Lloyd Gumbo and Susan Nyabunze
Elders of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association have expelled outspoken war veterans’ chairperson Jabulani Sibanda with immediate effect for alleged indiscipline.
They immediately announced the constitution of a 14-member team that will take over preparations for an elective congress to be held in Harare on the 15th of this month, where Cde Sibanda is expected to be replaced.
The team would be composed of officials from all the country’s 10 provinces.
It also emerged that despite his pretensions, Cde Sibanda joined the liberation struggle during his adolescence towards the end of 1978 amid indications that he only trained, but was never at the war front.
The elders said they created the war veterans association, as such they had the mandate to intervene when office bearers deviated from core values and their mandate.
The elders’ information secretary, Cde Victor Matemadanda, who read the statement in the presence of other war veterans, disowned the “wayward and corrupt leadership of Cde Sibanda”.
They accused Cde Sibanda of various transgressions among them disrespecting President Mugabe who is patron of the war veterans association and First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe by implying that they had initiated “a bedroom coup on Vice President Joice Mujuru.
“Criminally insulting the President and First Lady by suggesting that the President would institute a coup on a junior official of the party.
“Threatening to march into the State House in a manner similar to the infamous (MDC-T leader Mr Morgan) Tsvangirai planned march whose purpose was to illegally remove a popularly elected President and Government. Kureva kuti mwana anga apindwa ne demon revauyi. Vavuyi vakagara pana Tsvangirai vakati Tsvangirai iwe unomarcha kuenda ku State House. Zvino Tsvangirai mweya wevarungu, but kana wapinda mune munhu anga achinzi ndewe revolution yava mhosva.
“Suggesting that if his wishes are not met, he would take treasonous action against the President and First Family because as he said he is a guerilla cannot be tolerated,” said Cde Matemadanda.
The elders said Cde Sibanda also erred by suggesting that VP Mujuru was being prosecuted for the sins committed by her late husband, Defence Forces Commander, General Solomon Mujuru.
They demanded that Cde Sibanda substantiate his claims.
They also accused him of seeking to frustrate Amai Mugabe’s’ “Meet the People Tours” by discouraging people from attending the rallies yet they were official party programmes.
“Working hand in glove with counter-revolutionary members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police to stop the transportation of war veterans and Zanu-PF supporters in various parts of the country to their meeting with the First Lady at her Mazowe Orphanage on the 23rd of October, 2014 and to the meeting with the President on the 30th of October, 2014,” said Cde Matemadanda.
They also accused Cde Sibanda of dereliction of duty during his chairmanship, a development that led to the association being dysfunctional, causing the impoverishment of war veterans and a myriad of other worrisome problems.
“Because of this behaviour, we, the vanguard elders of the Zimbabwe Liberation War Veterans Association, resolve as follows;
“That we completely disown Jabulani Sibanda as the chairman of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association.
“That Jabulani Sibanda is no longer in good standing as the chairperson of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association, as he has betrayed the Zanu-PF party and the war veterans. Like Judas in the Bible, he has sold the revolution for a few shekels. He has failed to live up to the expectations of his training as a liberation war cadre and has turned out to be a spoilt brat who is completely disrespectful of his elders,” said the elders.
They also said President Mugabe should stamp his authority to appoint two Vice Presidents of the party and all other politburo members at the forthcoming Zanu-PF congress.
The President, they said, should appoint a politburo that portrays a revolutionary stance by incorporating “war veterans and progressive comrades who embrace the true ethos of our liberation struggle”.
They said having two centres of power within the party was retrogressive, as such that must be terminated forthwith.
Any person who has perpetrated the ills that the First Lady has spoken against including corruption, factionalism, vote-buying and attempts to push President Mugabe out should not be appointed to the politburo and Government.
Bulawayo and Masvingo elders, Comrades George Mlala and Francis Zimuto (who was in the Zipra High Command) respectively, said Cde Sibanda joined the liberation struggle towards the end of 1978.
President had no kind words for Cde Sibanda when he addressed hundreds of party supporters who demanded the ouster of VP Mujuru on Thursday describing Sibanda as being possessed by Beelzebub ( a contemporary name for the devil).