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Of Ndebele kingdom restoration, secession

by Staff reporter
19 Jul 2017 at 14:23hrs | Views
SINCE the formation of the Mthwakazi Liberation Front (MLF) in 2010, there has been serious talk for secession of Matabeleland from Zimbabwe.

While the chorus is getting louder, beneath are low voices of the Khumalos (King Mzilikazi clan), who strongly feel that there was need for revival of the Ndebele kingdom.

Lately, there have been calls from another secessionist political formation, Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP), and from the self-imposed new Ndebele king, Stanley Tshuma, that there is need for self-governance.

While addressing the gathering over the weekend at Large City Hall, Tshuma declared that Matabeleland region would now be referred to as Mthwakazi kingdom.

Tshuma went as far as unveiling a new Mthwakazi flag and announced September 12 as the day of his coronation.

"Mthwakazi is a kingdom, not a republic. All agreements to incorporate it into Mashonaland are null and void," Tshuma said.

However, Tshuma's calls augur well with MRP, whose ideology is along same lines.

"We are fully convinced that the installation of a king is also key to our quest for self-determination, hence our support for the Khumalo family and the chiefs' resolve to announce the heir to the throne in August," MRP president Mqondisi Moyo told the Daily News.

"This is the practicality of what we are doing, it won't be long before we got our independence, and all we need is unity of purpose as different stakeholders," he said.

Political analyst Gifford Sibanda yesterday laid into the whole Mthwakazi initiative saying it was not only illegal but not practical.

"The issue of secession is borne out of anger due to the failure by Zanu-PF to unite the nation after independence. But besides secession is not possible without bloodshed, there is no way Zanu-PF can be forced to cut the nation without a fight," Sibanda told the Daily News.

"Above that the issue of secession has no takers because organisation like the African Union have indicated that they only support colonial borders, so it makes their (MRP) mission impossible," he said.

Turning to the Ndebele kingdom, Sibanda said the whole issue is now based on factionalism; there is no more sincerity in the push as it's now more of a family fight for a dynasty.

"The Ndebele kingdom issue will not work because the Zimbabwean Constitution does not recognise monarchs but traditional chiefs. In other words, his (Tshuma's) influence cannot be enforced at law. In any case, his coronation will not have an impact therefore it will be as good as useless."

Amakhosi Cultural Centre founder Cont Mhlanga, however, railed at both those seeking the Ndebele kingdom and those pushing for secession that they should understand the legal implications of what they are doing.

"The problem with people of Matabeleland is they use emotions in their push sometimes for genuine things," Mhlanga told the Daily News.

"You know when you use emotions even your reasoning declines. What I am saying here is the people who are talking about the Ndebele Kingdom today missed their chance to talk about that in 2013 during the Constitution-making programme. They could have raised that during that time and ensured that the issue of kingdoms was included in the Constitution.

"Surprisingly, the same people who are talking about kingdom now were busy advocating devolution and forgot that they want a king.

"So basically, from my take (President Robert) Mugabe is very kind, because these people are sitting on treason of the highest order."

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