MLF petition Zimbabwean embassy in South Africa

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Mthwakazi Liberation Front (MLF) on Wednesday claimed they have petitioned the Zimbabwean Embassy in South Africa demanding the separation of Matabelelaland and Midlands provinces from the rest of the country.

MLF spokesperson David Magagula told NewsDay on Wednesday four party members handed in the petition to the Zimbabwe Embassy in Pretoria on Tuesday.

“We have sent four of the party’s members to Pretoria to present the petition to the ambassador,” he said.

Efforts to get confirmation from Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to South Africa, Phelekezela Mphoko, were fruitless as his phone went unanswered.

On April 19, MLF party members marched to the Zimbabwe Consulate in Johannesburg where they wanted to hand in the petition but failed after they found the offices closed.

In the process, the group burnt down a Zimbabwean flag to register their displeasure at the government’s reluctance to recognise the region as Mthwakazi state (Matabeleland and Midlands).

Magagula told NewsDay last week they would continue burning national flags until the government listened to their grievances.

But other party members dissociated themselves from the act describing those who burnt the flag as “a reckless disgruntled mob”.

Bulawayo-based MLF national organising secretary, Max Mkandla, said the Diaspora-based apparatchiks wanted to tarnish the image of the party.

“Actions such as the distribution of flyers, which happened earlier this year without the consent of Bulawayo-based members, have caused the arrest of MLF leaders Paul Siwela, Charles Thomas and John Gazi,” said Mkandla.

Mkandla’s remarks irked other party leaders who on Tuesday threatened to take disciplinary action against him saying he should not have condemned the burning of the flag.

Mkandla however shot back saying violence was not part of the party’s campaign strategies.

Burning of the national flag is an offence in Zimbabwe and police have already warned party leaders risked prosecution if they committed the offence in the country.