With Thembani Dube
Agenda4Action continues to interact with the political and non-political movers and shakers in Mthwakazi. Our guest to grace this programme in 2016 is Mthwakazi Liberation Front’s Spokesperson, David Magagula. A number of questions have been put to Magagula (DM) regarding the Mthwakazi Restoration Movement’s Agenda and the state of the Movement at present in the context of the Zimbabwe politics as it currently obtains.
TD: MLF has been in existence for years now. What has been its progress thus far?
DM: We have managed to conscientise almost all Mthwakazi people about the need for restoring Mthwakazi as a separate state from Zimbabwe.
We have installed the first ever Mthwakazi ambassador in South Africa.
We have managed to inform all persons, organizations and states that we feel they matter most in our pursuit for a free Mthwakazi state. These include our former and current colonizers in Britain and Zimbabwe respectively.
We have moved a step closer to showing what we really mean by declaring our independence, unilaterally on October 2015.
TD: MLF and other movements talk of the Restoration Agenda in Matebeleland. What does this mean?
DM: The Restoration of Mthwakazi cannot be mistaken for good governance of Mthwakazi by the Zimbabwe regime. It is the nothing short of total Self-determination, self-reliance of the people of Mthwakazi in all spheres of life.
TD: The Zimbabwean government and largely its media regard the Mthwakazi Restorationists as Secessionists. Can you explain the difference between Restoration and Secession?
DM: Restorationists draw their argument based on historical facts and evidences, supporting their demands with their beliefs as well as their experiences under the so called colonial regime whilst secessionists only base their argument on their beliefs without any historical facts. In our case, we are restoring what existed before, a border that was recognized by the Berlin conference of 1895. Getting called secessionists by the Mugabe colonial regime does not bother us that much although it is a wicked attempt of distorting facts, with the intention to cling onto Mthwakazi because in one way or the other it means separating from the status quo.
TD: Recently MLF and other movements met in Botswana and came up with the Chitawa Declaration. Can you explain what this declaration is all about?
DM: The declaration of Mthwakazi is simply to express to the international world the will of the people of Mthwakazi to be granted their stateship and be recognized internationally as Mthwakazians and no more as Zimbabweans.
TD: Does MLF and other movements believe that more power and influence for the Restoration Agenda can only be found in making a formidable Restoration Alliance Movement in Matebeleland?
DM: That is very true. Zimbabwe used a divide and rule kinds of a system to ensure the people of Mthwakazi do not pick themselves up not only over the Gukurahundi killings but mainly over claiming their statehood. For that reason it is of paramount importance that Mthwakazi formations work together for that august cause.
TD: Are big ego and political bunker mentality the two evil twins preventing a formidable alliance in the Restoration Movement?
DM: As MLF, we do not believe there is an element of ego or political bunkerness that could be preventing Mthwakazi formations from working together other than that our past have so much influence on the decisions we take. As having recently said we have lived too long divided by the government of Zimbabwe and for that reason we could not achieve the unity we now need desperately overnight. We are glad as MLF that at least our Chitawa Conference showed glimpses of light, where more than 10 formations including the Non-governmental organizations found themselves under one roof discussing the Mthwakazi independence and ended up signing the Declaration of Mthwakazi independence.
TD: In 2015 we observed the Zimbabwean government via its 1st Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa issuing a number barbed comments against the Restorationist Movement and at one point describing it as “demon-possessed" and being in the "fringe" of Zimbabwean politics. What is MLF's take on the fact that it would appear the Zimbabwe government is taking notice of the Restoration Agenda while at the same time seeking to dismiss it as insignificant and not worth notice?
DM: As MLF, that is so much inspiring to us because it is pushing us to prove to him that we really mean what we are saying. Mnangagwa as the evil as he is to the people of Mthwakazi, he will never freely bless the Mthwakazi restoration agenda because that means it approves of him rotting in jail and losing his milking cow. So his utterances are a common thing in politics. At one stage before the Zipras set the shell depots alight in Harare, Smith castigated any chances of seeing Zimbabwe a ''liberated" territory.
TD: Phekezela Mphoko continues to put blame for Gukurahundi at the doorstep of the West than the government of Mugabe and Zanu PF. What is MLF's reaction to all this?
DM: As MLF, we are happy there's someone who sounds ready to provide names of those who perpetuated the killings of our people. We realize it with so much concern that it is not healthy that we keep tormenting the near death Mugabe over the killings that he ''did not" commit. But Mphoko must be rest assured that we are not to rest until justice over Gukurahundi prevailed. So if he (Mphoko) fails to provide those names, he must await to see his boss in the dock over the killings and if that means he dies alongside him, which will also be fine with us.
TD: Do people of Matebeleland need Truth and Reconciliation or they need Truth and Justice regarding Gukurahundi?
DM: I think they need both. After justice has taken its course they need to reconcile with the Zimbabweans. Mind you Mthwakazi people have lived long with their Zimbabwean counterparts, they have done businesses together, they have engaged in intermarriages etc. So if they do not reconcile that means businesses and trading between the two nations will die out, and there will be abandoned children all over. Is that Mthwakazi people want? NO. Mthwakazi rely on Zimbabwe for economic growth. It is also important that the two nations improve their social relations which have never been at best.
TD: Does the Restoration message resonate with the people of Matebeleland? Do they support this Agenda?
DM: There's and there will never be any other lasting solution to the sufferings of Mthwakazi people under the government of Zimbabwe and the restoration agenda provides for that. Mthwakazi people are sick and tired of being relegated to being second class citizens of the binary Zimbabwe. They are sick and tired of being marginalized, living in trauma and most importantly, and living more years under the colonial rule. So the restoration agenda does not only resonate well with them but they are vigorously pushing for it.
TD: How is MLF putting the Restoration Agenda on the regional, continental and international radar platforms?
DM: We dropped our restoration documents at the doors of all bodies and states we feel they matter most in our pursuit for Mthwakazi independence and we are now doing it for the second and the final round. If someone decides to ignore us he must ignore us even when times have become bad.
TD: What will be the endgame of this issue with intransigent Zimbabwe?
DM: MLF is not a terrorist organization that's what we need to stress first. Secondly, that we are not a terrorist organization does not mean we shall not fight for our independence if the Zimbabwean government pushes us to that. If there are people who knows how much painful it is to lose your loved ones because of political violence, it is Mthwakazi people. So we don't want to see someone feeling the same but we want our country more than anything else.
TD: Mr Magagula thank you so much for being on Agenda4Action.
DM: You are welcome. The Restoration Agenda must be intensified by all people of Mthwakazi. It is our generational responsibility.
- Source: umthwakazireview.com