Police ordered to crackdown on Matebeleland secessionists

BULAWAYO,- Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri has allegedly ordered police to crack down on political activists in Matabeleland who have launched a campaign to breakaway from the rest of the country.\r\n

Chihuri has ordered his commanders in the province to arrest the pro-independence activists most of whom are operating from South Africa but are also gaining popularity in some parts of Matabeleland.

Chihuri’s order follows the launch of the militant and radical Mthwakazi Liberation Front (MLF) a movement which advocates for the independence of the region claiming that its people- the Ngunis, Kalanga, Venda, Sothos, Tonga and others have been marginalised for too long and face discrimination everyday at work places and tertiary institutions.

The organisation says it is the legitimate voice of the people of Matabeleland and advocates for the secession of the region from the rest of Zimbabwe.They are claiming the government of President Robert Mugabe has marginalised the people of the region for too long.

However in a radio signal sent on Monday from the Police General Headquarters (PGHQ) in Harare to Matabeleland police stations, police commanders were “ordered to be on high alert, monitor and arrest political activists from the region who are calling for a breakaway state of Mthwakazi.

The Ndebele state under Mzilikazi was known as Mthwakazi-derived from the name “ Umuthwakazi ” a San Queen.The Matabeleland pro-independence movement is gaining momentum in South Africa where MLF holds well attended meetings every weekend in Soweto and in greater Johannesburg.

“The actions of this group will cause  alarm and despondency, Zimbabwe is one and they will never be two states,” the message said.The Matabeleland secessionists appear to have been encouraged by events in South Sudan where its people voted overwhelmingly to breakaway from mainland Sudan.

The referendum was one of the consequences of the 2005 Naivasha Agreement between the Khartoum central government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM).The results of the referendum will be announced next month but all indications are that South Sudan will be a separate country with its own government.

The United Nations will be assisting with drawing up borders to avoid disputes.Meanwhile addressing a rally at Diepsloot on the outskirts of Johannesburg at the weekend MLF Secretary for Information and Publicity, David Magagula said that his party is preparing for a formal demand calling on the Harare government to hold a referendum to decide the destiny of Matabeleland.

Its activists have been distributing T-shirts and calendars with the map of the group,s imagined state.The Republic of Mthwakazi as it is known will have five provinces- Mpumalanga, Nkabazwe, Bulilima, Zambezi and Limpopo.