By NQOBANI NDLOVU
THE leader of the militant Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP), Mqondisi Moyo, last week made his first public appearance after going into ‘hiding’ for nearly a month fearing arrest.
Moyo escaped arrest when armed security agents reportedly stormed his house in March following his party’s confrontation with police in Ntabazinduna over a land dispute.
MRP activists clashed with police after the latter descended at Tabas Induna Farm in Ntabazinduna where they evicted Floyd Ambrose from the property accusing him of forcibly taking it from a white farmer, Brain Davies.
After the incident, police visited Moyo at his house at night, but in the process attracted protests from MRP activists who went on to stage a mini demonstration outside Bulawayo Central Police Station demanding a stop to the harassment of their leader.
Police had to fire warning shots to deter the protesters who were threatening to invade the police building. Nine MRP activists were arrested during the protest while Moyo escaped arrest as he vowed not to hand himself in. The arrested activists are in remand prison.
On Tuesday, Moyo resurfaced leading a delegation of his party leadership to his Gwandavale rural home in Matobo North, Matabeleland South province ,where he met church and unnamed traditional leaders.
“Some members of the church, community, traditional leaders and villagers invited me and my leadership to Matobo.
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“The meeting was nothing ordinary, but unique,” Moyo said in a response sent via WhatsApp.
“The meeting was unique in the sense that the Matobo leadership together with family members wanted to pray for and bless the MRP leadership.
“Indeed we were blessed, encouraged and honoured.
“Actually, one of the traditional leaders who was present said my blood falls within the blood line of the Lozi kingship, the owners of our land. It is, therefore, unacceptable that I should live in hiding in the fear of intruders.”
A number of activists have been arrested by police for allegedly holding peaceful protests amid fears of a shrinking democratic space since President Emmerson Mnangagwa assumed office.
Some of the peaceful protests have attracted violent retribution from police and soldiers, claiming lives with the January 2019 anti-fuel hike protests being a case in point.