Security Tightened For MDC Minister

Gwanda, – Security was on Wedesday tightened for MDC's Minister of National Healing, Sekai Holland, who has riled the wrath of Ndebele youths and are baying for her blood after she recently said King Mzilikazi was a "thief".

Holland is said to have said: “King Mzilikazi and his mob were a violent lot who stole cattle”.

Police and members of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) on Wednesday maintained a heavy presence due to mounting tensions at a chiefs’ meeting held in Gwanda with Holland and other Co-ministers of National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration, Zanu PF’s John Nkomo and Gibson Sibanda from the other faction of MDC.

There had been reports earlier that a group of youths had planned to stage a demonstration against Holland in protest over her sentiments but abandoned the idea after realizing that anti-riot police had sealed the entrance to the venue of the meeting.

The organ reportedly beefed security following the arrest of five youths in Bulawayo Tuesday who had planned to demonstrate against Holland.

Two pressure groups Ibhetshu Likazulu and Mthwakazi National Cultural Association had earlier in the week called for Holland’s ban in Matabeleland accusing her of instigating tribalism.

However, Holland who looked jittery said in her opening remarks that she felt at home being in Matabeleland.

“I feel at home being here since my mother hails from this area and my Chief who happens to be my uncle Vezi Maduna is here and I hope this meeting will proceed without any problems”, she said.

The media was barred from the meeting by Nkomo saying traditional leaders felt intimidated by the presence of journalists and hence could not air their views freely.

Sources who attended the meeting told Radio VOP that the organ on National healing had requested the Chiefs not to raise Holland’s issue since “it was being looked into by the top leadership”.

Governor Angeline Masuku who a fortnight ago urged Tsvangirai to take action against Holland said she had not discussed the issue with her. “I did not talk to her (Holland) about the issue, I told Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai that we are not happy and I expect him to take action."

Zwide Kalanga, a descendent of King Mzilikazi has said Holland should be brought before a Chiefs council to answer charges being leveled against her.

Holland refused to speak to the media.