Barely two years later, the MLF has disappointed. Instead of being a force for good, it has become despised as an extremist movement spreading tribal hatred and deceit.
The organisation’s drift out of line first became manifest last April when, during an inter-party march against continued human rights abuses, its leaders ordered members, to turn against MDC-T supporters, whom they attacked with clubs. They also burnt MDC-T regalia, chanting their notorious hate song, “Boph’ ijamboukhab’ iShona” (Tighten your boots and kick a Shona).
Instead of presenting a united front against Zanu (PF), the Sandton protest became a show of tribal division. The Congress of South African Trade Unions threatened to stay out of Zimbabwean protests in future – thus weakening regional pressure on President Robert Mugabe to reform. The two parties expected to draw their support from the Southern region – ZAPU and the smaller MDC – have already distanced themselves from the pressure group.
People who do not want to toe its line are branded “enemies of the revolution” or “Shona puppets”, with journalists who write critically of the organisation not being spared physical threats and demonising on the MLF’s Facebook wall.
Many now believe the MLF to be a Zanu (PF) project. This view is strengthened by the Sandton incident, last year’s attack on George Mkhwanazi – a former Zapu-SA faction leader who left that party to join the MDC-T, continued attacks on the MDC-T on Facebook, MLF leader, Fidelis (General Nandinandi) Ncube’s confirmation that he is best friends with army commander, Philip Valerio Sibanda and alleged meetings with Zanu (PF) officials by the party’s executive members.
But it is a recent statement by MLF national spokesman, David Magagula that brought the matter to a head.
After rumours that Mugabe had secretly handed over the reins to Defence Minister Emerson Mnangagwa, Magagula ululated.
“We note that Emerson is first and foremost a Mthwakazian. He hails from Shurugwi, a district in Mthwakazi East (Mpumalanga province.) When he ascends to power a Mthwakazian will be a president of our neighbouring country,” he said.
“We gladly await his taking over of that office as information in our possession indicates he is in favour and in full support of the restoration of our country. We are privy of the fact that Mnangagwa has already prepared himself to talk to MLF so as to clean his image before he takes over office, but as MLF we await an official approach by his emissaries.
“We are aware of Mnangagwa’s involvement in the Gukurahundi genocide and that Gukurahundi is not a crime or better put, we know that killing Ndebeles in Mthwakazi is not a crime in Zanu similarly we do not see it as a crime to kill all Shonas who are in Mthwakazi now or when an ultimatum for them to leave our country and go to Zimbabwe comes,” said Magagula.Post published in: News