Nduduzo Tshuma, Political Editor
ATTEMPTS by secessionist outfit Mthwakazi Front to hijack the Joshua Nkomo lecture in South Africa at the weekend should be condemned as a shameless act of trying to vulgarise the larger than life legacy of Umdala Wethu into a narrow divisionist agenda.
According to reports that were also confirmed to this paper, the Mthwakazi group caused a brief stir at the Joshua Nkomo memorial lecture held at the Witswatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa almost bringing proceedings to a standstill.
Former Zipra intelligence supremo, Dr Dumiso Dabengwa, one of the presenters at the lecture, had to call the protesters into order when they attempted to block Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association chairperson Mr Christopher Mutsvangwa from presenting at the do.
Mr Mutsvangwa’s crime, they alleged, was that he was a former Zanla combatant whose history, in their collective madness, disqualified him from saying anything about the late Vice President and revolutionary icon.
Dr Dabengwa confirmed the incident to The Chronicle on Tuesday.
“I think it was a group of Mthwakazi, they felt that Mutsvangwa was in Zanla and was the last person to address them about Nkomo because he was part of the people who were saying bad things about Nkomo,” said Dabengwa.
He said he did not agree with the opposition to Mr Mutsvangwa’s address hence his move to call the pressure group to order.
“I told them that if they had any issues they wanted to raise with Mutsvangwa, they should do it after the event,” said Dr Dabengwa.
It is a shame that this clique of excited separationists chose to drag the name of the late General Josh into the mud by trying to associate one of the founding fathers of the liberation into their tribalist agenda.
These secessionists should be reminded that the Dr Nkomo who was commemorated on the day of the lecture was a national leader known and celebrated in every corner of Zimbabwe and beyond and whose legacy is so great that it should be treasonous to attempt to soil it.
President Mugabe, one of the last people to interact with Dr Nkomo in his death bed, has in different occasions recalled how the late Vice President urged him to pursue national unity and the redistribution of land to the black masses.
It is against this background that the mindless attempts at hijacking a programme meant to celebrate the life of an icon of Dr Nkomo’s stature should be condemned in the strongest sense.
We are also told that in their chaotic rants, the Mthwakazi group declared that they were not Zimbabweans referring to themselves as Mthwakazians, a term derived from the imaginary State formed after the purported separation of Zimbabwe into two countries.
No time will be wasted on their hallucinations about this imagined separate state as there are better qualified people in the field of assessing minds burdened by delusions of grandeur.
However, the question is if they have renounced Zimbabwean citizenship and holed themselves as illegal immigrants in South Africa, why then attempt to hijack a memorial lecture of a man whose legacy cannot be separated from the nation of Zimbabwe?
Why engage in disruptive behaviour in a function to celebrate a man whose country no longer mean anything to you?
The disruptive tendencies of these Mthwakazi activists is not new as recently they also tried to politicise the Highlanders versus Dynamos game that was abandoned due to crowd trouble over what a section of fans alleged to be unfair officiating.
The football club had to distance itself from the machinations of this secessionist group, which has arrogated itself the authority, albeit false, of being the spokespersons and megaphones of issues affecting Matabeleland.
However, carefully analysed, these secessionists are no champions of anything to do with Matabeleland but actually enemies of the region and country explaining why they have not received any attention within the borders of Zimbabwe hence exporting their delinquencies to foreign lands.
In actual fact, these secessionists are enemies of Matabeleland bent on radicalising and politicising everything about the region to a point that everything is dismissed as insanity.
These secessionists do not have any interests for the region or its people but are actually working towards the destabilisation of Matabeleland while falsely claiming to be champions of its aspirations.
What they also seem to forget is that Dr Nkomo at the time of his death had signed a Unity Accord with his Zanu counterpart President Mugabe bringing the two parties under the banner of Zanu-PF.
It is therefore, the greatest form of deceit to then want to create the false impression that Dr Nkomo was anti Zimbabwe and anti-unity.
At the time of his death, Dr Nkomo was the VP of the republic and never aspired to lead some imagined Mthwakazi State created from the separation of the country’s regions.
A strong message should be sent to the secessionist activists that tried to hijack Dr Nkomo’s legacy that the revolutionary icon’s vision for Zimbabwe was, is and will always be far apart from their petty politics of attention seeking.
He was called Father Zimbabwe for a reason. He was a national leader who did not see Zimbabweans along ethnic lines but as sons and daughters of the soil.
They should be told in no uncertain terms to leave Dr Nkomo alone and go and find idols within their clique of like-minded persuasions and continue wallowing in their infantile belief that one day Zimbabwe will be separated into two states.
In short, Dr Nkomo was no secessionist but a nationalist icon.