Zim parties rubbish Mthwakazi threat

HARARE - Zimbabwe’s often warring parties, in a rare show of unity, have come out guns blazing against a separatist movement which is threatening war.

The South African-based Mthwakazi Liberation Front (FLM) (Mthwakazi) is seeking to have Zimbabwe sliced into two halves. The group says this will represent what it claims were the original historic mappings of the country before colonialism in the 19th century.

Last week, Mthwakazi made far-fetched threats to take up arms against the governments of Zimbabwe and Britain for refusing to entertain the group’s demands.

Political parties in the country say the group’s demands are absurd.

Minister of State in the President’s office and Zanu PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa told the Daily News that his party treated the threats from Mthwakazi seriously.

“The fact that they are threatening military action means they have arms and for that reason we will handle them accordingly,” he said.

“Where do they want to take our country to because Zimbabwe has always been one? It is simply unacceptable,” Mutasa said.

The MDC formation led by Industry minister Welshman Ncube MDC said Zimbabwe will always be known by its tea pot-shaped boundaries and that anyone who wanted to change them would be dealt with constitutionally.

“When we deal with such issues we are guided by a national ethos that enables people to access national resources and our answer to that is devolution, not this madness,” party spokesperson Nhlahla Dube said.

“We will therefore not speak to issues that are clearly taken care of in our Constitution. We know what will happen to those who are bent on destabilising the country,” Dube said.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC youth assembly president Solomon Madzore described the threat as unfortunate.

He said the new Constitution provides for devolution, which deals with concerns of marginalised provinces.

“It is rather unfortunate that Mthwakazi is threatening war,” he said.

“As youths we are very energetic and exuberant so should they attempt to carry out their threats, we will condemn them in the strongest terms possible, especially that we now have a new charter that guides us,” said Madzore.

While acknowledging that Mthwakazi has a right to freedom of expression, former Zanu PF politburo member and now Zapu president Dumiso Dabengwa said it would be wrong to abuse that right.

In a letter to the British monarchy last week, Mthwakazi issued a threat of armed war against the United Kingdom and Zimbabwe, declaring a 90-day ultimatum.

“I write on behalf of the people of Matabeleland (Mthwakazi), a Kingdom destroyed by Her Majesty’s forces under the banner of the British South Africa Company (BSAC) in 1894. This is the third time we seek audience with Her Majesty on the restoration of the kingdom of Matabeleland (Mthwakazi State),” reads the Mthwakazi’s letter to the British monarchy.

“In our last correspondence, you directed us to the Zimbabwean government and we got the harshest of replies from Robert Mugabe, the sitting president in the binary arrangement (whereby Matabeleland and Mashonaland were bundled into one country without the consent of the subjects into Rhodesia then and Zimbabwe today) which you created in a whites only referendum of 1923.

“We regret to have resolved to take such a stance and we add that this is the last peaceful means that we the people of Mthwakazi will do before we engage the occupying regime otherwise, in the not so distant a future. We have sufficient evidence to push your State and government to its knees while we prepare to settle the issue militarily with the obdurate Zimbabwean government,” the organisation’s spokesperson David Magagula wrote.

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