Activists petition govt over Kalanga jibe

RESIDENTS and activists in Bulawayo Thursday staged a demonstration against President Robert Mugabe to force him to apologise for the derogatory comments he recently made about the Kalanga speaking people.


In a petition left at Mhlahlandlela Government Complex, the activists called upon the government to take corrective measures to ensure that the Kalanga are not directly or indirectly discriminated against.

“We want government to ensure that they have equal access education and development and enjoy their rights as provided for in the constitution and all regional and international statues which Zimbabwe is party to,” read the petition.

Ending the SADC summit on industrialisation in Harare On April 29, President Mugabe, who is the SADC and AU chairman, said “the Kalangas were/are very notorious in South Africa, known to be crocks because they are not educated enough to get decent jobs.”

Activists and many Zimbabweans have said they found the comments verily discriminatory and insulting to the Kalanga and the rest of the people in Matabeleland.

“We are calling on government to review and publicise Government program implementation, policies, regulations, conduct of public institutions and related social justice matters in Plumtree, Kezi and Tsholotsho where the Kalanga people are found and in the whole of Matabeleland regions where they are sparsely distributed inhabitants.

“We also urge the government to be magnanimous in carrying out its obligations of fulfilling, protecting and respecting Human Rights through all public offices and institutions,” read part of the petition.

The protesters were demanding that Mugabe retracts his remarks and apologise to the Kalanga and the nation as a matter of urgency, as his statements were against the recently adopted charter that provides for non-discrimination of citizens on such grounds as their tribe.

The march kicked off at the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union offices with over two hundred placard-carrying protestors marching all the way to the government complex Mhlahlandlela to deliver a petition against discrimination.

“In Zimbabwe we are one, there should be no case where independence is enjoyed by a chosen few. We are calling for a Zimbabwe where a Shona person is treated without any discrimination, the Ndebele and Kalanga alike,” said Roderick Fayayo, director of Bulawayo Progressive Resident’s Association addressing protestors at the end of the demo.

Information minister Professor Jonathan Moyo has, however, said President’s remarks were taken out of context.

Defending his boss Prof Moyo said President Mugabe was only recalling a colonial stereotype.

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