By Judith Sibanda
Victoria Falls, April 12, 2016 – ONE of the secessionist parties seeking the creation of an independent state in south western Zimbabwe says it is targeting the estimated three million locals living in neighbouring South Africa.
Matabeleland Republic Party (MRP) said it would officially launch its South African branch on April 23 in Johannesburg to help recruit Zimbabweans based in that country.
The theme of the launch event would be ‘Towards the restoration of Mthwakwazi State through true unity in our diversity’.
“The event would be targeting more than three million Mthwakazians who are living in South Africa after running away from the atrocities of the (President Robert) Mugabe regime ranging from Gukurahundi, ESAP (Economic Structural Adjustment Programme, deindustrialization of Mthwakazi, fast track land reform programme and continuous killing of our people,” MRP said in a statement.
“We have extended our invitations to other Mthwakazi groups be it arts, social and political groups who subscribe to our vision, to come and give solidarity messages,” the party added.
MRP president and activist, Mqondisi Moyo would reportedly present a two year strategy for the party.
“The South African (branch) is a critical province in Mthwakazi as earlier mentioned that scores of Mthwakazi sons and daughters are exiled there due to political, social and economic alienation of the people of Mthwakazi,” MRP said.
“Since independence of Zimbabwe, the Mugabe regime have brought nothing more than suffering and killings of innocent souls.
“A large number of Mthwakazi sons and daughters resort to migrate to South Africa to seek for a better livelihood.
“We therefore, call upon all our Mthwakazi citizens to attend this crucial function that would give an informative update on how Mthwakazi Republic Party would usher in Mthwakazi independence.”
A number of secessionist groups have sprouted in Bulawayo and South Africa riding on feelings of alienation by people in Midlands and Matabeleland.
The groups want the region to secede saying it was forced to be part of Zimbabwe by British colonisers.
However, the state has in the past clamped down on the groups forcing their leaders into exile.
One of the prominent secessionist leaders Paul Siwela was forced into exile after he was charged with treason for alleged distribution of literature calling for the creation of a separate Mthwakazi State.