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Matebeleland Liberation Organisation

By Paul Siwela


Before the arrival of the white man in what is today Zimbabwe,there were two nations living side by side in two different countries. called Matebeleland Kingdom  and Mashonaland.

Mashonaland had no central government but  various chiefs living with their people and not answerable to anyone while Matebeleland was a kingdom with centralised government that had some semblence of three pillars of modern day government ie executive,legislature and the judiciary those standards by then.The borders were well defined and respected.

Matebeleland was once ruled by Queen Muthwa of the san clan and was later succeeded by Sibundula of the Sibanda totem who was later succeeded by Mambo of the Lozi clan and Moyo totem,later followed by Queen Nyamazana who was succeeded by King Mzilikazi,King Nkulumani and King Lobengula of the Khumalo totem.

Recognition of Matebeleland Kingdom

Matebeleland Kingdom was recognised by Mashonaland chiefs and after their colonisation by the British on 13 September 1890,their successor ,the British imperial forces under the stewardship of Cecil John Rhodes also recognised the borders and territorial intergrity of Matebeleland Kingdom.Several treaties were signed with the British South Africa Company indicating sovereignity of Matebeleland Kingdom and the infamous Rudd Concession of 1888 being  the most widely recognised as it was fradulent as it was criminal in its character.It contained a lot of misrepresentation albeit effectively paving the way for the British South Africa Company through Cecil John Rhodes to obtain a Royal Charter from  Britain s Queen Victoria government  to effectively illegally take away the independence and sovereignity of the Matebeleland Kingdom.What they failed to get through chicanery ,they resorted to barbaric act of wanton aggression against Matebeleland causing much untold suffering and inflicting genocide against the Matebele nation and destruction of property.Matebeleland State resources like land was compulsorily taken without compesantion ,over 1 000 000 herd of cattle was stolen and shared amoung the members of the Pioneer Column and subsequently allocating 6 000 acres of land to each one of them  that participated in destroying  Matebeleland,gold and diamonds stolen from the Kings Palace including artifacts.One would wonders if this had any modicum of civilisation given the barbaric and brutal force unleashed against the defenceless women and children who had to witness their homes and graneries going up in smoke and being banished in arears infested by mosquitoes and tse tse fly and losing their properties without compesantion..It is clear that there was no respect of human rights and up to date no one has apologised to the Matebele nation.The British owe Matebele people an an apology for  the genocide and crimes against humanity that were committed against the Matebele nationduring then and faciliate the restoration of Matebele State.

Matebeleland was also recognised by the British government of Queen Victoria and concluded many agreements and treaties  that recognised each other territorial integrity and sovereignity and had to exchange envoys.Barotseland under Lewanika,Botswana under Seretse  Khama,South Africa under Paul Kruger,Swaziland under King Sobhuza,Lesotho under King Moshoeshoe,Germany under Otto Von Bismarck all recognised the Kingdom of Matebeleland.

Matebeleland Order-in-Council and Rule by Conquest

Following the defeat of the Matebeleland army by  superior British imperial forces military arsenal on 3 November 1893 ,the imperial forces passed a Matebeleland 0rder-in-Council resolution in 1884  that effectively destroyed Matebeleland Kingdom as the land was declared permanently taken away from Matebele nation and this was further legitimised by the decision of the Privy Council  that promulgated 'Rule by Conquest' which was  passed on 19 July 1918 permanently paralasysing  the restoration of the Matebele State.This effectively disempowered the Matebele nation to have recourse to their land up to date.This paved the way to amalgamate Mashonaland and Matebeleland Kingdom  to form Rhodesia without the consent of black people in the two countries to have their two countries joined together.Zimbabwe became the successor of Rhodesia carrying the same baggage of  Matebeleland Order-in Council Rule by Conquest  from the British and thus manage Matebeleland  Kingdom on behalf of the British and shall remain so until the British government effect the change .Given the  British  government  massive diplomatic influence around the world and the covert and overt support to President Robert Mugabe government,the Matebele nation has been pulverised and paralsysed.The British government attitude holds the key to Matebele nation independence albeit being obscure as it is opaque.

Zimbabwe s war of independence

Once the two countries have been joined together in 1884  for the administrative  convinience of the colonial forces run under the Royal Charter until in 1923 when Britain decided to give the white settlers some option of  either joining South Africa to become the fifth province or ganing self governing status which allowed limited autonomy to the white settlers in Rhodesia.Given that South Africa was dominated by the the Africaners who aredescendents of the Dutch and have a different language and culture from the descendents of the British who had occupied in Rhodesia ,the white settlers of mainly British descent opted for self governing status fearing to be overwhelmed by the numerical supremacy of the Africaners in South Africa.All black people in now Rhodesia were brutal treated by the white settlers,denied human rights and access to land  and  other economic resources.The role of a black person was to provide cheap labour to the whites settlers and no further.This treatment gave rise to resentment of the white people leading to the formation of black nationalist movements demanding initial representation in Rhodesian parliament and were denied.It would later transform into an armed rebellion demanding independence of the black people.

The war of independence was fought by two liberation movements one led by Joshua Nkomo under the banner of Zapu with its military wing called Zipra which was dominated by ethnic groups from the Matebele nation.The other was led by Robert Mugabe  under the banner of Zanu with its military wing called Zanla which was dominated by ethnnic groups from Mashonaland. Although Zapu was the dominant political power by then as it was the only liberation movement  recognised by Organisation of African Unity and massively supported by Soviet Union and other countries like Germany Democratic Republic,Yugoslavia,Cuba,Poland, and other Africa states like Lybia,Algeria,Angola,Ethopia ,Zambia ,Botswana ,to name just a few,Zanu was ostensibly getting its support from China,Mozambique,Tanzania and North Korea.While Zapu enjoyed  Russian support to prosecute the war that led to Zimbabwe s independence this was to become Matebele s waterloo and paid a big price for it as western nations saw this as a conduit to spread communism from Rhodesia into South Africa if Zapu were to take power and subsequently the whole Southern Africa.Russia could not escape punishement for supporting Zapu which was viewed as a Matebele party by being denied access to the economy in Zimbabwe after Britain delivered power to President Robert Mugabe.The Zimbabwe government only recognises China , Mozambique  and North Korea as the countries that contributed to the independence of Zimbabwe with little or no mention of Russia,Cuba,Zambia,Angola,Algeria,Ethopia etc.

  It regretably culminated to a fully blown war which claimed many innocent lives on both sides of the  divide and on reflection one would wonder why Prime Minister failed to read the political barometer and understand that his policy of segregating and disenfranchising blacks was unsustanaible as it was was costly too.The war led to a negotiated settlement that delivered independence to Mashonaland  and made Matebeleland a province of  Zimbabwe  the successor to Rhodesia.There lies the demands of Matebeleland independence claims,more so after the Matebele nation suffered marginalisation and genocide at the hands of President Robert Mugabe s army.A very strange observation is that up to now  the British government is very unconcerned as is uncommitted to condemn the Zimbabwe  government and appears very defensive when this subject is raised with their officials.This leaves many questions than answers can be provided as to WHY,WHY,WHY.

For the record Matebele nation  is ready to reconcile with the British and allow bygones be bygones and and co operate with them in all areas of mutual benefit to the two great nations.

Matebeleland Genocide

After the flawed British supervised elections which were characterised by the following
a...........violence and intimidation mainly orchestrated by Zanupf party led by President Robert Mugabe,which denied other political parties to campaign in their  areas of control
b..........naked violation of the Lancaster House agreement that proscribed violence and intimidation by contesting political parties whose results were endorsed as free and fair and delivering political power to  President Robert Mugabe who has since used violence and terror to retain power.
c..........elections which were conducted and supervised by the British without a voters roll to give an enabling enviroment to massage and manipulate elections results so as to produce a prefered outcome.
d..........conducting elections with out delimitation of the country into constituencies.
e...........ignoring the concerns of other contesting political parties to the injusticies and irregularities that were reported to the British Governor Lord Christopher Soames.
f..........a new government was born  on 18 April  1980 out of violence and intimidation carried out by President Robert  Mugabe party Zanupf and fully enjoyed immediate recognition and unfettered material,financial and diplomatic support as a legitimate government of Zimbabwe the successor to Rhodesia.

During the month of August 1980,President Robert Mugabe visited North Korea and signed some agreement for the latter to provide some military training to special crack unit called 5th Brigade which was to operate independently from the Zimbabwe National Army command structure and reportly directly to President Robert Mugabe.

After the  pass  out parade the brigade various battalions were deployed carefully into the territory only occupied by the Matebele Nation where they killed  over 40 000 unarmed Matebele men.women and children by locking them into thatched huts with petrol sprinkled all over the hut and the victimes locked up inside and the hut put on fire.In some cases some were thrown into disused mine shafts while alive and some pregnant women bayonetted and the would be mother ordered  to eat the flesh of the featus,while some were lined up and shot at point blank range with AK47  and relatives ordered  to dig shallow graves and bury their loved ones and ordered  to dance on fresh graves singing shona songs praising President Robert Mugabe.This happened between 1982 to 1987.

While all this was happening over 100 000 women were raped and some impregnanted and over 1 000 000 fled and were displaced into South Africa,Botswana,Zambia and some into far flung places like Australia,Canada,New Zealand to name just but a few.The remaining population of about 3 500 000  people were to face naked discrimination in the allocation of social services like education,health,employment,economic empowerment etc .This genocide cleared the way for the deployment of shona personnel into Matebeleland territory in all areas of social life ie police,army,health,judiciary,education,civil service with the exclusion of Matebele potential employees.All opportunities became the presrve of the shona nationals and the situation has remained as is up to date.The government effected much of this through the policy which was  euphemistically christened Black Advancement Programme targeting shona people to replace the departing white people in employement.This was later followed by the next policy which as called Land Reform Programme where almost all the land in Matebeleland territory was taken over from the white farmers and given to shona people at the expense of the people of Matebeleland.The current programme called Indigenisation and Economic Empowerement  Programme where white owned equity in companies  operating in Zimbabwe has taken a simmilar pattern.Matebele nation has remained a victim of President Robert Mugabe discrimination and marginalisation just like the white people who lost their frams and other economic investiments  without compesantion.During this time the British government has been visibly active critising the  government of President Robert Mugabe excesses when implementing his programmes that affected the white people and became numb about the injustices meted against the Matebele nation.

What is particularly disturbing and remains unspoken of is the role of the British Military Advisory Training  Team which was in Zimbabwe during the same period of genocide  and  the interviews which were carried out with the commanders of the British Military  Advisory Training Team were revealing and left a lot to be desired let alone the silence of the British government and lack of interest to engage in this subject when their officials meet Matebeleland politicians.They are more confortable with Matebeleland politicians who ignore and suppress the discussion of this  genocide .

Emergence of Matebeleland Independence Demands

Zimbabwe as currently constituted is a member of Southern African Development Community ie SADC,African Union ie AU ,United Nations ie UN  and is a signatory to the Founding Charters that created these august Organisations which provide the following

A.......Article 20  ;   African ( Banjul ) Charter on Human and People s Rights provides that

..........All people shall have the right to existence .They shall have the unquestionable  and inalienieable  right to self dtermination.They shall freely determine their political status and shall pursue their economic and social development  according to the policy they have freely chosen.

B ...................... International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights provides

Article  1.........All peoples have the right of self determination by virtue of that rightthey freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic,social and cultural development.

C...........Universal Declaration of Human Rights  provides

Article 15 ...................Everyone has the right to a nationality.No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality no denied the right to change his nationality.

Upon realising that the people of Matebeleland in their diversity being subjected to genocide and marginalisation,they have no future now and beyond in Zimbabwe as currently constituted,they have openly declared to the Zimbabwe government that they need to be independent and re establish the Matebeleland State leading to the arrest of some of their leaders who are currently on bail facing treason charges.Once more it becomes curious as to why the British government is silent over the persecution of Matebeleland independence leaders yet when Shona leaders are arrested by President Robert Mugabe forces they immediately intervene and cause much awareness to the world attention.They give much moral support through their embassy and yet Matebeles are left to be abused as if they dont have human rights too.

Matebeleland Kingdom was an internationally recognised state which was destroyed through unprovoked aggression by the British imperial forces on 3 November 1893,decreed through Matebeleland Order-in Council  and fortified by the decision of the  Privy Council  'Rule by Conquest' to  lose her sovereignity,Matebele nation has suffered untold misery and genocide  first through the British  genocide and now through President Robert Mugabe s Zimbabwe government  and NOW needs her independence.All progressive nations ought to assist Matebele nation to regain her independence and end  this misery,discrimination,marginalisation and genocide.

Matebele nations is equally entitled to exist on earth just like all other  other nations and pursue their ideals of happiness and promote human development and growth and can be able to do so when she is freed from the shackles of Zimbabwe s bondage.While Matebele nation suffered marginalisation and genocide, the free world was unable to intervene and there is no guarantee that in future if Matebele nation was to be visited by genocide the free world would intervene.The only guarantee to the existence of Matebele nation is to regain her sovereignity.Equally disturbing,there is no guarantee that Matebeleland would not be visited by genocide from the present or future government of Zimbabwe.

The Zimbabwe s growing and debilitating debt currently pegged at US$10,7Billion which is yet to be shown how Matebeleland benefitted from  this debt.This bedt has to be repaid through Matebeleland contributions and resources up to the 20th generation from the present generation which is suffering marginalisation.

The reason of choice.The principle of choice is an inalinieable  right for Matebeleland people to choose to be masters of their own destiny through self determination.Matebeleland has the right to liberty,freedom,security of tenure  in Matebeleland territory and pursue ideals of happiness,economic enfrachisement and development.

The people of Matebeleland since 1980 have always voted against the government of Zimbabwe thus demonstrating their desire not to be ruled by Zimbabwe.Zimbabwe believes in corruption and discrimination of other people through ethnicity and race consideration yet the people of Matebeleland belive in an egalitarian community where all would be equal before the constitution and enjoying full protection of the same.

Matebeleland Opportunities

Matebeleland is endowed with the following resources which can generate employment and economic  resources  for its development and growth pointing to a US$50Billion economy in the first 10 years of independence and full sovereignity and the British stand to benefit therefrom too.

The territory has one of the largets coal resrves in Whange,Gokwe and Beit Bridge areas with huge potential for large thermal power stations to generate over 10 000 MW of electricity that would be sold to the growing Southern African power grid.There are huge deposits of methan gas in Whange,Lupane and Gokwe areas with huge potential for fertilizers plants to supply Africa and beyond.

Matebeleland enjoys huge deposits of gold some not yet exploited in areas like Nyati,Bubi,Bulawayo environs,Mvuma,Tsholotsho,Turk Mine,Gwanda,Plumtree  Victoria Falls and Insiza areas.The Zimbabwe Chamber of Mines has reported that over 60% of gold output in Zimbabwe comes from Matebeleland.

Matebeleland enjoys huge deposits of platinum in Shabani areas,Chrome in Guinea Fowl,Selukwe and Shabani areas,diamonds in Beit Bridge,Somabhula and Tsholotsho areas,nickel in Shangani, tin in Kamativi, large iron ore deposits  and emerald in Belingwe, and other minerals like tantalite,copper,etc.

Matebeleland is home to hard timber like teak,mukwa etc in Victoria Falls,Lupane,Insuza,Kwekwe Tsholotsho  and Nkayi.Matebeleland is home to the largest game park after Kruger National Park in South Africa which is home to the big five well sought animals ie elephants,lions,rhinocerous,buffaloe and leopards and corterie of other wild animals and birds.

Victoria Falls which is the prime source of  tourism and holds many international conferences that would soon include the World Toursim Organisation conference.Other tourist sites include Matopos where the leader of the British Pioneer Column Cecil John Rhodes  is buried and so is King Mzilikazi too.Other sites include Khami ruins,Dlodlo ruins,Old Bulawayo,Shangani and Battlefields where Matebele army fought the British imperial forces  are to be turned into tourist sites.

The best beef which enjoys a good market in the european markets through its quota allocation can be developed in Gwanda,Collen Bawn,West Nicholson and Kezi catchment areas and along the border with Bostwana border.This industry has been destroyed by President Robert Mugabe land reform programme. resulting with the loss of downstream industries like leather tanning and leather manufacturing,taxidermy etc.Matebeleland offers  great opportunities in ostrich and crocodile farming which is a very lucrative industry given the low cholestorel levels in the meat would find some niche markets  in europe,americas and asian countries.The leather by-products  from ostrich and crocodiles have a good return and would need to be developed too for exqusite markets in America,Europe and Asian countries.

The Zambezi water project once implemented would provide a green belt that would create new opportunities in crop and animal husbandry that would stretch from Victoria Falls to Bulawayo and possibly to other places like Gwanda.Plumtree.Kezi.Nkayi etc. with hotels and leisure resorts  facilities  being bbuilt along the way to offer conference and intertainment facilities.

Sugar cane can be grown in Beit Bridge and so are oranges  in the same area.Cotton can be grown in areas like Jotsholo,Tsholostho,Plumtree,Kezi,while virginia tobacco  can be grown in places like Victoria Falls,TsholotshoNkayi,Whange with the Zambezi river project supplementing water requiremeents.

Bulawayo,Gwelo,Kwe Kwe  and other towns have large and disused industries for both light and heavy industries which would need to be rehabilitated through promotion of of good and friendly investor policies which Matebeleland Liberation Organisation provides in its econonic policy charter.The charter provides for high tech industries through comparative advantage  and respect for private property rights underwitten  by friendly policies that permit free remittances of ones proceeds and allow free flow of capital and equity and bilateral  investments agreements.The charter also promotes skills transfere,technology transfere,joint ventures,built own,operate and transfere and incentivised public private partnerships.

Matebeleland boast two international airports,Bulawayo JM Nkomo International airport and Victoria Falls airport and various small arerodromes and airstrips.Matebeleland has the busiest inland border post ,Plumtree,Victoria Falls, Pandamatenga and the future post in Battle Fields linking the future Republic of Matebeleland and the Republic of Zimbabwe ably supported by serviceable transport and communications  network sytems,vibrant commerce and anciliary services which would be manned by highly skilled personnel from Matebele nation.

The land tenure system shall be based on the following
a..........prescribed economic maximumland holding holdings
b..........compensation on market based value for land acqured by the state
c...........punitive tax on land holding over and above prescribed economic land holding or land held on speculative motive
d...........renewable 99year leases on large corporates engaged in farming
e...........all land holding protected under individual property rights
f............one man one farm policy

Many opportunities in infrastructure development and rehabilitation remain in abundance eg railway lines and rolling stock,construction and tarring of old and new roads,construction of thermal power stations,school.colleges.hospitals,telecommucations networks,banking,insurance and many other numerous ancilliary services.

Matebeleland Liberation Organisation ie MLO believes  once independence has  been restored this economy shall experience some exponential growth backed by transparency,rule of law, protection of individual property rights and investments and greater individual freedoms through a lean government accountable to its citizens through conviction of serve above self.

Matebeleland Liberation Organisation would welcome to work with any friendly nation or organisation that would make this dream a reality,please come and talk to us.We are at your service.All correspondence to be addressed to the President of Matebeleland Liberation Organisation ie MLO

Contact p.siwela@yahoo.com