A meeting convened by a local non-governmental organization ended prematurely in Bulawayo yesterday evening after some Zanu PF supporters protested over remarks by an opposition politician that Zanu PF teamed up with apartheid South Africa to kill people in Matabeleland region.
The meeting organized by Bulawayo Agenda, drew representatives of various political parties who discussed the current problems and possible solutions to Zimbabwe’s social, economic and political crises.
All party representatives including secretary general Moses Mzila-Ndlovu of the MDC led by Welshman Ncube, MDC-Renewal international relations secretary Gorden Moyo, MDC-T mines secretary Joel Gabuza as well as ZAPU treasurer Jacob Dube were in agreement that the country’s problems are due to misrule by the Zanu PF government and that part of the solution lies in dislodging the ruling party from power.
Moyo, took a swipe at the country’s opposition parties accusing them of having egocentric leaders, whose main concern is holding positions of power, concluding that the opposition can help resolve the country’s problems by uniting and acting with common purpose.
“The only way to defeat Zanu, to get rid of Zanu, leadership of Zanu, is for all opposition parties to work together to deliver real change in this country…there is no other way…let’s sort out our political problems by making sure that the opposition works together.”
Trouble started during the plenary session of the well-attended meeting after one of the participants, Richard Mahomva, who described himself as a pan-African activist, said opposition parties lack the pan-Africanist values that Zanu PF has and accused them of following the dictates of western donors who allegedly give them financial support.
“We do not only need an opposition that is united but rather an indigenous oriented kind of opposition because Zanu PF stands with the pan-Africanist kind of ideology which our people are ready to defend. So to our opposition this a recommendation that we need to go back to the drawing board; we need to go back to our values as Africans. In as much as we condemn the Zanu PF ideology, for as long as the west is whispering in our ears, we will not go anywhere,” he said.
Responding to these remarks, Moyo apparently angered some Zanu PF supporters who were part of the meeting when he said that Zanu PF does not have pan-Africanist values.
He noted that recent declassified documents in South Africa reveal that the ruling party reportedly worked hand in hand with the apartheid government in murdering some ZAPU members in the early 80s.
“Those documents show that Zanu PF collaborated with apartheid South Africa to kill some Ndebele people here…”
Moyo’s comments drew noisy protests from the Zanu PF supporters, with some of them breaking into anti-MDC songs, which continued despite pleas for calm by the conveners of the meeting.
One of the participants said she was against Moyo’s apparent attempts to cause conflict between Ndebeles and Shonas.
“We are asking Gorden not to try and create a war between Shonas and Ndebeles; that is what we are against. Why is he bringing up issues that are not relevant to this discussion? What is he trying to achieve?”
As the Zanu PF supporters would not heed to calls of calm, Bulawayo Agenda director Mmeli Dube then called the meeting to an end.
Dube told Studio 7 that he was disappointed that although the meeting had been cleared by police, some of the police who were present had not taken any action to restrain the Zanu PF supporters.
A North Korean-trained army crack unit, the Five Brigade, allegedly killed 20,000 people in Matabeleland and Midlands provinces, mostly supporters of the late Zapu leader, Joshua Nkomo.