Greetings to all!
It is important to underline in addition to the emphasis on the importance of skills development for Mthwakazi which was published last week, that we look forward to fruitful engagements this year with all those whose goal is to liberate the people of Mthwakazi. As the Mthwakazi Liberation Front (MLF) we remain ready and wish this pandemic could be obliterated soon so that we could have real and fruitful engagements with such organisations. To that end we look forward to meeting with them at a leadership conference in the not distant future. In the meantime, we shall again distribute our vision to all of them and insist that they provide us with theirs so that the liberation of our people is no longer held back by continuous bickering. We owe it to our people to come up with one voice so that together we can realize the goals of liberation, freedom and justice for all.
Since 1980 until today we have been subjected to genocide and ethnic cleansing in which our people have been raped, women bayonetted alive to kill the babies in their wombs, tortured, brutalized, buried alive in mass graves, thrown alive in disused mine shafts, disappeared, forced to flee into exile, denied any employment and business opportunities, denied health and other lifesaving interventions, robbed of our properties, robbed of our land, made to become squatters in our own cities without access to housing, deprived of opportunities in social, economic and cultural development, prevented from organizing politically and many others. The list goes on and on. We have literally been annihilated through social, economic, political and cultural genocide and strangulation by the Shona hegemony.
What the period from 1980 until today also signifies is the abdication of responsibilities by ZIPRA to liberate and defend the masses. More than anything else ZIPRA failed to bring about the desired change regarding the socio-economic, political and cultural structure prevailing under Rhodesian rule. But instead, some of the ZIPRA personnel participated with the ZANU-PF regime in dishing out continued slavery, domination, subjugation and humiliation on the people of Mthwakazi. Almost 41 years after the guns fell silent against European colonialism in Rhodesia, those master and servant relations have been exchanged, usurped and taken over by another colonial power in the form of Shona hegemony. Not even the European colonialists had the capacity to impose such brutal conditions on our people as the Shona hegemony under the ZANU-PF regime has done. We have lost everything, even the rights to sing for our children on their birthdays, let alone at a drinking spot. Congregating with family and friends over any form of celebration has since become a criminal offence, one that has to be cleared by the ZANU-PF regime.
When the Gukurahundi killer brigade was deployed in Mthwakazi, Emerson Mnangagwa uttered these words, “Blessed are they who will follow the path of Government laws, for their days will be increased. But woe unto those who choose the path of collaboration with dissidents for we will certainly shorten their stay on earth”. His boss Robert Mugabe echoed, “The solution in Matebeleland is a military one. Their grievances are unfounded. The verdict of the voters was cast in 1980. They should have accepted defeat then. The situation in Matebeleland is one which requires change. The people must be reoriented”.
Some of the ZIPRA personnel not only deserted their historic mission of liberating their people by serving in different ranks in the killer ZANU-PF regime. Even in retirement, some of these personnel (who today masquerade as ex-ZIPRA forums) continue to serve their master, the ZANU-PF regime. There can be no question that what qualified these persons to positions in the Zimbabwe army was precisely, their collaboration with the Gukurahundi vampires in the despicable atrocities, which included rape being used as a tool for promotion, and information not only about the real ex-ZIPRA combatants, but also about all the communities that they trained to liberate, throughout Mthwakazi. They were after all, following Mugabe’s orders, of reorienting the people of Mthwakazi through genocide and ethnic cleansing.
This has been unrelenting and continues today. What ZIPRA fought for was never achieved. It remains a mirage. People continue to live under worst forms of slavery ever experienced anywhere in the world. This has been assisted by the so-called ex-ZIPRA cadres, some of whom not only colluded but participated in the goals of the obliteration of their people. As genocide and ethnic cleansing was unleashed against their people, with their mothers, sisters, nieces, cousins and grandmothers forcibly humiliated through despicable acts of rape, some of these so-called ex-ZIPRA cadres were being rewarded with ranks of generals, brigadiers, captains, majors, lieutenants and others by Robert Mugabe on the recommendation of none other than, Emerson Mnangagwa. Clearly, in doing so, Mnangagwa increased their days in Zimbabwe.
They must also disclose their roles when the most heinous crimes against humanity were perpetrated by Mugabe and Mnangagwa’s regime against the people of Mthwakazi? Why could they not organize self-defense units to defend the people against those Gukurahundi vampires? When Dr Joshua Nkomo observed that a country could achieve independence without its people being free, he must have realized that he had been let down by his senior comrades within ZAPU and those who today talk about ZIPRA’s legacy. What did these ZIPRA forums do when Nkomo’s passport was seized under the Law, Order and Maintenance Act (a piece of legislation that had been retained from the Rhodesian regime)?
What did these ZIPRA forums do when the ZANU-PF senior members, who included Shamuyarira organized various parties in various parts of that country, with their followers at which bulls (izinkunzi) were slaughtered in celebration? What did these ZIPRA forums do when Mugabe blessed these parties at one rally in Harare by instructing his followers that it was “time to strike the bushes in your field with your clubs and take the rotten pumpkins out of the patch”? What did these ZIPRA forums do when Enos Nkala stated that, “Zanu rules this country and anyone who challenges that is a dissident” and should be exterminated? What did these ZIPRA forums do when Mugabe followed with these chilling words, “life will get tough for those who were still unrepentant”? What did these ZIPRA forums do when Mugabe celebrated the surrender of ZAPU through the so-called unity accord in these words, “The supremacy of ZANU-PF must be asserted because government was born of the party and the party and the people have become one”?
There can be no doubt that Nkomo was sacrificed by these loud mothed so-called ZIPRA forums who had all ganged up against him. In response, he did the right thing, by surrendering, like any general facing defeat would have done, to surrender in order to live to fight again. The people of Mthwakazi shall forever be grateful to Dr Nkomo for this surrender in 1987, as it saved several thousands of lives. This is an inexcusable fact that unlike the Shona people in that country, the rest were forced to belong to Zimbabwe through violence. Just like Rhodesia which was born from violence, so was Zimbabwe. Violence has no colour. This means that a state nation, rather than a nation state was born through violence, genocide and ethnic cleansing. There are lessons to be drawn from this painful chapter. The fundamental one, being that even birds are different, although they both share the same air space in which they fly. Human beings too are different, including siblings in one family. All have unique characteristics. Elsewhere in the world, even white people are different, some are French, Russian, English, etc, but they are different in various aspects.
It is only in Africa that African people were banged together in one box by the former European powers who carved the continent into their spheres of influence and domination, when in reality they are different. There can be no question therefore that it is these differences that Mugabe, assisted by the so-called ZIPRA forums today, wanted to forcibly turn everybody through the pain of extinction into becoming Shona. Well, that project failed in the end, as the surrender by Dr Nkomo assisted the people of Mthwakazi to breathe again. And as such, the Shona people and those of Mthwakazi shall forever remain different, even in the eyes of evolution, yet they will continue to thrive together in this universe in respect, dignity and cooperation, as they must, because of the humanity, not violence that ties them together. From then onwards, the people could at least breathe again, albeit in perpetual uncertainty about the security of their lives. It is in this context therefore, that we need to leave behind anybody who still believes in ZIPRA and Zimbabwe as water under the bridge. This is why the struggle for the liberation of the masses must continue in whatever shape or form. In our case we are prosecuting it under the banner of the Mthwakazi Liberation Front (MLF). We reached this conclusion that a nation-state was not born in Zimbabwe, but only a state-nation which was born through violence.
The Mthwakazi Liberation Front
Let me state categorically, that unlike other movements that claim to be Mthwakazi this or Mthwakazi that, the Mthwakazi Liberation Front (MLF) has no messiah, yesterday, today or tomorrow. It only exists to liberate the people of Mthwakazi. To that end, the MLF has produced its vision by way of a detailed Draft Constitution for the establishment of a Federal Republic of Mthwakazi. It is a document that is available and accessible to all those who want to see it. It was drawn on the basis of the belief that each and every one of the Mthwakazi people has a duty to shape their destiny. In this sense it is a document that guides the vision of the MLF.
There are some people who have asked us why Mthwakazi groups have become so disjointed and fragmented, with others coming up from time to time. As the MLF we must put it on record that we have extended our hand of cooperation to such groups for the purposes of engagement and coming with a unified voice for Mthwakazi. We have done this having recognized that the divergence of views is healthy for any people who are emerging from the experiences that the people of Mthwakazi have gone through or witnessed. To that end we have continually challenged such groups to a leadership conference in which we could interrogate this question without fear or favor, but they have continued to remain silent on this issue. In 2015, we tried to engage with others at Chitawa Lodge in Botswana, but they refused to sign a joint declaration (the Chitawa Declaration). Since then, we have continued to try to engage but to no avail.
We in the MLF have come to a conclusion that our enemy being Shona hegemony and by extension its representative, the ZANU-PF regime has developed ingenious ways of keeping us divided by sponsoring the emergence of such groups all the time. So, it is our belief that most of them are not genuine Mthwakazi groups, but funded ones whose goal is to divert attention from the real liberation goals by making a lot of hot air noise. None of these groups have come up with their own visions or mission statements, other than that they want to model their so-called leaders as messiahs just like Joshua Nkomo in ZAPU. They are hellbent on promoting and projecting their leaders as a focus of attention rather than their vision as to what kind of Mthwakazi they want to build. For them, the struggle for Mthwakazi is like a beauty contest. As such, they have never been original in anything other reacting to instances that they then take over as their own. If for example, there is a fire in one of Mthwakazi localities, they would go there and take over that struggle as their own. How does one leave one’s own neighbourhood which is full of Shona people, and travel several kilometers away to complain about the same people? If they get arrested on the way, they think that makes them popular. There is no reason of leaving your house burning only to complain about other fires at far away distances.
So, like ZAPU, they have written nothing that can be scrutinized, other than creating a lot of noise. In this case they are not different from certain former ZIPRA cadres who reminisce about being war veterans when they have no rights to anything whatsoever, including the rights to feed their children. There is no question that such people may have a visible following which makes people believe that there is something that they are doing when in actual reality they are fakes. It is also easy for such groups to receive funding from many of our people because of the rhetoric that they make. Soon, once that cash flow starts drying up, they then send their leaders to borrow money from their supporters and by the time they are seen to be inimical to the dreams of those borrowers, it is too late.
Fundamentally, all these groups are united by one thing, again, just as some former ZIPRA cadres – duplicity. They preach Mthwakazi, but they want to go and sit in the Zimbabwe parliament as members of that parliament, having sworn allegiance to the Shona hegemony. There is nothing absolutely genuine about these groups. At best they are pure opportunistic and at worst, extremely dangerous to the plight of the people of Mthwakazi. Yet this is expected, as many of them have since become materialist owners of such products as cars, television sets, radios, cell phones and many others, because of the noise they make about Mthwakazi. If Dr Joshua Nkomo could be hounded and chased for dear life as a member of parliament in Zimbabwe, including his colleagues, notably Njini Ntutha who was killed as a minister, what makes these parties think that sitting in a Zimbabwe parliament would be any different for them and therefore beneficial to the people of Mthwakazi?
Outside the groups that they lead they could not in a million years own those materialistic products such as a smart phone or a car, but this has been made possible by clever manipulation. Generally, people are fallible. They will believe fake politics and conmen more than the real stuff. We have seen for example, how Donald Trump has lied and through those lies not only achieved power in the highest office in that country. We have also seen how through those lies he has managed to convince several thousands of his followers that he won the election when in reality he lost.
At this juncture, before moving to the way forward, we in the MLF would like to acknowledge most profoundly the role that the 1893 Mthwakazi Human Rights Restoration Movement (MHRRM) has played in assisting the people of Mthwakazi with tangible deliverables, in the form of water especially in Bulawayo. Their efforts need to be applauded by all and sundry. It may be a drop in the ocean, considering the scale of need, but people benefitted from this assistance, which also extended to many families, with food items, especially those who had lost their loved ones. Recently, we also saw a lecture that was delivered under the auspices of the 1893 MHRRM by one of the scholars from our country, Dr William Jethrow Mpofu. This lecture undoubtedly opened the eyes of many as to why Gugurahundi was inflicted on the people of Mthwakazi.
As mentioned before, the 1893 MHRRM has also been instrumental in partnering in the production of the Loyiko theatre group that has exposed the enormity of the crimes of genocide by the Gukurahundi to many South African and international audiences. Furthermore, they also held many demonstrations against Shona hegemony in the United Kingdom and South Africa. We believe that many more efforts to push back against the forces of Shona hegemony will continue to be organised by the 1893 MHRRM this year, and as such we shall continue engaging and collaborating with them in all efforts aimed at achieving human rights for all our people in Mthwakazi.
As we engage, we also intend ensuring that the funding mechanism for Mthwakazi and its associated programmes throughout 2021 becomes a reality under the Mthwakazi Sovereign Fund (MSF). This fund will be managed by a board of trustees, drawn from those interested individuals and parties, not necessarily members of the MLF, but people of high reputation and honesty across the board to ensure transparency and accountability. There can be no messiah running such a fund. We believe in charting our survival through the development and spread of projects across Mthwakazi. Those not familiar with the MSF, please kindly request a copy and we shall make it available to you, for your own interrogation and understanding.
Our dream is also to ensure that the Mthwakazi Academic College, which should serve as an online mechanism accessible to our people at home becomes functional this year. We would ask all those with the necessary skills and knowledge to help shape it into a formidable educational vehicle for our people, second to none. We have many people with various skills, technicians, IT specialists, engineers, academics, scholars and so on who can help shape its direction and successful implementation for the benefit of our people. In this way, even language specialists in the local languages of Mthwakazi could lend their hand and empower our children wherever they are with the power and knowledge of their languages. The Mthwakazi Academic College could also serve as a vehicle for supplying second hand and indeed brand-new gadgets, such as computers, printers, paper, smart phones, WIFI and many others to our people in Mthwakazi for use in all their educational efforts. Such help would extend to equipment for teaching of natural science subjects such as biology, chemistry and others.
These are practical steps that we need to implement in 2021, with the MSF being the core institution as a funding vehicle that would ensure the realization of the Mthwakazi dream with all its associated institutions, in the areas of health, education, transportation and many others. We have also composed the draft National Anthem, which will need your input to make it appeal to all and sundry in Mthwakazi. In the meantime, we would need to have it translated and composed into the different languages of Mthwakazi, Tonga, Nambya, Kalanga, Nguni, Sotho, Venda and others. Thus far we were assisted in translating it from English to Isindebele by one of our scholars in Mthwakazi. From there we then enlisted the assistance of a music group to compose it and have it recorded. With time we hope to disseminate it far and wide to all hinterlands of Mthwakazi, and would appreciate any assistance in that regard. Ultimately, it must be sung in all languages and in all corners of Mthwakazi.
As we face the future in the coming days, weeks and months of 2021, we call upon the youth (both genders) in particular, to join and help us shape the Mthwakazi Liberation Front into a formidable movement that will speedy up the liberation of our people. It is the youth after all, who must selflessly take over the strings of leadership and guide us to achieve the goals of liberating our people from all forms of strangulation. It is important to emphasise that the leadership of the Mthwakazi Liberation Front is not for life. Leaders will come and go, but we need selfless individuals who will never, even after consuming any amounts of materialism, fail to remain true to the aspirations of our people. Our first President, Mr Fidelis Ncube (aka General Nandinandi) laid the foundation for the MLF’s philosophy. We continue to benefit from his esteemed leadership insights and wisdom. I am the second MLF leader, after having served as its policy secretary for some time.
Similarly, there is no reason why the struggle for Mthwakazi under the MLF or any other formation for that matter, cannot be led by our women. As you may be aware, we have one of our leading lights and unwavering voices for Mthwakazi, as our National Chairperson, Mrs Patricia Tshabalala (uMama UmaTshabalala). We call upon many of our women to join us and strengthen the voices for reason. With such voices, we cannot be tricked by those who rule us by conquest when the time comes for direct engagements that will culminate in the internationally recognized divorce from Zimbabwe. There will come a time when we shall sit down with our rulers; by that time, we will be on an equitable basis to draw up the terms of our separation, determination of our borders and liabilities, trade, including how each country will access the waters of each river that runs through both countries, as well as hydroelectric power from the Kariba, involving an additional country, Zambia.
These are big undertakings that will require those with the necessary expertise in all the areas of the human spirit of Mthwakazi, in order to avoid being outsmarted by the grandchildren of our colonisers, the Shona hegemony, as ZAPU was outsmarted by the likes of Lord Carrington representing the colonial power Britain. It must never ever happen again in the lifetime of the people of Mthwakazi to have a Constitution drawn by our colonisers. We need to take our destiny in our hands. This is why, in the MLF, we have a Draft Constitution for the vision of a Federal Republic of Mthwakazi that will be based on linguistics. We cannot entrust that role to anybody but the people of Mthwakazi. Added to that, we have a logo, in the form of a Flame Lilly (a natural flower which is found in our country) for the Federal Republic of Mthwakazi (FREM). It will change subject to the Will of the people of Mthwakazi.
As we move forward this year in 2021 and beyond, we must vigorously reject any voices about devolution this or devolution that. Why should we accept another form of slavery, subjugation, domination and humiliation dressed up as devolution? The Shona hegemony created the conditions under which we live. We cannot therefore ask the same slave masters to dress our slavery conditions in sheep’s clothing called devolution. That is simple madness. All we want is divorce from this forced marriage. Period.
Not least, we need everyone, irrespective of gender and ethnicity to play their role in liberating Mthwakazi. What is good for Britain to EXIT the European Union, surely must be good also for the people of Mthwakazi to EXIT Zimbabwe. Britain is responsible for our plight. We need therefore to apply maximum pressure against it, so that they stop ruling us through the proxy of Shona hegemony. It was after all the British colonialists who forcibly incorporated Mthwakazi into a single unitary state with Mashonaland. In years past, precedents have been set with even the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) a superpower at the time crumbled to the will of different nationalities Ukraine, Georgia, Latvia, Estonia, and various others). So too was Yugoslavia which reverted back to different nation states of Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia Herzegovina, and others. Czechoslovakia also separated through a velvet divorce into the Czech and Slovak republics. Similarly, Sudan reverted back to two nation states of Sudan and South Sudan after a long struggle with millions of lives lost. The state of Ambazonia shall also be born from the forced incorporation into Cameroon.
There is therefore nothing unique and without precedent that cannot make the people of Mthwakazi to break away from the cycle of rape, genocide, ethnic cleansing and endemic poverty of Zimbabwe, to found their own independent state as the only viable option based on food security for all, human rights, liberty, freedom, the rule of law and justice. What is of paramount importance is to build Mthwakazi institutions that shall be anchored by just laws enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic, and not those of any individual, men or women.
Once again, happy new year to you all. Let us all continue to abide by the health protocols against this raging pandemic wherever we are, until this killer disease has been defeated.
I thank you.
Churchill Mpiyesizwe Guduza
- Churchill Mpiyesizwe Guduza is also the author of a new book; The Trials and Tribulations of a ZIPRA Soldier, which was published on the 4th January 2021, by Langaa Research & Publishing Common Initiative Group (LRPCIG), in Bamenda, North West Region of Cameroon. Below is the link for interested buyers. It is also possible to purchase it through major bookstores such as Foyles and Waterstones in the UK, Walmart in the USA, and others that are linked to the African Books Collective.