Mqondisi Moyo the founding member and current President of Mthwakazi Republic Party 'MRP' is forty years old this year. The man is so courageous, humble and resolute when it comes to MRP's vision which he defends with all his might.
He was born in 1978, the same year his father a teacher by profession and an Ex- Zipra freedom fighter passed on. He is the last in the family of nine, and was brought up by a single mother together with his older brothers and sisters. He was born and grew up at Gwandavale in the mountainous Matobo district. He did his primary school at Gwandavale primary school before proceeding to do part of his secondary school at Pumula secondary school. Moyo later finished his O'level at Mosi O ya Tunya secondary school in Victoria Falls. He once worked as a general hand at Belmor Manufacturers, a clothing company before voluntarily quitting the company in December 2001 to pursue his accounting studies.
Mqondisi is married and has three children of which two are boys. He joined activism in 2006 after serving as a Youth Church leader in Pumula North in the city of Bulawayo. He also served as an evangelist, preacher, Chaplain and a praise and worshp leader. The MRP leader also worked at Dondolo Mudonzvo Trust, a local non governmental organisation in Harare as a Projects Officer and Administrator in 2003 up to 2006.He was introduced to political activism by one of our greatest heroes Qhubekani Dube who died at his young age. Dube was at the time the leader and founder of Ibhetshu lika Zulu when he quickly roped in Mqondisi Moyo as the spokesperson of the group, with Mbuso Fuzwayo as the secretary general.
Since 2006 to date he has never looked back and has consistently stood by his desire to defend Mthwakazi cause, This has exposed hi me to more than nine arbitrary and politically motivated arrests. He currently has two pending cases at the High court and the Constitutional Court. From 2010 to 31 March 2017, Moyo was employed as an assistant provincial accountant at the Ministry of Agriculture, where he quit his job after working for 15 months without pay as punishment for his refusal to be deployed at Bindura in Mashonaland Central. He perceived this relocation as a deliberate move to isolate him from Mthwakazi people. He argued that he could not go to Mashonaland to take other people's jobs when he was fighting against such tendencies in Matabeleland. It is now clear to everyone that, had he agreed to do that, MRP would not be where it is now.
At the revival of ZAPU in 2009 he was one of the few young men who were part of the planning meetings. I was later introduced to him by Cde Ndodana Moyo the current ZAPU deputy organising Secretary in 2010 soon after the ZAPU's provincial elective conference where I was elected as the Treasure of ZAPU youth league. Mqondisi Moyo was later to become the Bulawayo Youth NEC representative, a position he held until his departure from ZAPU in 2013 after a fall out with the leadership over his stance on Matabeleland issues. The leadership of ZAPU had insisted that the youths in ZAPU should stop isolating Matabeleland issues, as ZAPU was a National Party.
Ever since I met Cde Mqondisi Moyo our relationship has tremendously grown from strength to strength. During the Government of National Unity era, Mqondisi Moyo, Ndodana Moyo, Busani Sibindi, and myself among many other youths from the civic society and political parties set for a meeting organised by Busani Sibindi who was then chairperson of youths in UMhlahlo and Ndodana Moyo who was Youths Bulawayo provincial chairperson of ZAPU. The agenda of that meeting was to discuss the future of Matabeleland in the face of the onslaught by the Gukurahundists. We then agreed to form the popular movement of our time called Mthwakazi Youth Leaders Joint Resolution, popularly known only as the Resolution. Busani Sibindi was the chairman, while Thando Dube became the secretary general and Mqondisi Moyo becoming its spokesperson.
The arrangement within the Resolution was that when we reach resolution number hundred we form a political party, while we groom other youths to continue with the struggle. Over the past nine years of my close association with Cde Mqondisi Moyo who is my nephew by virtue of his mother sharing the same surname with me. We have encountered a clash of ideas on several times because of our different approaches. He has often branded me as weak, because I always prefer less confrontational approach while the rest of the team thinks that the central government is too stubborn and can only understand better if approached forcefully.
I have always had a balanced relationship with Mqondisi where we disagree but always come to a mutual understanding. We always engage robustly in our meetings, though we are always sure to respect each other at the end of the day.
In 2013 two months before the elections, we made a plan as an organisation (Resolution) to have a Mthwakazi coalition which we then called, Alliance Khumbulekhaya. The first meeting was attended by a number of stake holders but as we proceeded, it became clear that the old guard of Matabeleland politics were not ready to allow the youths to get credit of such a noble idea.
At the end Alliance Khumbulekhaya managed to field 8 parliamentary candidates in Bulawayo only. We performed dismally then because we did not have enough time to campaign.
Soon after the 2013 elections we set down again and agreed that Matabeleland and Midlands needed its on undiluted voice in the affairs of this country. MRP was then formed by the youths in September 2013, between September 2013 and December the same year we started engaging stakeholders that included Zipra, Lawyers, business community among many societal groups. Initially Mqondisi Moyo did not want to take up the presidency opting instead to have Mr Moses Mzila Ndlovu to lead MRP. I remember we asked one of our elders Zakhele Ndebele to engage Mzila but it didn't materialize until we got impatient and we engaged Mqondisi Moyo again to take up the position and we managed to persuade him.
On the eleventh of January 2014 MRP was officially launched in Bulawayo. Immediately work started and to date the party has grown so much with the South African arm of MRP proving to be the best performing province. I remember that in late 2014 we still had contacts of many former ZAPU cadres we had previously worked with in ZAPU.
We set for a National executive meeting in Bulawayo to discuss the future of the party and a motion was moved to open party structures in diaspora, as the secretary for Information and publicity then, I was one of those tasked with the duty of engaging the outside world. I then thought of using the social media which has so far became MRP's best publicity tool.I told Comrades then that the best way to start part structures in SA for example was to engage our former Cdes in ZAPU, some didn't like the idea but some approved it. Eventually we all agreed that we could notjust come to South Africa without identifying a contact person.
The first person to arrange a meeting for us was Mlungisi Tshabalala, popularly known as Madabudabu. He promised to contact everyone he knew to come and listen to our ideas. I remember he said, and I qoute " Madoda abantu seberojwe kakhulu nge politics". I am not promising that you will get anyone here it will depend on how you convince them.
We left Bulawayo early 2015, the President Mqondisi Moyo and myself on a two week mission to open MRP South African structures. We met Ibutho le nqama, CMY,? the group of Taxi drivers from Matabeleland based in SA. All the people we met belonged to one organization or another at the end and it was Mqondisi Ndebele, the now National chairman, Bhekinhlalo Ndlovu the now South Africa provincial chairman, Presia Ngulube our VP, Clifford Sibanda the party's council candidate in one of the wards in Matobo North, Mfanelo Sibanda one of the vibrant youths we had, Lewis Vundla, Baba Zikalala, among a few others that we got. Mbuso Ngwenya did not join the party but has been one of the respectable Comrades that have been contributing to MRP to date and is in our groups. He is a member of Inqama as well as CMY. Mr MB Ngwenya, Mehlokazulu, Madabudabu, Mqondisi Dube among others played a role in the initial stages of the formation of MRP in South Africa, they also stood ready to drive us around whenever we needed that help especially the President. Even though they are not Bona fide members of MRP. It will be not enough if we don't mention people like Prudence Mpofu though not an MRP official she loves this party and has also contributed to its growth.
Team MRP went on to open party structures in Capetown, Bostwana where the current Secretary General Ackim Mhlanga went to open party structures. We have contacted many through social media across the globe and we now have a structures in UK. We are hoping to open party structures in USA, Germany, France and Canada where we now have a lot of members.
Today I thought of sharing with you about the history of the party and that of its President to defuse the popular false accusations against our President and our party. The manner in which MRP operates is such that no doubt it is a people's movement.
MRP is a unifying institution and those who don't understand were quick to attack me when I said MRP is in itself a coalition of Mthwakazi people. For the record, MRP expects to be voted for by people across the political divide in the upcoming elections.
Abameli Lawyers for Human Rights Network has done a tremendous job so far,we have had political leaders across the political divide in Matabeleland contributing to MRP one way or the other as well as encouraging the youthful leadership of the party to carry on with the work. We have also had the privilege of being supported by our scholars across the globe, we have also Journalists that support the Mthwakazi cause and we expect a continuation of such support as we launch our International lobby committee.
MRP is the only people's project run and funded by its people. The vision of the party remains and will not change. That's our pledge as leadership. Those that I have not mentioned please don't be offended I was just naming a few of those who played a role in the initial stages of the people's revolutionary party's formation.
Currently the party's top eleven is as follows;
President. - Mqondisi Moyo
Vice President - Presia Ngulube
Secretary General - Ackim Mhlanga
Vice Secretary General. - Sakhile Nkomo
Organising Secretary - Colmen Khanye
Chairman - Mqondisi Moyo
Treasurer General. - Brighton Maladzi Sibanda
Secretary for Foreign Affairs - Njabulo Ngwenya
Secretary for Information and publicity. - Mbonisi Gumbo
Youth Chairperson. - Xolani Ncube
Women Chairlady - Nomagugu Mguni
For peace and justice in our life time.
Sisonke Sibambene singumthwakazi Sizakulungisa.
Mbonisi Gumbo is MRP secretary for information and publicity writing in his personal capacity.
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