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Mbonisi Gumbo of MRP gives his 2018 election analysis

21 Oct 2018 at 09:33hrs | Views
Mbonisi Gumbo of MRP offers a post-mortem and surgical assessment of the 2018 Elections. Mbonisi Gumbo is MRP's founding Secretary for Information and Publicity. In this wide ranging interview we are holding Mr Gumbo's feet to the fire and demand accountability. Interviewer- Thulani Nkala (TN) and interviewee-Mbonisi Gumbo(MG).

TN: The elections have come and gone. Your party was formed some time before the election year and it was its first time to contest the polls and got defeated. How would you rate and view the performance of your party during the July 30 elections?

MG: Our party was precisely formed some time in 2013, before it was officially launched on January 11 2014 in Bulawayo. We have explained before that as a party we went into the July 30th elections for strategic purposes. We intentionally wanted to unlock the International community avenues for our struggle, we wanted the much needed international attention, we wanted to use the campaign period to launch our struggle to another level, as we continue enlighten our people. The aims and objectives of participating were successfully met.

I am glad to announce to you that the performance of the party was excellent, the seed of success was planted and from here onward the trajectory is clear. We entered these elections with our eyes open and with the unsurpassed clarity of the mind. We understood that we were starting a new thing which was never experienced before, which is what they call regional politics in the Zimbabwean context yet we call it national politics and the vanguard of Mthwakazi nation. We managed during the elections to attract a lot of media attention, locally and internationally, we attracted international observers and journalists. Most of them are still in touch with us, as they realised that our case is real and here to stay until Mthwakazi is free.

Right now we are working tirelessly to relaunch the International lobby committee as was previously planned.

TN: What is your view of the electoral process, prior, during and post the polls?

MG: My view is that the Zimbabwean electoral processes are flawed, and are easily manipulated to the advantage of the ruling party. Unlike the MDC Alliance and ZANU PF, during the campaigns we had no access to the press. We also lacked funding to stage or unleash an effective and competitive campaign, however, with limited resources we worked tirelessly and our people are clearly beginning to notice.

The same ZANU PF uses state resources as well as government institutions to fund itself and campaign for itself, which is illegal and a clear breach of the Constitution. The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is still not independent as it should be, ZANU PF still have unlimited access to State resources, as well as unlimited and unholy influence on the running of this country's government.

The winner takes all election process, as well as the Harmonized election system should be abolished. There should be electoral reforms. The Parliamentary and local government elections must be separated to avoid the current scenario where everything is concentrated on the presidency while neglecting the local government. This must stop.

TN: Considering the defeat of your party in the elections, some people say we told you not to participate and legitimise the elections, do you think that your party will survive or do you have any future plans to extricate it from the doldrums of electoral defeat?

Nobody can stop an idea whose time has come, we are gaining traction on the ground. We will consolidate and move forward with speed and precision. The party will survive, mind you we did not participate to win the elections we participated for strategic reasons which were well articulated before the election and all the aims were met, actually we surpassed our planned outcomes. We are glad and move forward our heads held high.

We knew before participating that elections were going to be rigged, that is why we located our strategic thrust outside of what the riggers could influence.

We previously explained that we have a three point plan that is Short term plan, medium term plan and the long term plan we wish to follow that arrangement as it is.

Short Term Plan; Our short term plan is based on human mobilization, setting up party structures, locally and abroad, while trying by all means to unite the nation of Mthwakazi, participate in elections and all other internationally acceptable  political means to achieve our goal. We expect to work hard to make sure we win all Matabeleland Parliamentary seats, take control of local governance in all Mthwakazi councils without fail. We have good reasons why we need this political power and many people do agree with us on this vision.

Medium term plan; is where we are now, looking at bread and butter issues that affect our people on a daily basis. We are working out a move that will see us officially engaging the new administration over the issue of Devolution of power, we also want to protect our people from marginalization when it comes to the sharing of the national cake. We all know that the national cake is shared according to tribe, region, nepotism, party affiliation, and so on. Which all affect and works against our people.

The long Term: international lobbying, making sure that our people get Justice on the Gukurahundi genocide, as we work towards gaining our independence.

TN: Your party has an agenda of restoring the Mthwakazi state, some have said it is a pipe dream or a pie in the sky, do you think it is achievable
 and how do you plan to achieve it?

MG: It is very true that our party advocates for the Restoration of Mthwakazi, we are very much convinced that it is an achievable agenda.  On this one it is essential to keep evolving as a party, keep growing and accepting new talent into our ranks. We will gladly have a mix of different talents, already we have started receiving new membership including intellectuals and academics. In our party nobody is better than the others, we value everyone equally and we realise that our different skills augment each other's. We value the revolutionary mission of the founders of the party and we will always seek to recognise their contribution, however, the phase we entering into demands that all Mthwakazi peoples pull together.

 We are not complacent nor undermine the work ahead of us, however, we have been studying the political terrain in Mthwakazi and it is encouraging, people are starting to assert their rights and redefine their destinies. Our people are always like that, they take time to change but once they do you cannot stop their resolve and now they have decided to restore their state as this is the only way they will achieve security for their children and achieve respect as human beings. Brick by brick we will built our Mthwakazi.

 We have our three point plan which if properly followed we will most likely push for a referendum, through local and international lobbying, protests, engagements and all other legal political processes of putting pressure on the government to respect the Rights of the so called minority tribes.  

TN: Who is funding your operations?

MG: Mthwakazi Republic Party is fully funded by its members, the little they contribute is what keeps the party going.

TN: What are the challenges you are facing in the political space and how do you relate with other political parties, CSos and the state institutions such as the police cios, local government, and the army?

MG: The biggest challenge we face as a political party is lack of funding, lack of adequate media publicity, harassment by the state security agents and ZANU PF apologists.

So far we have had a good working relationship with most of our Civic society in Matabeleland particularly Bulawayo.

Mthwakazi Republic Party leaders and the members have no relationship what so ever with the State Security agencies, because we  are the victims of their cruelty, we have had our people being beaten by , ZANU PF thugs, army, CIOs, and so on. In most councils within Matabeleland we have a good relationship with management than the corrupt ZANU PF and MDC- Alliance councilors.

TN: Your members have been arrested several times for protesting against authorities can you tell me if there are still pending court cases of similar nature and how many are they?

MG: Eleven of our party leadership were arrested in Lupane 2015, including the president and myself for conducting what the state said was an illegal meeting at Gumede grounds. The police later on decided to withdraw the case, after we had spent two days and two nights at Jotsholo police camp only to be dumped in Hwange, when 9 of us were released, leaving only the President Mqondisi Moyo and the former SG Cde Hloniphani Ncube as the only ones with a case to answer, that case is currently at the High court after Our lawyers from Abameli Lawyers for Human Rights Network had managed to convince the Magistrate courts that the case was a Constitutional matter.

The same year of 2015 we also had four of our members being arrested at Mlamuli Secondary School in Lupane, for demonstrating against the former heard there a  Miss Bonyongwe. The case was dismissed as they were found not guilty after the trial. Some of our members were once arrested while they were  demonstrating against the importation of labor from Mashonaland at the expense of our people at the KFC branch in Famona.

Those arrested were later forced to pay a fine of $5-00 each, funny enough one of them was fined for public urinating instead of protesting.  On December 30 2017 we had eight of our members including  one lady being arrested at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair. Where they were severely tortured by the police, army, CIO and ZANU PF thugs including the late Magura combined, they were later released after they were detained at the Army barracks for many hours, only to be dumped at Bulawayo central police station at night without any medication.

Our people have been arrested many times, or in some cases we have had our party programs being interrupted by the police for no apparent reason besides the fact that we are Mthwakazi people. I wouldn't name all of the cases our party members are facing.

Currently we have ten people who were arrested at Pick N Pay Hyper Super Market here in Bulawayo for protesting against the importation of labor at the giant Supermarkets, their trial started on the 24th of September and it will continue on the first of October at Tredgold, courts in Bulawayo.

As a party we are still pursuing the freedom of those arrested while at the same time, continuing to petition Pick N Pay to re-employ those affected by Ntini's unfair tribal dismissal of our people from Matabeleland while replacing them with people from Mashonaland.

We have been engaging the company's headquarters in South Africa to no avail to the extent that they have since asked us to engage Harare office of the company of which we are in the process of engaging them. We still insist that private and public institutions must employ locals, not the current scenario where only people from Matabeleland are overlooked in favour of those from Mashonaland.

We will keep protesting against such tribalistic institutions like Pick N Pay.
In our next instalment Mr Gumbo speaks about his president Mr Mqondisi Moyo, he delves into the institution of the monarch and why they support King Bulelani Khumalo, he dissects the Shona Grand Plan and its implications on the Mthwakazi psyche and he proffers a pro Mthwakazi narrative to counter and repel the effects of the Grand Plan. Mr Gumbo also speaks on the devolution of power and the Bulawayo City council. He also enunciates on the controversial but revolutionary idea of a Mthwakazi Parliament which will be seating soon.

We hope you have enjoyed the interview if you still want to know more or join the MRP PARTY please engage Mr Gumbo on +27 603347380

Source - Thulani Nkala
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