JOHANNESBURG – Umhahlo Wesizwe Sikamtwakazi, a group of Zimbabwean activists from Matebeleland that claims to stand for “matebeleland and for all the tribes which were ruled by king Umzilikazi and lobengula,” has sparked controversy in Hillbrow and surrounding areas in johannesburg after distribution of their fliers calling for an autonomous state in Zimbabwe of the ‘matebeles’.
“Venda, suthu, Xhosa, Khalanga, Nguni, Tonga, Nambiya, Lozwi, Tshangani, Basarwa, Abatwa. As the youth of matebeleland we are claiming to be called Matebeles than to be called Zimbabweans,” says the group.
The campaign has sparked anger among the zimbabwean community residing in South Africa.
“These guys are a bunch of some crazy hooligans bent on destabilising the already troubled nation of Zimbabwe. I think they must be charged by relevant authorities in South africa and Zimbabwe for inciting ethnic hatred, and tribal conflict,” protested Simba Muunganirwa.
The group which claims to be a south African registered charity foundation with offices in in Johannesburg and Bulawayo states that, “Zimbabwe is Mashonaland as you know Zimbabwe ruins are in Masvingo in Mashonaland.”
“Children of Matebeleland must learn the history of their Origin. Youth of Matebeleland must know know we were colonized by white from 1890 to 1980. Then from 1983 to today the shonas are fighting to colonize us and Shonalise us.”
“The youth must also learn about the history of ZAPU, Zipra forces, and their leaders AND KINGS. Matebeleles (sic) must join Umhlahlo and be on the road to freedom, Success, Democracy. January 2011 as the Youth of amandebele we must make sure there is no teacher in primary school who didn’t pass Ndebele subject at school. Its time to talk and put things in order,” reads the poorly typed flyer.