A South Africa-based Zimbabwean civic society group, Foundation of Reason and Justice, has described the Mthwakazi Liberation Front (MLF) as “tribal and evil” and accused the secessionist party of fomenting tribal hatred.
In a statement, Collen Makumbirofa, a human rights activist and writer attached to the foundation, said MLF was bent on promoting hatred between Shona and Ndebele people.
“A group demanding independence of Matabeleland is very tribal and evil. If you go to their meetings in Johannesburg they are very tribal and are promoting hatred of Shonas. Gukurahundi is their marketing strategy. All Shonas are accused of having committed genocide against Ndebeles,” said Makumbirofa.
But MLF spokesperson David Magagula dismissed the remarks as baseless.
“The statement is a lie and a fabrication meant to pour cold water on the genuine cause of the people of Mthwakazi. We are not tribalistic.
“We just want to restore what (the State of Mthwakazi) was there for,” said Magagula.
“As MLF, we want to restore our country to its rightful owners. How can we be tribalistic when we have 17 languages? Our understanding is that the Mpumalanga province on our map has Shona-speaking people.”
The MLF was launched in December last year in Bulawayo but has its headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Makumbirofa said Gukurahundi was committed by the then Zanu PF leadership and must be blamed on them and not all the Shonas.
“It must be made clear that Lobengula invaded Madzimbabwe and committed genocide against Shonas. It will be ridiculous for Shonas to accuse present-day Ndebeles for genocide against Shonas in the same way it is ridiculous for MLF to accuse Shonas for what powerful elites have done without the approval of Shona people.
“I used to respect the Mthwakazi people, but I have seen that these guys are full of evil intentions and are bent on promoting tribal conflict between the Shona and Ndebele. Therefore, Ndebeles and Shonas should fight for a one and new Zimbabwe, together. Unity is precious.”