Sibanda still behind bars Cde Sibanda

Senior Reporter
OUSTED and renegade war veterans’ leader Jabulani Sibanda, who was arrested last week in Bulawayo for undermining the authority of the President, remained in police custody yesterday after a Harare magistrate granted an application made by the Zimbabwe Republic Police for his further detention.

Sibanda on Saturday appeared before Harare magistrate Mr Milton Serima, who granted police their request to detain him for a further 24 hours while they continue with their investigations.

Miss Sharon Mashavira prosecuted.

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The former war veterans’ leader is expected to be charged under Section 33 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act. The Act criminalises undermining the authority of the President. Sibanda is reportedly being held at Braeside Police Station, sources said.

Police sources said investigators are keen to get the former war veterans leader to clarify comments in which he appeared to accuse President Mugabe of plotting a “bedroom coup”, while voicing his opposition to First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe’s imminent elevation to lead the Zanu-PF Women’s League.

In October, Sibanda declared he would boycott the First Lady’s popular “Meet the People” rallies held in all of the country’s 10 provinces.

He firmly sided with Vice President Dr Joice Mujuru, who has been accused of plotting to overthrow the President and also faces a string of corruption allegations after she reportedly extorted shares and money from private firms.

Sibanda vowed to boycott the First Lady’s rallies until she stopped her public criticism of VP Mujuru for corruption and blatant abuse of office.

He said he was ready to defend his position and warned that real war veterans would resist attempts to stage “a bedroom coup”, drawing a sharp rebuke from President Mugabe, who said the war veterans leader was possessed by the “spirit of Beelzebub”.

“If you want to find me guilty of not attending the First Lady’s rallies, I plead guilty on that one and I won’t attend unless the programme changes.

“I can’t attend a function where they say ‘Pamberi neMazoe Crush’, ‘Pasi ne- Gamatox’. That slogan is unknown in Zanu-PF,” Sibanda charged recently.

“All able-bodied people should stand up . . . and block attempts to stage a coup both in the boardroom and in the bedroom.”

Sibanda’s statements sparked outrage among fellow war veterans, who promptly disowned him and moved swiftly to suspend him and then expelled him from the organisation, with Cde Chris Mutsvangwa emerging as the new leader.

The party youths have also condemned Sibanda.

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