Siwela accuses Mat’land politicians of betrayal


PAUL Siwela, the leader of the Matabeleland Liberation Organisation (MLO), stirred a hornet’s nest yesterday after he described Matabeleland politicians who are part of the inclusive government as “traitors” who misled the electorate into accepting a half-baked draft constitution at the just-ended referendum.

Report by Silas Nkala

Earlier on, Siwela had told NewsDay that about 40% of the electorate in the region had been coerced into voting for the draft constitution after being misled into believing the document was anchored on devolution of power.

“So, politicians in Matabeleland betrayed their own people,” he said.

“They will regret when the time comes for them to realise that
they are not able to exercise the power they claim is enshrined in that constitution. With that kind of devolution even if we collect tax locally, we cannot plan independently. We have to go to someone in Harare for consent. This devolution will not improve people’s lives here,” Siwela said.

However, his remarks were immediately shot down by politicians from the two MDCs who described Siwela as “a rabble-rouser and noisy gong”.
“There is no devolution in that constitution. Matabeleland wants political power than just having a Bill of Rights without power. The draft constitution, having failed to devolve power to Matabeleland, leaves us with one option — that is to revert to the pre-colonial positions where Matabeleland enjoyed full sovereignty just as Mashonaland. Anything else would be the greatest betrayal,” said the MLO leader.

But MDC-T deputy national organising secretary Abednicho Bhebhe dismissed Siwela’s sentiments as a reflection of his ignorance on constitutional matters.

“Devolution is there in the constitution and what Siwela is saying shows that he is ignorant,” Bhebhe said. “The constitution cannot include everything, but the supporting clauses will be included through an Act of Parliament. He must know that it is not only Matabeleland that wants devolution, but most provinces in the country. If he does not know what he is talking about, he must shut up.”

MDC Bulawayo spokesperson Edwin Ndlovu said Siwela was a “confused politician who has jumped from one political party to the other in search of position to no avail”.

“Siwela has done nothing for the people of Matabeleland except making noise. It’s high time he stopped talking and do something for the people. We are tired of people who complain without giving,” Ndlovu said.


  1. Siwela is talking rubbish – he is just like his Shona Gukurahundi friends. The two confuse devolution for cessation hence the misguided noise.

    In a devolved state, as a province you don’t plan for development in isolation – you do so in the context of overall national development plans; overall national objectives.

    He should visit South Africa and see how devolution is working. South Africa has the National Development Plan (NDP) – this is driven by the New Growth Path (NGP) and the Industrial Policy Action Plans (IPAPs). The devolved provinces plan they development within the context of these national development plans – not in isolation, as he seems to imply here.

  2. Mpondos are at each other. Bulawayo needs a ndebele president for zambezi water prjct to sccd. Its sad to note currnt gvnt dnt spprt it, yet economists say tht prjct is beta thn diamond mines in mtare. Its sad to note tht there is rural electrfction in masvingo yet thre is non in mat north where elctrcty is generated. Mari dzese dzema toll gates nemadiamonds must fund tht project, bt who cares so long its not in harare.

  3. Siwela believes in secession, this is why he has difficulty in understanding devolution.

    The Shona Gukurahundis believe in centralised authoritarianism, this is why they find it difficult to understand both secession and devolution, hence they conflate the two to mean one and the same thing – infact deliberately so, so they continue looting national resources at will.

    Siwela and the Shona Gukurahundis are the extreme opposits of each other. Indeed they deserve each other – stupid fools!!

  4. Musoro waSiwela wakadhanganyika nokurohwa kwaakaitwa arimuhusungwa saka musamutore serious. Idhunyaz.

  5. the same goes for punyukabempete,all he frothes at the mouth is vitriol aimed at anything shona.If u feel so aggrieved about what happened in the past why not address it in the correct fora.punyu,u are dangerous even to the people whom you purport to represent

    • @k.mafirakureva
      There is a big difference between the Shona Gukurahundi (ZANU PF) and the ordinary peaceful Shona.

      There is also a big difference between the Mthwakazi Gukurahundi (ZANU PF, Jabulani Sibanda, Mpofu etc) and the ordinary peaceful Mthwakazi.

      If you cannot get that, too bad I cannot help you!

  6. Anything that we share here let’s be guided by principles of democracy.

    Devolution can only work if the government in place is commited to it. it can be used to further marginalise provinces. it can be used to develop provinces.

    • @principles of democracy

      This applies to the constitution as whole, not just devolution. Human rights and property rights were protected in the Lancaster House constitution, but the Gukurahundis still went ahead and did their own thing in violation of these constitutional provisions!!

  7. Each political formation in the country has an agenda that it is pushing. Paul Siwela has been consistent is his various and varied positions. We salute that kind of commitment and he must not be spoken down- that is democracy at its best. But for him to monopolize the Matabeleland agenda is unfortunate. Talk of betrayal of the people that he claims to represent ask him to explain to the public once and for all time sake what happened to all the pro-matabeleland organizations that he has belonged to and more so his personal contribution to their demise while he was building mansions in the process. This is the man who once accompanied Moregirls to the west and came back singing praises of the gentleman and how a coalition with MDC T would have been the best thing to ever happen against our advise. How far did that go?

    Some of these sentiments are sickening and force some of us to speak the way we are doing because such characters. It is unfortunate for a man to believe that if they are not leading an organization therefore is cannot achieve anything. Can all of us who claim to be fighting for the cause of the people zip and show results of what we have achieved when time comes.

    None not even in my part has claimed that this constitution is the best. It is a product of negotiation. People must tell the truth. Siwela himself came out of Khami a castrated man full of fear and all. Not that he must not preserve his dear life and look after his family.

    What cause is carried by people who fail to pay bail for their own. You want the world and those you claim to represent to take you seriously. There are more issues that we can raise on the above matter but for now please mind your business and we will mind our own. Do not make us a laughing stock when we as a people have suffered so much humiliation and dehumanization, political and economic strangulation.

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