War veterans’ leader Jabulani Sibanda on Saturday caused a stir during the burial of a colleague at the Bulawayo Heroes’ Acre, where he accused senior Zanu PF leaders in the province of destroying the party.
Report by Nduduzo Tshuma
Speaking at the burial of Bulawayo provincial war veterans’ chairman Themba Ncube, who died last week, Sibanda singled out politburo member Sikhanyiso Ndlovu and central committee member Khumbulani Mlilo, accusing them of destroying the party.
Sibanda accused Zanu PF leadership, particularly Ndlovu, of destroying the party by influencing the sacking of provincial chairpersons to further his interests.
The war veterans’ leader reportedly said he respected the politburo and central committee members, but if they were to be stripped of vehicles and positions it would be discovered that they were a huge disappointment to the party.
“Sibanda, before attacking the elders, started by saying he knew that his sentiments would anger some and would be interpreted as disrespectful, but he wanted to say the truth,” a party insider said.
“Sibanda said he was reliably informed that some politburo members — singling out Ndlovu — were working with Zapu, adding they had been working with Dumiso Dabengwa from the time the party was formed.” The source said the war veterans leader, who claimed to have worked with State security agents in blocking the late Vice-President Joseph Msika from attending a Zapu meeting in 2007, challenged Ndlovu to deny the accusations.
In a move that left many party officials stunned, Sibanda further alleged that Ndlovu and senior party leaders had used the late Ncube to sack him (Sibanda) as provincial party chairman in early 2000.
“Sibanda alleged that Ndlovu and members of the politburo and central committee then used Macleod Tshawe to remove Ncube, Killian Sibanda to remove (Isaac) Dakamela and Callistus Ndlovu to remove Killian,” the party insider continued. Unperturbed, Sibanda continued with his tirade, asking Mlilo to stand, warning that the people who were using him would one day turn against him.
Ndlovu declined to respond directly to Sibanda’s attacks. Instead he said Zanu PF would concentrate on winning elections.
“Sibanda is free to say what he wants,” he said, when contacted for comment yesterday.
“He has been insulting elders for many years including the late Vice-Presidents Joseph Msika and Joshua Nkomo. It’s not a new thing. He has been consistently doing this. I will not comment about it, but rather tell you that the leadership is looking at winning elections.”
Mlilo yesterday said he was not moved by Sibanda’s attacks.
“I know that he is not in the party and he is misinformed,” he charged.
“We know that he does not have funds to roam around the country in his exercise. His handlers are the ones making him disrespect the leadership of the party.”
Sibanda yesterday remained defiant saying he stuck to the assertions that he made on Saturday.
“Isn’t it true that Sikhanyiso Ndlovu attended that Zapu rally? They should not hide behind the President,” he said.
“The President appointed them in good faith before they committed those acts of treachery.”