By Dumisani Nyoni
Bulawayo, August 10, 2016 – THE recent appointment of Nelson Chamisa and Elias Mudzuri by MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai to join Thokozani Khuphe as his deputies has annoyed the secessionist Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP) which accuses Zimbabwean politicians of using Matabeleland as a place to source for popular support and yet overlook people from the region when it came to top leadership positions.
In a statement this weekend, MRP spokesperson Mbonisi Gumbo said Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko and Khuphe should join their push for a separate Ndebele state arguing that people in Harare had low regard for those who hail from the southern parts of the country.
Mthwakazi Republic Party is seeking the creation of an independent state in predominantly Ndebele southern Zimbabwe over what it says is continued marginalisation of the region by the current Robert Mugabe government.
Gumbo said Mphoko and Khuphe should join political parties fronted by Ndebele-speaking people to avoid being used for nothing.
The group accuses Tsvangirai – who is battling colon cancer – of trying to stifle Khupe’s rise to MDC leadership as it becomes clear he could be forced to give up his job due to illness.
Tsvangirai has denied his appointment of Chamisa and Mudzuri as his co-deputies was an attempt to block a Ndebele politician from ascending to the top leadership of a national political party like his.
However, Gumbo still felt the pair’s appointments were tribal.
“It’s high time we support only Mthwakazi parties and do away with all the Harare leaders. They are not for us. History has repeated itself many times,” Gumbo said.
“These people don’t like us. We hope to see Mphoko joining MRP soon, since he has also proven for himself that he is not loved in Harare but they are only using him the same way Khuphe was used all this while.”
Mphoko reportedly told people in Bulawayo’s Njube surburb recently that people from the city should not be carried away by any politician who comes to the city seeking relevance.
“Any politician who wants to launch his or her political party has a tendency of coming to Bulawayo first. We have the likes of Simba Makoni, Tendai Biti, Morgan Tsvangirai, Acie Lumumba and others who have turned this city into their playground because they know that you are easily carried away,” Mphoko was quoted as saying.
Mphoko also reportedly said these people have turned the city into their “launch pad, taking advantage of our credulity as residents.”
He warned the Bulawayo electorate, saying it was gullible and prone to being swayed by political whirlwinds.
“Don’t fall prey to anyone who comes here from Harare to deceive you. Don’t forget that this is a Royal city. Don’t be gullible to non-Mthwakazi parties.
Mphoko blasted political rivals querying his war credentials, saying their aim was to tarnish his image because he is Ndebele.
“Mphoko’s remarks are true. We must stay away from Harare or Shona political parties because it’s not good for us,” Gumbo said.
MRP said it was time people supported political parties fronted by other tribes as opposed to those led by one tribe only.
“Our fellow citizens, lets support our own political parties Mphoko has said. Stay away from Zanu-PF, MDC-T, Mavambo/Kusile, PDP, Viva Zimbabwe and so on,” Gumbo said.
“As MRP, we encourage our people to have faith in themselves and stop following things or political parties they don’t know.”