FORMER war veterans’ leader Jabulani Sibanda yesterday said Zimbabweans must not just watch while poverty escalates but rise up against Zanu PF to end their suffering.
BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
Sibanda, was dethroned from the leadership of the Zimbabwe National War Veterans Association last year for allegedly saying President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace were plotting a bedroom coup.
He allegedly made the statements at the height of a war in Zanu PF to push then Vice-President Joice Mujuru out of both the government and the ruling party. Grace was the face of the vicious campaign against Mujuru. Sibanda told Southern Eye Zimbabweans should not expect miracles and other forms of magic to end their suffering.
He said people should rise up but was quick to point out that “it would not be rosy and easy”.
Sibanda was giving an outlook on the economic crisis pushing many into poverty, with companies retrenching or closing down as the economic turbulence shows no signs of abetting.
He said protesting against Mugabe “ would be painful”, but argued there was no other way to end the suffering many blame on Zanu PF.
“There is only one thing for the people to do, it is for the populace to come together, think together and forge ahead,” he said.
“I am happy though that people are in contact with one another more than ever before.
“I am happy now that all over the country people are seeing that one direction, but the road won’t be easy, it won’t be rosy.
“It is the only solitary road for the country to travel to guarantee freedom, as there is no other way.”
Sibanda said the same sacrifice black people made to topple Ian Smith’s brutal regime was needed in Zimbabwe today.
“I mean people have to come together and have one idea to travel this solitary road,” he said.
“When people stood up (during the colonial era) so that they could become independent, they stood up as one people for themselves and for the people. People sacrificed themselves for the people against colonial rule. They fought a war for the people to free themselves.
“Right now, when people are being fired from work, are dying because there is no medication in hospitals, are putting on second-hand clothes maybe removed from dead bodies, they must know that they should do something, and they themselves must come together and stand up and be independent.”
Early this week, opposition MDC spokersperson Joshua Mhambi also made similar calls.
“We should appreciate that regime change is not a crime and if it was, we would not have had an independent Zimbabwe,” he said.
“We must all agree that this regime has failed us and we need a new one that values human dignity, which comes with new a political will to bring a better life for all Zimbabweans.”
The opposition party added that youths had been robbed of a future as most companies were either downsising or closing altogether, shedding jobs at a time when unemployment tops over 80%, according to independent estimates.