HomeLocal NewsSiwela in trouble for ‘stealing’ MLF limelight

Siwela in trouble for ‘stealing’ MLF limelight

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The high-profile trial of Mthwakazi Liberation Front (MLF) activist Paul Siwela has reportedly thrown the secessionist party’s leadership into a quandary over who the true party leader is.

MLF deputy-secretary-general John Gazi said the high-profile treason case had confused members of the party into believing Siwela was the party leader, yet he was just an economic advisor.

“The leader of MLF is General Nandinandi. The continued media mistakes that Siwela is the leader of the party is sending wrong signals and might put our organisation into disarray out there.

“People have raised concern on certain issues and they want to know if Siwela has replaced general Nandinandi. Siwela is the economic advisor to the MLF chapter in Zimbabwe,” he said.

Contacted for comment on Thursday, Siwela said he had never been interested in usurping the powers of the president but was just playing his role in the movement.

Gazi said it was important that people should also understand that what Siwela expresses in interviews are his personal opinions and not the party’s policy.

“There are things that he has expressed in interviews and those are his personal views of how he views the politics of this country. It is not the MLF position. He is not the MLF spokesperson,” he said.

Siwela, who is facing treason charges for the second time for advocating for “radical solutions” to the marginalisation of Matabeleland, is a famous activist, the most recognisable in the region.

Gazi said the parent structure of the party, mostly in South Africa and Botswana, has asked the Zimbabwean leadership of the party, to limit their political statements.

“We have been asked to use the proper channels of MLF to communicate,” he said.

Asked what Siwela had said which was contrary to the party’s policies, Gazi said the issue of a meeting with President Robert Mugabe should have been raised through party structures and not the media.

“For example, the modalities around the issue of pardon should be discussed by the party structures. Those are issues that should be presented through the correct channel,” he said.

MLF treasurer Makhosini Khumalo said: “At the time when they were in prison, they were all portrayed as leaders of MLF, yet the leader of the party is General Nandinandi.”

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