OUSTED Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association chairman Jabulani Sibanda’s efforts to clandestinely convene an illegal war veterans Congress in Harare became unstuck yesterday after his foreign donors failed to secure a venue.
Information at hand shows the donors, who also bankrolled the low-key MDC-T elective congress, had promised to book the Harare International Conference Centre for Sibanda who was already in Harare last night.
Sources close to developments say Jabulani Sibanda then sent word to some, but not all of the war veterans he had invited to the clandestine indaba which he intended to use to “overturn’’ the decision of the war veterans elders to boot him from office.
It could, not be established at the time of going to press, whether Jabulani Sibanda’s backers had come unstuck because of the Zimbabwe Diamond Conference set to open at the HICC this morning, or it was a funding issue.
Member of the war veterans elders Cde Patrick Nyaruwata yesterday urged war veterans who had been invited to attend the meeting to return to their homes because no such meeting had been sanctioned as the ousted Jabulani had no locus standi to convene an elective congress.
Cde Nyaruwata was responding to word spread by ZNLWVA secretary for Midlands province Cde Shadreck Makombe that a meeting was scheduled to take place in Harare beginning today.
War veterans, Cde Nyaruwata said, were following their patron President Mugabe’s call to hold a congress within two weeks and the date and venue for the indaba would be availed in due course.
“We want to inform all war veterans in the country that there is no such meeting of war veterans that will take place in Harare,” said Cde Nyaruwata.
“In fact, there will not be any more meetings for war veterans until after the congress because they have all been surpassed by the President’s order.
“All war veterans who had been advised of a meeting by Makombe of Midlands should return to their homes forthwith.”
As he addressed war veterans and youths who gathered to express solidarity with him ahead of last week’s crunch Politburo meeting, President Mugabe urged the war veterans leadership to convene a congress ahead of Zanu-PF elective Congress which begins next month so that they could send bona fide representatives to Congress.
Cde Nyaruwata said with assistance from Government, war veterans’ current efforts were geared towards the success of the planned congress where a new leadership would assume office.
The meeting that was being called by Cde Makombe followed threats by the ousted Sibanda that they will march to State House to meet President Mugabe.
Sibanda stands accused of de-campaigning President and First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe as part of a clique angling for Vice President Joice Mujuru to succeed President Mugabe.