Siwela rules out early return to Zim

By IAfrica
In Zimbabwe
Aug 31st, 2014
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August 31, 2014 in Local, News

Exiled fugitive Paul Siwela who fronts the Matabeleland Liberation Organisation (MLO) has ruled out chances of ever coming back to Zimbabwe.

BY NQOBANI NDLOVU

He faces treason charges. Siwela, taking advantage of the relaxation of his bail conditions, skipped the border in December last year, citing death threats from unknown sources.

High Court judge, Justice Nicholas Ndou issued a warrant of arrest against him after his disappearance when he was supposed to appear before him for judgement on an application for discharge in his treason case.

Siwela, Charles Thomas and John Gazi were arrested in 2011 on allegations of treason emanating from the distribution of flyers calling on Zimbabweans to topple the government. They denied the charges.

The MLO leader, who is in self-imposed exiled in Sweden, last week said he would only come back to Zimbabwe when the country is split into two —Zimbabwe and the Republic of Matabeleland — in line with his organisation’s aims.

“Not anytime soon but I would definitely return home after the birth of The Republic of Matebeleland,” said Siwela in an interview via the Facebook social networking site.

“Yes, I would come back home but it would be under very different political conditions and may visit Zimbabwe on State visit. Zimbabwe is breaking up soon and I will only visit maybe on a State visit in future.”

Siwela’s MLO has been leading calls for a separate Matabeleland state saying the province was being sidelined from national development programmes.

MLO says a separate Matabeleland state is necessary to put an end to the marginalisation of the region which lags behind in development.

“I must state that our agenda has nothing to do with regime change in Zimbabwe and we would not engage in such a programme now or in future. Our agenda is only focused on the restoration of Matabeleland statehood,” he added.

Siwela joins a number of politicians who have been charged with treason over the years.

MDC T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, MDC-T Renewal Team faction leader Tendai Biti, ex-National University of Science and Technology (Nust) student leader, Mehluli Dube and others have at one time or another faced charges of attempting to topple the government of President Robert Mugabe.

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