WAR veterans’ leader Jabulani Sibanda has been caught up in the Zanu PF Bulawayo provincial elections storm and is being accused of decampaigning the incumbent Callistus Ndlovu and his deputy Killian Sibanda in favour of Douglas Ndlovu.
However, Sibanda yesterday denied that he was undermining anyone saying he had a lot of respect for the incumbent, but was against the way he wanted the polls conducted saying he had aligned himself to divisive elements within the party.
According to party insiders, Sibanda has held two meetings in Cowdray Park and Pumula where he is alleged to have said Ndlovu, who resigned from the central committee to contest the provincial polls after efforts to impose him hit a brickwall, should instead aim at getting into the politburo and not junior positions.
The war veterans’ boss told Southern Eye yesterday that he did not decampaign anyone, but was simply stating the truth and maintained that Ndlovu’s decision to contest in the elections was divisive.
“What I said is that Ndlovu is a leader at the top and if he should move, he should be going to the politburo. I have so much respect for Ndlovu, he was brought in to bring about stability in the party so that we defeat opposition,” Sibanda said.
“I believe he can bring the people together with his experience, but I am against the way he wants to enter, which speaks to issues of imposition. I told him to convene a meeting and invite everyone as well as war veterans who are members of Zanu PF and not stakeholders.
“I asked him that at the meeting, he should bring the people together and if they agree that he stands then the election would not be necessary. However, Ndlovu has aligned himself with people that have been at the forefront of dividing the party,” Sibanda charged.
He said Ndlovu had aligned himself with the very people that had caused the sacking of himself, Themba Sibanda, Isaac Dakamela and Killian by turning party members against each other.
“Nothing is going to come from this election. What we are seeing is a vicious cycle of the same things and this time it is getting worse. Ndlovu was one of the central committee members causing that confusion back then and we were hoping that this time he would advise his colleagues accordingly.
“I read that he said he wants to oversee the completion of refurbishments at Davies Hall, but one does not need to be chairperson to do that. He can do that as a businessperson or as a member of the party. All we want is to build structures and recruit people. After all, that building belongs to council and not us,” said Sibanda.
Sibanda said he had only told Ndlovu’s deputy Killian to make changes to his Curriculum Vitae (CV).
“There are some things that he did not include in the CV. You can’t go around promising people things when the party won elections through a written manifesto,” Sibanda said.
He denied that he was campaigning for Douglas Ndlovu to be elected chairperson saying it is only after the chairperson fails to convene a meeting to unite people that “I as a resident of Bulawayo will support a candidate and go on to say some things that I am not saying now”.
“I am not biased towards anyone, but we will not stand by and watch when people demobilise the party instead of mobilising it. The group that is backing him is the same that wanted to remove Sikhanyiso Ndlovu as the most senior leader in the province. The cycle is the same,” said the outspoken war veterans’ chief.
Zanu PF this week postponed its chaotic provincial elections to a date to be announced as factionalism and chaos continues to hound the party.