Monday, February 26, 2018

Warvets pushing for Zanu-PF re-admission of its deposed former chairman

THE Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWA) is pushing for re-admission of its deposed former chairman, Mr Jabulani Sibanda, into Zanu-PF without conditions.

Mr Sibanda was expelled from the party in 2014 on accusations of indiscipline. He was accused of various transgressions among them disrespecting former President Robert Mugabe who was patron of the war veterans' body and his wife Mrs Grace Mugabe. Mr Sibanda had said that the then first couple had initiated a "bedroom coup".

Addressing a full house made up of war veterans, war collaborators, children of war veterans and Zanu-PF party members in Lupane yesterday, ZNLWVA secretary-general Victor Matemadanda said the party cannot afford to go into the next election without Mr Sibanda.

He said the former war veterans chairman was a vital asset to the revolutionary party's existence.

"I have spoken to Jabulani Sibanda, he did not resign from Zanu-PF but was expelled. I was also expelled and so was President Mnangagwa. Why should Jabulani be given conditions for him to come back to the party?

"We have restored the country's legacy, Jabulani has proven that he is for the revolution because he could have joined another party but he didn't. So why can't he be restored as well without conditions?" said Matemadanda.

He said people should not use rumours that Mr Sibanda was seen at opposition parties as an excuse to deny him a return to the revolutionary party. Matemadanda said he personally had visited and spoken to opposition party leaders, particularly the late Morgan Tsvangirai to "convey messages at the height of Operation Restore Legacy."

Matemadanda said Zanu-PF would suffer dearly if Mr Sibanda was allowed to join the opposition parties.

"Jabulani is very useful material in politics, we will be lying to ourselves if we say he is useless and can go. We can't lose a person like him at this stage. If he goes to the opposition we will jump as a party," said Matemadanda.

He said Mr Sibanda was not an ordinary person because of his military background, adding that the decision is not mere talk.

Matemadanda, who is also secretary for war veterans in the Zanu-PF Politburo, said they will soon engage the Politburo over the issue. He also said there was a need to woo back other war veterans who left the association and the party to join the opposition.

Matemadanda made special mention of war veterans like Mr Themba Mlala of Lupane who crossed to Zapu led by Mr Dumiso Dabengwa as he implored the Matabeleland North provincial war veteran's leadership to bring him and others back to the party.