Restoration of Matebeleland Kingdom: A position Paper

Restoration of Matebeleland Kingdom: A position Paper
Published: 03 December 2017 | by T. D. Mkhwananzi


BY T.D.MKWANANZI Member of King’s Council

All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced and copied without prior permission of the author


It is important to first define what is Matabeleland and its People. Matabeleland is a Geo-Political
Sphere stretching from the Umnyathi River in the east to Ramogkwebana River in the west. The Western border is at Plumtree, there is also Mpoengs in the south-west and Pandamatenga in the north-west, between Matabeleland and Botswana. It borders Zambia in the north, Zimbabwe/Mashonaland in the east and South Africa in the south; these boundaries are international, having been so since the Berlin Conference. The border between Matabeleland and Mashonaland was agreed between King Lobengula and Starr Jameson in 1891 and is known commonly as the ‘Jameson Line’, having been set the previous year by the Berlin conference. Its capital from the days of King Lobengula is Bulawayo. It has other cities and towns ,namely Qweqwe, presently known as Kwekwe, Kwelo, presently known as Gweru, Tshabane, presently Zvishavani, Selukwe, (named after chief Selukwe Dlodlo, who with his brothers Msindazi, Nalatale and Somabhulani were chiefs of the area stretching from Fort Rixon through Nalatale Somabhula to Selukwe) presently Shurugwi, Beitbridge, Gwanda, Plumtree, Wange (the Coal town) Kariba and Victoria Falls. The total area is 185 142.386 Sq. Km (45,749,680 acres). Presently it is a Part/Province’ of Zimbabwe, formerly Rhodesia.

It has no- less than 15 different ethnic, languages and cultural groups, namely Amasili (San) Asians,
Coloureds, Dombe,European, Kalanga, Lemba, Nambiya, Nguni groups ( Ndebele,Swazi,Tshangani, Xhosa and Zulu) Shankwe,  Suthu, Tonga Tswana, Venda and all who call Matabeleland their home and abide by its cardinal ideals and values of respect and uBuntu.

 Our founding Fathers named this Nation of diverse Nations (iSizwe se Zizwe) 'uMthwakazi', from the word 'uMbuthwa' meaning 'the gathered,' as this nation was a result of a deliberate policy of incorporating people from different nations using diplomacy and war. The suffix 'kazi' added to denote vastness and diversity, rendering the word 'uMbuthwakazi'. The 'bu' sound purposely silenced to produce the 'ku tekela' or 'gcwigcwiza 'sound of 'uM'thwakazi', with a slight pause to mark the absence of a sound. The Ndebele language is replete with such word formations.

Basis for Independence Matabeleland claims its Independence on the basis of several realties, namely:
• History
• The uniqueness of its people
• Ethnic cleansing
• Genocide
• Discrimination and Marginalization
• Ongoing subtle genocide
• International Law
• Territorial integrity

We will deal with each in detail, for the reader to understand our claim for independence


This is not an attempt to write a full historical account, but a brief account to give the reader an
understanding of the background, so that he/she understands our quest for independence and
separation from Zimbabwe, formerly Rhodesia.

Mzilikazi son of Matshobana founded the present Ndebele nation. In 1822 Mzilikazi left Ngome in
Zululand, then under King Tshaka, as a result of fallout with King Tshaka, he crossed the Drakensberg
Mountains and set up home at Mosega, in the area of modern day Pretoria and Johannesburg. King
Tshaka pursued him relentlessly, seeking to annihilate him and his people. After King Tshaka, King
Dingani continued the quest of annihilating Mzilikazi and his people; Mzilikazi was able to repulse these
attacks. He could live with the perennial attacks from Zululand, but he was soon to encounter new
enemies, white men, Boers, with superior weapons, fire arms. He was able to repulse this new enemy
several times, suffering heavy losses in the process. Several battles were fought; in these encounters the Ndebele suffered heavy losses, depleting the number of soldiers.

 In pursuit of safety, Mzilikazi heeded the advice of his trusted friend Robert Moffat, who had been told of an open and empty land across the Limpopo River by hunters returning from hunting expeditions from present day Matabeleland. The first group entered Matabeleland approximately in 1837 and remained there waiting for the main group under the King for three years. This group was composed of older men, old women, women, and children. It chose an area uninhabited and unclaimed. They did not encounter any opposition, clearly they settled in land that did not belong to anyone. If that land had an owner, they could have been easy prey to a defending force, wiped out, as there were no fighting men. When the King arrived he proceeded to set up a Kingdom whose territory extended as far as the Hunyani River in the east and Mtlousti River in the west.

He incorporated people from the local groups into the Ndebele nation; many local groups allied
themselves with him voluntarily. Groups of Zulu, Suthu and Swazi followed him and joined this young
nation, attracted by his leadership style, welfare system and land tenure system that people in countries
like Britain were up to then campaigning for and yet to attain.


As far as was possible he lived in peace with his neighbours, occasionally engaging in the activity of that time, of raiding others. This was not done deliberately, but done to ensure peace. When a tribe had
been defeated it paid tribute, which was a token ensuring that, that tribe will not attack the Ndebele. It
was a little amount usually carried by not more than six people. When a tribe refused to pay tribute a
raid was mounted against it, this was mainly to ensure the safety of the nation than to enrich the nation.

Those tribes that allied themselves with the Ndebele nation had advantages; they were given cattle to
look after from whence they got milk and meat without restriction. They were protected e.g. the Tonga
called on King Mzilikazi for protection from a Kololo attack in 1850, the Lemba were assisted to drive off Dumbuseya in 1858. In 1847 an attack by Potgieters on the Karanga was repulsed by the Ndebele.
The Ndebele were themselves raided by neighbouring tribes e.g. Chirumanzu in 1850, Khama in 1856
and again in 1863. In 1875 Ndebele-Ngwatho peace established and the border dispute resolved.

Tonga requested aid against Lozi-Chikunda alliance, request acceded to and the Lozi-Chikunda defeated. In 1887 in June the Ndebele again were called upon to fight the Boers, protecting the Karanga of what latter became Fort Victoria now Masvingo. In 1891 the Ndebele intervened in Chirumanzu succession dispute. There are many such instances of co-operation with other Tribes, which the main stream historians over look, emphasizing the raids and blowing them out of proportion, to justify the destruction of the Ndebele kingdom.

Anglo-Matabele Treaties

In 1836 the King entered into an agreement of Peace and Amity with Britain. The wording of this treaty
was that Peace and Amity were to remain forever between Her Britannic Majesty, her subjects and the
amaNdebele people. The treaty further binds the contracting parties to use their uttermost endeavours
to prevent any rupture of the peace. The wording of the treaty seems to place the responsibility of
ensuring peace on King Mzilikazi alone to the exclusion of Her Britannic Majesty and her subjects.
However for peace to remain the two parties needed to assume the same responsibilities. The spirit of
the Treaty could not remain without both Parties ensuring that it does.

 There is no record of the King violating this agreement. He remained friends with the missionary cum diplomat, Dr. Robert Moffat, whom he called 'Baba’ meaning ‘father', even referring him as 'Matshobana', a clear sign of the high regard with which the King viewed his relationship, not only with Moffat, but also the government he represented.

 In pursuit of peace between the amaNdebele and Britain this treaty was re-signed by King Lobengula in February of 1888, strangely this treaty was again presented to the King for his sign on the 13th October 1888, the same day the Rudd Concession is said to have been granted and signed. The Ndebele especially those in authority are forbidden by custom to do more than one thing of importance on the same day, 'akuxotshwa mpala mbili sikhathi sinye' is an Ndebele saying attesting to that. 'Kunuka santungwana'; I smell a rat; it is not what is claimed as a latter section shows.

Both Kings Mzilikazi and Lobengula remained true to the Treaty; the same cannot be said of Her Britannic Majesty and her subjects. If it were, as the treaty says, the responsibility of King Lobengula to ensure that peace remains between his subjects and Her Britannic Majesty and her subjects, it equally were the responsibility of the Queen to ensure the same, or the Queen and her subjects did not negotiate in good faith. The treaty further places a responsibility on the contracting Parties, should war break out to act expeditiously to restore Peace and Amity between them.

 Since 1893 there has been a state of tension and conflict between the amaNdebele and Britain, because of failure by Britain to adhere to the spirit of the Treaties and failure to restore the same. It is time Britain stands up to her responsibilities in accord to the Treaties and restore Peace and Amity by restoring to the amaNdebele their country, statehood and independence.

The Boer-Ndebele Treaties

On the eighth of June 1853 the Ndebele-Boer treaty was signed along the lines of the Moffat treaty.
This treaty was resigned by King Lobengula as the Grobler Treaty in July 1887. Both Kings Mzilikazi and Lobengula never violated these treaties. The same cannot be said of the Transvaal government. The Transvaal government invaded Matabeleland in June of 1887 despite the Treaty of 8 June 1853.

Summary of the afore going

The fore going clearly show that the Ndebele under king Mzilikazi and later under king Lobengula:

• Had uncontested territorial integrity over the land they had settled.
• They were accepted by their neighbours.
• The Ndebele kingdom had dealings with other neighbouring kingdoms and far flung countries,
these treaties attest to that.
• The Ndebele were and are in the main peace-loving, fighting only to defend themselves or to
enhance safety.
• History proves the territorial claims of the present Macro-cosmic Ndebele nation.
• History establishes beyond question Britain's criminal responsibility of destroying the Ndebele
• History places modern Britain under moral and legal obligation to restore to the Ndebele their
country and independence so that Peace and Amity is restored, in line with the Anglo- Matabele
treaties of 1836 and 1888.
• History proves that neither King Mzilikazi nor king Lobengula violated these treaties.
King Lobengula and the white men
King Mzilikazi died in September 1868, then followed an uncertain and difficult two years of contested
succession, after a bitter civil war, Lobengula succeeded his father and became king in 1870. King
Lobengula had to contend with increased white men activity seeking Hunting permission, Mining
concessions and settlement land.

 Many mining concessions were issued namely the McArthur concession in 1878, the Tati concession to Messrs. Dobie, Francis and Dodds in 1881, the Leask concession in 1884 the Rudd concession in October 1888 and the Lippert concession in November 1891. This was later purchased by C.J. Rhodes off Lippert for a million pounds. This is significant in that there was the Rudd concession, which according to it the King had given all to Rhode's company. Why buy a concession giving fewer rights, when you have a concession giving you the whole country?

It further proves that Rudd and his companions did not negotiate in good faith, they intentionally withheld the true worth of the concession from the king, giving the king peanuts for his country. It does not state the benefit that will accrue to the Ndebele people at large, only these measly personal gifts to the king. At the rate of 100 pounds per month, it would have taken 10 000 months to match the prize paid to Lippert, a clear case of criminal bad faith.

 The fact that it was signed on the same day as the Anglo-Matabele treaty of friendship is significant as already pointed above. It is obvious that the Rudd concession claimed what it was never granted. King Lobengula repudiated the Rudd concession in January 1889. He issued a statement saying that 'the paper neither contained his words nor the words of those who got it', and demanded its return and that of the negotiators so as to straighten the matter. It was not returned nor did the negotiators return. If it were genuine and the negotiators did negotiate in good faith, why refuse to come? No one in Matabeleland knew how to read and write, so unscrupulous men, of whom these were, could write what they wished and say it is what was granted.

 The king said the concession neither contained his words, nor the words of the concession seekers, as it left out the 25 year validity of the concession, making it expire in 1913, and that Rhodes was to send only ten white men into the country of the Ndebele, who to believe? We believe our King, and any reasonable, fair minded person should also.

 He refused to accept the guns and payment which were part of the said agreement, in May 1889,
which according to Ndebele law effectively cut any relationship with Rhodes and his group. Rhodes
understood that, as he stated on a journey to Mashonaland, to a Transvaal farmer with whom he was
lodging for the night 'I only have permission to mine minerals in that country’, meaning Matabeleland. Hence he with Johnson schemed to invade Matabeleland in December 1889.

 Much currency has been given to this Rudd concession by careless, biased historians, where careful examination of the facts and circumstances surrounding the matter will reveal a fraudulent worthless piece of paper. This was later attested to by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, working in tandem with the Lord Cave Commission from 1914 to 1918.

Summary of the above

From the above emerge:
• That the Ndebele had authority, through the king over their territory and allowed certain white
men certain limited rights to mine for minerals.
• They did not at any time give away their land and statehood and independence to anyone.
• Their land, statehood and independence were forcibly taken from them through duplicity and
unprovoked naked aggression, as the next section will show.
• The Rudd Concession neither contains the words of our king nor the words of the concession
• The highest Judicial Committee of the British Empire upheld the words of King Lobengula, and
ruled that the Rudd Concession was a fraudulent document of no binding value; Rhodes
understood that, because he never based his claim on it, but on ‘the rule by right of conquest’;
and he schemed to invade Matabeleland in 1889, why invade when you have a functioning
British Duplicity

In 1888 King Lobengula signed the Moffat treaty of friendship which promised peace and amity forever,
between her Britannic Majesty, her subjects and the ama Ndebele people. In august 1893 Sir Henry Loch brought a message for the King from the Queen in which she assured the king that she neither wants to invade his country nor to drag him to war. The previous year the British South Africa Company, Rhode's Company, issued a declaration: 'It is never to be forgotten that the policy of the company, unlike that of expeditions in other parts of Africa, has been to occupy peacefully under treaties with native chiefs and not by force.' Yet Rhodes and Johnson, had in December 1889 schemed to invade Matabeleland and disposes them of their land, and on the 17/04/1891 Rhodes wrote a letter urging the Cape government to invade Matabeleland in return for land and gold claims; the Cape government refused.

War, Conquest and Occupation.

Notwithstanding the provisions of the Moffat Treaty, the BSAC declaration of 1892 as quoted above, the
Queen's assurance brought to the king by Sir Henry Loch in August 1893, and the provisions of the Royal Charter, especially sections 14 and 35, which stated that the BSAC should not forcibly acquire land; and should BSAC deal unfairly with the Ndebele, the Charter will be cancelled and the interests of the Ndebele upheld, the British invaded Matabeleland in 1893; this is the first Anglo-Ndebele war. The
British won this war using advanced weaponry of guns, machine guns and cannons as compared to the Ndebele assegai. The British had raised a coalition with the Shona. The Ndebele were defeated in
November 1893.

Having accomplished the unprovoked, illegal and immoral conquest of Matabeleland in 1893, Dr. Starr
Jameson united it (Matabeleland) with Mashonaland, which was colonized earlier in 1890, and called it
Rhodesia in honour of Rhodes, of which Zimbabwe is a successor. The Ndebele and Shona whose
territories were united were not consulted, neither their permission sought nor did they give it. It was
done following the illegal, immoral and shamefully wrong conquest of Matabeleland, therefore, the
resultant country Rhodesia was then and now as Zimbabwe illegal, immoral and shamefully wrong and
must be disbanded and restore to the situation before the war and conquest of Matabeleland.
Zimbabwe must revert to the two historical countries of Matabeleland and Mashonaland.

Lord Harris inquiry

The shareholders of BSAC in London demanded an explanation as to the reasons of the war. This was so because the company had been granted a Royal Charter, ostensibly to avoid war with the Ndebele. Dr. Starr Jameson tried to assure the shareholders that the company was not to blame, by blaming King
Lobengula and the Ndebele, the shareholders together with the Aboriginal Protection Society were not
convinced. This prompted the Queen to send Lord Harris, whose findings revealed that, it was Dr. Starr
Jameson and other settler leaders who started the war without any provocation from the Ndebele and
their King.


The royal charter was granted to avoid war, by this the British government then, arrogated to itself, and successive British governments the responsibility to ensure the safety and preservation of the Ndebele and-their state. Now that war ensued regardless, this placed a moral and legal obligation on the British government and successive British governments to rectify the situation and restore to the Ndebele their land, independence and sovereignty. This obligation has remained since then to date. The
British have yet to execute it, properly and completely. Such an anomaly cannot be allowed to continue,
Britain must act. Sadly Britain has since and to date, reneged on her legal and moral responsibilities
towards the Ndebele.

Sadly the British government of that time went on to promulgate the Matabeleland Order in Council on the 18/07/1894, legalizing what it termed 'Rule by Right of Conquest'. This made Matabeleland a captive state and its people slaves without any right to their land, independence and sovereignty, exposing them to all manner of abuse including genocide, by successive white settler governments since then to 1980, and the Shona government of Robert Mugabe since then to date.

The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council and the Lord Cave Commission of inquiry of 1914 to 1918 did a detailed inquiry, that revealed that the settlers were at fault, as a result the Queen wanted to cancel the Matabeleland Order in Council and 'Rule by Right of Conquest', reinstate Matabeleland
sovereignty and kingdom, but succumbed to pressure from the Privy Council and threats from settlers
in Matabeleland. Matabeleland continued under white settler rule as a captive state until 1980.

Summary of the above

From the fore going the following are established:

• The British did not deal in good faith with king Lobengula; there were many lies and false
• Matabeleland and Mashonaland were two separate countries, colonized differently and at different times.
• At no time did they express the desire to unite.
• They were never asked if they wanted to be one country.
• King Lobengula did not give his country to the British.
• The Rudd Concession was a fraudulent useless piece of paper, inadmissible as basis for
occupation of Matabeleland.
• It is clear that had the colonists not defeated the Ndebele, Matabeleland would have remained
independent and separate from Mashonaland.
• It is clear that the only reason Matabeleland is in this condition is that she was defeated in a war
that has been judged by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council to be wrong and then ruled
by what the British termed ‘ the right of conquest’.
• A shameful wrong was perpetrated against the Ndebele by the British, and must be corrected by
the British, by restoring the state of Matabeleland as an independent, separate from Mashonaland, sovereign state.
• By granting The Royal Charter, ostensibly to avoid war with the Ndebele, the British government
of the day arrogated to itself, and successive British governments, the responsibility to ensure the
survival and safety of the Ndebele Kingdom. That the Ndebele Kingdom is no more destroyed by
the same British must be condemned by all civilized people and Britain forced to reconstitute
the Ndebele State.
• Britain must pay reparations to make good the damages suffered by the Ndebele and their King, and being suffered by the Ndebele at present.

Post-Colonial Early freedom Campaigns

The first Anglo- Ndebele war of 1893 is called 'IMFAZO YAKU QALA' the Ndebele fought to avoid
conquest and occupation, but were defeated because the British had superior weapons. Three years
after conquest and occupation the Ndebele mounted a war of liberation called 'IMFAZO YESIBILI' or the second Anglo-Ndebele war, known in history as the Matabele Rebellion of March 1896. This was an
Ndebele initiative.

The Shona Rebellion was to follow in August 1896; this is termed by them as the 'first
Chimurenga'. These two were different and uncoordinated. There has been a mischievous attempt to
marry the two and even to say the war of liberation started with the Shona Rebellion. What was the
Shona's first was the Ndebele's second.

After 'IMFAZO YESIBILI' the Ndebele continued with the campaign for independence using various strategies. First they installed Prince Nyamande as King in defiance of British Settler Rule, this the British Settler Governments have suppressed, even expunging it out of their written history, to give the impression that there were no further attempts by the Ndebele to regain their Statehood. The Ndebele did this to counter the Settler claim that Starr Jameson was the new King of Matabeleland after the disappearance of King Lobengula.

 In 1918 Prince Nyamande went to England to petition the British government to revoke the Matabeleland Order in Council and Rule by Right of Conquest. The next was the establishment of the Matabele Home Society, whose objective was self-determination and independence. This was fused with the Bulawayo African National Congress to campaign for decent Housing, Services and Amenities for Africans in Bulawayo and other urban centers and farms. These were Ndebele efforts for Matabeleland. At this time the Shona formed the Salisbury Youth League to do the same for Mashonaland.

The Bulawayo African National Congress and the Salisbury Youth League joined in 1957 to form the Southern Rhodesia African National Congress (SRANC). This was changed to the National Democratic Party (NDP). This was banned and Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU) formed. In 1963 ZAPU split giving birth to Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU). ZANU at its formation had a tribal agenda that of anti-Ndebele and retains that to date. It was formed through the machinations of the white settler regime to weaken ZAPU, which was gathering strength which the white settler regime could not contain.
 In the seventy years since occupation the Ndebele and the Shona worked together for six years and this experiment at unity collapsed. They were never to work together again till 1999 when the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) was formed under Morgan Tsvangirai. This attempt lasted six years and collapsed in 2005, never to work together again to date, despite a need to do so. This shows clearly that there was no unity nor can there ever be, between the Shona and the Ndebele. In the 120 years since they were forcibly fused together the Shona and the Ndebele have attempted twice to work together, both attempts collapsing in six years. For 108 years they have worked separately and fought each other many times costing a lot of lives, assets and opportunities; there is no chance of them neither working nor living peacefully together ever. The only solution is their separation into the two historical countries of Mashonaland and Matabeleland.


The demand for Independence continued under these circumstances, which demand due to inept and
shoddy handling by Britain, developed into a senseless and destructive war which culminated in
independence in 1980, under a faulty and inadequate Lancaster House Constitution. This constitution
failed in that:
• It did not countermand the Matabeleland Order in Council and 'Rule by Right of Conquest.'
• It did not treat Rhodesia as two countries, which it was before the advent of colonialism and had
indicated to resort to as outlined above.
• It did not deploy power equally between the Ndebele and Shona.
• It did not address the question of Matabeleland national treasure of gold and diamonds, at the
time of looting valued at more than ten million pounds.
• It did not restore the 600 000 Ndebele looted cattle.
• It did not address the genocide perpetrated against the Ndebele by the victorious Settler
• It did not address the question of compensation for forced colonization and the losses that

Under this faulty constitution elections were held and the Shona dominated ZANUPF under Robert
Mugabe emerged as 'winner', though this is questionable, on the basis of what the British Prime
Minister of the time, Mrs. Thatcher said. She issued a statement to the effect that, it is not the party
that wins the elections but the one chosen by Britain, further the ballots were taken to Britain. This
rendered the whole Lancaster House exercise of no consequence; Britain is still in charge and continues to hold Matabeleland as a captive state, now being administered for her by the Shona Tribal government of Robert Mugabe. The Zimbabwe government is a successor of the British settler governments; Matabeleland has yet to be independent.

Genocide 1980 to 1988

On assuming power Mugabe and ZANU PF went on an orgy of wholesale murder of the Ndebele,
ostensibly to crash ZAPU and flush out 'assumed dissidents', using the fifth brigade, known infamously
as ‘GUKURAHUNDI’ in the Shona Language, which means 'the wind or rain that blows or washes away the chaff', which was co-trained by Britain and North Korea, and co-financed by Britain and her allies. This unit targeted the Ndebele people starting from Qweqwe, covering Gokwe going westwards and
southwards to Beit Bridge. More than 40 000 Ndebele people were murdered, this is a conservative
estimate. People were killed in most horrendous manner, they were buried alive, burnt, shot,
bayoneted, beaten to death using logs, chopped to pieces, women were raped, guns inserted into their
vaginas and the trigger pulled killing them, pregnant women were ripped open killing them and their yet
to be born children, their crime and their yet to be born children, being Ndebele. This was in pursuit of
the ZANU PF founding principle of complete extirpation of the Ndebele. Emmarson Mnangagwa,
minister of state security in the Zimbabwe government then, now recently become President of Zimbabwe, at a rally in Mashonaland proclaimed to the capacity cheering crowd that they had sprayed 'gamatox' to kill 'cockroaches' in Matabeleland in reference to the fifth brigade as 'gamatox' and the Ndebele as 'cockroaches'.

 Mugabe at a rally in Zvishavani declared that he had deployed an army to totally annihilate the Ndebele. The army soldiers boasted that they were under orders to kill the Ndebele, destroy Matabeleland and drive the Ndebele out. There was overwhelming support for Gukurahundi by the Shona. Those in opposition today view Gukurahundi as their finest hour as can be gleaned from what Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of Movement for Democratic Change and Prime minister of Zimbabwe during the Government of National Unity 2008-2013, said in the guardian of 16/09/2010 in Johannesburg, quote: "I suppose Robert Mugabe has been portrayed as a demon," he told the Guardian. "He himself made a contribution to that caricature because I cannot defend what he did over the last 10 years in terms of violence, in terms of expropriation and all these other activities. But there is also a positive contribution to our country that he has made. Remember that he was the national liberation hero, and so those are positive years. I suppose there is the personality conflict between a hero and a villain, of which you have to make an assessment. History will have to judge him," end quote. The ten years he cannot defend begin in 2000 and end in 2010, the positive years begin in 1980 and end in 2000, which period includes Gukurahundi genocide, Tsvangirai sees nothing wrong, but positive.

School children were not spared; children as young as five years engaged in the pursuit of education
were killed mercilessly, at some schools whole classrooms of children were killed. These children were
neither dissidents nor ZAPU supporters, their crime was being Ndebele. A child of four months was
chopped into three pieces by the soldiers of this unit and roasted and then force fed to its mother, the
mother refused and was killed. A sick old women was burnt to death, an old man of 103 years was
carried on a wheelbarrow to the soldiers who killed him, being accused of being 'dissidents'. Many
people were abducted at night by members of security organs and never seen, nor heard from since,
their fate is unknown.

 Many crimes were committed by the Zimbabwe government that the scope and extent of which can only be established by an international inquiry working with experts in forensics and other fields. The authorities refused to investigate, and refuse to issue death certificates, so that the victims' children and dependents could access their savings and insurance policies, these were forfeited to the state, consigning the survivors to abject poverty, extreme hardship and lack of education.

 The surviving children cannot obtain birth certificates and identity papers and their children like themselves cannot obtain these as such are unable to go to school, there is a high percentage of people in Matabeleland that have never been to school. These people cannot register their marriages, cannot register the birth of their children, cannot buy land, own property, open a bank account, cannot be employed, and cannot vote they are for all intents and purposes non-people, they don't exist. These are some of the people classified as aliens, people without states; they have been effectively denied
citizenship of their country. This conforms to ZANU's founding policy of denying the Ndebele education
as expressed by Nathan Shamuyarira the minister of information in the Zimbabwe government, in the

The prime objective was the extirpation of the Ndebele in whole or in part, that is genocide; that this unit failed to completely extirpate the Ndebele is due to the interposition of God. The world community looked on, no censure came from those who had power and influence to stop this carnage. Britain through its High Commissioners who were accredited to Zimbabwe then, was in full knowledge, but refrained to raise voice in behalf of these helpless innocent people for fear of ,’offending the then Prime Minister Mugabe’. We greatly appreciate BBC's panorama program for coming out and exposing the genocide and bringing it to the notice of the world community so that no one has an excuse for doing nothing to stop the genocide, except that they supported the genocide. Britain cannot claim ignorance, as between the BBC and its High Commission staff it was kept informed. Some British media houses collaborated with the British and Zimbabwe governments, by banning the publishing of the news of the on-going genocide.

The British officially rewarded the Butcher' Perence Shiri with a Scholarship to study at their Military College, during which he 'charmed the British with his stories' at social meetings as said by one British Army Officer. Did his stories include how he raped women, how he killed innocent Ndebele civilians or how he ripped open the stomachs of pregnant women? He was toasted as ‘a fine gentlemen and solider.'

The reports coming from Matabeleland warranted investigation and censure or action causing it to be brought before the United Nations Security Council for investigation, by the British government of the time, that it failed to do so was not only a betrayal of the Ndebele but also of the British character and integrity. It is in the interest of the present British government to salvage the British reputation and greatness, by correcting the mistakes of the past British governments concerning Matabeleland.
The Ndebele people were left on their own, even to date no open sympathy and recognition of their
suffering and pain has come from Britain and the International Community, even though the Genocide
Watch has declared the Fifth Brigade activities in Matabeleland at that time as genocide. We are still
waiting for the United Nations to initiate action towards the resolution of the matter.

 We have heard the British remembering the Viscount victims of 1979, we condemn in the strongest terms that incident, as we have already said it was a senseless and unnecessary war which could have been avoided had Britain handled the Rhodesian problem properly, but no remembrance of the Gukurahundi Genocide victims. Genocide is a Crime of Crimes requiring immediate action and censure, to crush impunity so as to rid the world of this Crime of Crimes. The action of Britain and those who have power and United Nations encourages a repeat of genocide in Matabeleland and elsewhere in the world.

Citizens of a country give the privilege to a group of people to form a government to run the affairs of
the country, ensuring peace and stability. In case of armed conflict to protect the innocent and the
weak, the Zimbabwe government not only failed to ensure peace and stability, but went on to murder
the helpless and innocent Ndebele people. This eroded the authority it was invested with over
Matabeleland. It no longer has the privilege to govern Matabeleland. It continues to do so by default and arrogance of arms.

The situation demands urgent correction by Britain, Zimbabwe, SADC, Africa Union, United Nations and the Ndebele people.

Summary of the above

From the fore going the following are evident:

•     The Ndebele and Shona have remained separate pursuing separate objectives, attempts at unity
      failed. In 120 years only for 12 years was there meaningful unity; there is no hope of peaceful
      coexistence in one geo-political sphere.
• Decolonization process was flawed.
• The whole Lancaster House process was of no consequence as Britain by her own statement
could have chosen ZANU PF and Mugabe regardless of the results; as such Britain continues to
be in charge, especially of Matabeleland through her appointee, the ZANU PF Zimbabwe
• Britain is primarily responsible for the Human rights abuses and genocide committed, by her appointee, the Zimbabwe government.
• The Zimbabwe government committed gross human rights abuses without any justification
• The Zimbabwe government failed to guarantee peace and safety for Ndebele.
• The Zimbabwe government failed to protect women, children and the innocent in the time of
conflict as it is enjoined to in international statutes on the conduct of war.
• The Zimbabwe government targeted the Ndebele innocent, man women children born and
unborn, this is genocide.
• The Zimbabwe government has no legal and moral right to govern Matabeleland.
• Britain had full knowledge of what was going on, but chose to do nothing and continues in
silence over the matter.
• Britain endorsed the genocide as seen by their hero treatment of Perence Shiri the 'Butcher'
who made many women widows, many children orphans, and many men widowers and raped
many women, as 'a fine fellow.'
• There is no guarantee that any future government will not commit genocide against the
Ndebele as no action was taken by Britain and the international community against the
Zimbabwe government, it continues to enjoy protection.
• There was and is overwhelming support by the Shona of Gukurahundi even by those in
opposition today, who are likely to form a government.
• No investigation has been and is likely to be conducted by the Zimbabwe government for fear of
what it may disclose and the prosecutions that will follow.
• The only remedy is independence for Matabeleland as a separate state from Mashonaland.
• Zimbabwe must be made to accept and take responsibility for Gukurahundi.
• Compensation is due the Ndebele from the Shona for Gukurahundi, which compensation can
take the form of more land added to the historical territory of Matabeleland, at the rate of one
sq. km for every person killed, abducted and disappeared without trace, this translates to at
least 40 000 sq. km added to 185 142.386 sq. km.
• The Zimbabwe government must engage Matabeleland  to map their withdrawal from Matabeleland immediately, as a first step to solving the Gukurahundi issue.

Subtle genocide

After the period of genocide ended in 1988, after almost 8years, a more dangerous and destructive
period of genocide followed, this is subtle genocide which is ongoing and intensifying.
According to the Genocide Convention, any of the following actions, when committed with the intent to
eliminate a particular national, ethnic, racial, or religious group, constitutes genocide:
(1) killing members of the group,
(2) causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group,
(3) deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to kill,
(4) imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group,
(S) forcibly transferring children out of a group, and
(6) forcing people of a certain ethnicity to leave the country.
In December 1987, a surrender document euphemistical referred as 'Unity Accord', which carries two
conflicting meanings to the contracting parties, was signed between ZANU PF and ZAPU;
• The first being to Robert Mugabe and ZANU PF government, it meant that the Ndebele must
lose their identity, language, culture, grievances of genocide and political leadership.
• The second meaning which was held by Joshua Nkomo, who was assumed as representing the
Ndebele, yet he was a national leader, understood the unity accord to be unity of common
purpose and unity in diversity in the country.
The objective of ZANU PF of extirpation of the Ndebele had not been realized, hence the genocide
assumed a subtle character, where conditions that prevent the increase of Ndebele were created,
and using varied strategies such as but not limited to:
• Food embargoes during times of famine which are prevalent as Matabeleland is a drought
prone area. President Mugabe was reported in African Dawn talking to Baffour Ankomah, when
asked about what he intended to do concerning food shortages in Matabeleland, as saying,
'power is when a man is starving and you are the only one to help him'. To him the food
shortages were an opportunity to play the power game and force the Ndebele to capitulate. In
that year, 2004, President Bush, the former president of the USA, threatened to violet
Zimbabwe territorial space in order to feed the starving in Matabeleland.
• Selective distribution of food, food being distributed to those who support ZANU PF, food being
used as a weapon and campaign tool to force people to vote ZANU PF.
• Discrimination in recruitment for jobs in government, parastatals and private firms, jobs going
to the Shona.
• Deliberate closure and relocation of companies from Matabeleland to Mashonaland since 1980,
causing massive unemployment among the Ndebele leading to their leaving the country to
other countries in search of employment, SADC countries especially Botswana and South Africa
are swamped by Ndebele seeking jobs.
• Creating adverse conditions for those in the army, police, air force, prison services and other
security organs so that they resign.
• Creating adverse conditions to curb the development, increase and education of the Ndebele.
• Creating in Matabeleland conditions to entrench poverty, ignorance, and disease increasing
death rate.
• Deploying Shona speaking teachers who do not know Ndebele with a poor command of English
to teach in Ndebele schools so as to increase the failure rate.
• Creating conditions that make it difficult for the Ndebele to enter institutions of higher learning
so causing a dearth of skills among the Ndebele.
• Ensuring that the Ndebele does not hold high powerful positions in government, parastatals,
       banking and private firms.
• Forcing the Ndebele to speak Shona in return for services.
• Systematic and wide spread harassment by the police and other security personnel.
• Economic mismanagement rendering the life savings of people useless as when the currency
was allowed to collapse; many people in Matabeleland died and continue to die because they
cannot afford food, medical care and medicines.
• Discrimination in the provision of banking service such as loans, startup loans for business and
projects; the DIMAF funds amounting to US $ 40 000 000, set up to help distressed companies
in Bulawayo are yet to be disbursed after five years the scheme was mooted; reason Bulawayo
is in Matabeleland and the vowed secret policy of the Shona is to make Bulawayo a ghost town.
Foremost in withholding the fund is Minister of Finance in the inclusive government of
Zimbabwe, Tendai Biti, whose utterances are that, Bulawayo must not be treated as deserving
urgent intervention. This has led to 98% closure of firms and massive unemployment.
• Young Ndebele people, are putting off marriage, as they cannot afford it and births have
decreased as a result
• Young people are leaving Matabeleland in their thousands, forced by purposely created adverse
conditions to cause their emigration, and rarely come back, so depopulating Matabeleland, so
as to create living space for the Shona.

The net effect of these strategies is that the Ndebele population has decreased which is effective
genocide, but difficult to detect. These measures are ongoing and intensifying. We appeal to the
international community to support our quest for independence as this will ensure our survival.

International Law

The Ndebele find themselves in a situation where their rights as human beings are violated with
impunity. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states in Article one that all human beings are
born free and equal. The Ndebele in Zimbabwe, as presently constituted, are neither free nor equal to
the Shona as they are designed ‘not our people, these extras’ as said by Dydimus Mutasa, former Zimbabwe minister of Presidential Affairs, quote ‘We rather remain with six million of our people, we don't need these extras' end quote. At the time Zimbabwe was estimated as having 13 million people. This means that to achieve that objective approximately 7 million people must be murdered, made to disappear, forced to leave the country. The program has been effective since the latest census has put the population at just over 12 million showing no growth for five years, with the largest reduction and de- growth in Matabeleland.

 The Ndebele as shown by the fore going are yet to be free. The Ndebele do not enjoy the rights set out in the Declaration, but are discriminated against on the basis of language, political orientation and ethnicity. When Paul Siwela, then one of the leaders of Mthwakazi Liberation Front (MLF), was arrested and charged with treason, the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights refused to represent him, because they disagreed with his political philosophy. Treason carries the death penalty in Zimbabwe. To call this organization Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, with Zimbabwe as presently constituted, is a misnomer, it must be re-named Zimbabwe Lawyers for Shona Rights, or for certain political philosophy.
Ndebele rights as set out in the Declaration are grossly violated. Such gross violation of rights can only
be remedied by Matabeleland being an independent, sovereign and separate country as was before
forced colonization by the British in November 1893. We can look at each article individually and prove
that the rights as set out are denied the Ndebele in Zimbabwe as presently constituted, but that will
render the article voluminous and tedious to the reader, we will take a few only. Article three says
everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person. The Ndebele in Zimbabwe presently
constituted do not enjoy this right. They were murdered during Gukurahundi and this continues
clandestinely to date; their right to life was violated and continues to be violated, they were held
against their will, forced to work for nothing, violating their rights under article four; they were
subjected to torture, cruel, inhuman, degrading treatment and punishment. Ndebele people have
physical and emotional scars and deformities from such treatment. Since Gukurahundi no investigation
has been conducted as to who the 'dissidents' were who their sponsors were and weather the
Gukurahundi conducted itself in line with the international protocol guiding the conduct of armed
forces in times of conflict and that those in authority acted to ensure the safety of those who were non-
combatants. Neither dissident nor Gukurahundi have been brought to trial for the death of more than
40000 and disappearance without trace of many more, so effectively abrogating the Ndebele right to
equality under the law as stated by article 7.

 This briefly shows the violation of basic human rights of the Ndebele in Zimbabwe presently constituted. To enjoy these rights the Ndebele must be free to determine their destiny, in their own country separate from Mashonaland, with the boundary as set by the Berlin Conference, otherwise generally known as The Jameson Line, together with whatever territory ceded to it in compensation for Gukurahundi. The provisions of article one of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights apply, Zimbabwe is a signatory.


From, history emerges that Zimbabwe was once Rhodesia a country created by Rhodes by combining
Mashonaland, which he had earlier occupied on 12 September 1890, and Matabeleland which he
occupied on the 3rd November 1893 after an unproved naked aggression. It never existed as presently
constituted at any time in history before then.
• There was no consultation with the Ndebele and the Shona. The Ndebele and the Shona did not accede to this creation
• Matabeleland was a sovereign independent separate state that was colonized as a result of its
defeat and promulgation of the Matabele Order in Council, legalizing rule by 'Right of Conquest'.
• The Ndebele did not volunteer to be under the British rule which latter was transferred on 18 April 1980 to Zimbabwe rule, which remains a colonial construct.
• Matabeleland had recognized borders with other countries, which are respected to date,
namely the border with Botswana, the border with South Africa and the border with Zambia,
these borders are respected; the basis of this is that they are historical. The border with
Mashonaland/ Zimbabwe is clearly historical and must be accorded the respect and recognition
given to the other three borders.
• The diverse people are unique in their diversity, their cultures and languages are unique to
• They are discriminated against by the majority ruling Shona in education, employment and
commercial activity and other spheres of life.
• They have suffered genocide and continue to suffer subtle genocide at the hands of the
majority Shona.
• They are denied basic human rights and robbed of their land and natural resources in return for
• There are many Ndebele people who are stateless or without citizenship as a result of
Gukurahundi genocide; their parents fell victim to Gukurahundi genocide and have not been
declared dead or missing, making it difficult or impossible for their survivors to obtain official
• Targeting a group of people for murder, persecution and human rights abuses as was done by
the Zimbabwe government towards the people of Matabeleland in their diversity, identifies
that group as unique and justifies that group taking whatever measure to ensure its safety; it
further legitimizes its claim for secession.
• Zimbabwe as presently constituted, constitutes a present and continuing danger to
Matabeleland and its diverse people; therefore Matabeleland must separate from Zimbabwe,
and be a separate independent state free from any obligations to Zimbabwe as presently


We, by this document have established the historical, genocide, subtle genocide, ethnic exclusion and international law basis for Matabeleland independence.

To achieve this peacefully the following need to be done:

• Britain must respect the Anglo-Matabele Treaties, commonly known as Moffat Treaties of 1836
and 1888 and act to restore Peace and Amity between Britain and Matabeleland, in the spirit of
the treaties.
• Britain must revoke the Matabeleland order in council.
• Britain must revoke the 'rule by right of conquest'.
• Britain must be guided by the findings of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council and Lord
Cave commission of 1914-1918.
• Britain must ensure that Matabeleland attains independence peacefully in line with the spirit
and purpose of the royal charter issued to the BSAC.
• Britain must pay reparations for the war, conquest, collapse of the Ndebele state and the genocide committed by its settlers in 1893, and it with the north Korean and Zimbabwe governments committed in 1980-1988 and continuing to date as subtle genocide.
• Britain must repay the loot of cattle, diamonds and gold at an extrapolated value.
• Zimbabwe must be made to accept culpable liability for Gukurahundi Genocide.
• Mashonaland/Zimbabwe by deploying Gukurahundi to commit genocide against the Ndebele
eroded what privilege it had to have authority over Matabeleland.
• Gukurahundi must be investigated and the perpetrators tried in an international court
• Reparations must be paid to Matabeleland for Gukurahundi genocide, so as to re-establish
peace and good neighborliness.
• A conference of Britain and Zimbabwe/Mashonaland on one side and Matabeleland on the
other, presided over by the African Union and United Nations must be set up to set up a road
map to Matabeleland independence.
Peaceful negotiations by the three parties is the only way to resolve the historical problems and
genocide that have oppressed the Ndebele since 1893 and since 1980; any other way is drenched with
blood and strewn with corpses no sane person wants to travel that way, we in  Matabeleland  are very sane and hope that the British and Zimbabweans are sane too.


To conclude we would like the British people to imagine the unimaginable; suppose the roles were reversed the Ndebele back then had capacity to colonize Scotland and invade and defeat England and then on decolonization handed power to Scotland which set in place genocide and subtle genocide against the English, discriminates and oppresses the English what would the English do?

To the Shona the same hypothetical situation, suppose the roles were reversed the Ndebele has power
and uses it as the Shona are using it against the Ndebele; they send the Gukurahundi to extirpate the Shona, rape them, subject them to all manner of abuse, and discriminate against them in all fields. All
institutions in the country are manned by the Ndebele. Mashonaland schools are manned by the
Ndebele who teach all subjects in Ndebele. All universities in Mashonaland have an Ndebele majority
enrolment at the exclusion of the Shona, would the Shona be happy with the situation?

We  are sure that neither the English nor the Shona will be happy with the reversed roles, we  therefore urge the British and the Shona to act in the spirit of article one of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, quote, ‘All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act toward one another in a spirit of brotherhood’.
By T D Mkwananzi
(Member of King’s Council)

- Source: Royal Info Dept, published by


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