ANOTHER secessionist party was launched in Bulawayo on Saturday, promising to push for seperation of the south-western parts of the country within two years.
The Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP) joins parties such as the Matabeleland Liberation Organisation (MLO) led by Paul Siwela, Patriotic Union of Matabeleland fronted by former Bulawayo councillor Wilson Bacinyane and the Matabeleland Liberation Front (MLF) led by Zimbabweans exiled in South Africa.
MRP led by vocal activist Mqondisi Moyo, like other secessionist parties that have sprouted in the past few years, says it wants Matabeleland and the Midlands provinces to secede to form the Mthwakazi Republic.
The parties claim the two provinces were made part of Zimbabwe by the colonial government without the consent of the inhabitants.
MRP claimed its motivation to secede comes from the fact that Zimbabwe is now “a failed State” that allegedly segregates the people of Matabeleland and the Midlands.
“Just as it was when King Mzilikazi (Khumalo)arrived in this land around 1821, now 33 years after independence from British rule, Zimbabwe is at a position where it has become a failed State,” Moyo told journalists at the official launch of the party at a city church.
“There is no justifiable reason for the people of Mthawakazi to be part of this State called Zimbabwe,” he added.
“When the republic of Zimbabwe was constructed, we as the people were never approached to opt to be included in this State.
“Judging by how we were treated after the days of colonial rule in the State of Zimbabwe, it is clear that we are not welcome in the State structure of the people of Zimbabwe.”
Moyo claimed people from the region were excluded by Zimbabwe’s education, economic and agricultural policies and were also denied employment opportunities.
“The most difficult thing to find is a sector where we are included and treated as equal citizens,” he said.
He said the party was not tribal and would not seek to push out anyone wishing to remain in the State they want to create.
Moyo said MRP wanted to rebury all victims of the Gukurahundi massacres in Matabeleland and the Midlands and push for a national holiday to honour them.
He warned the government to take them seriously, but insisted that the party would use peaceful means to push its agenda.
Moyo said a committee of elders would be set up to “negotiate with the government of Zimbabwe” and the secession should happen within the next two years.
Sithabiso Masina was introduced as the MRP vice-president and Zakhele Ndebele as the chairman.