SOME Zanu PF politburo members from Bulawayo province yesterday described war veterans’ leader Jabulani Sibanda as a divisive figure, saying he should not be supported for the ruling party’s chairmanship.
Sibanda has reportedly expressed interest in replacing Simon Khaya Moyo, who is set to be elevated to the vice-presidency at the party’s December elective congress despite indications that he is likely to face a challenge from other former senior Zapu leaders.
The officials questioned which province Sibanda would be representing when contesting for the post.
A politburo member who requested anonymity said the post of the ruling party’s national chairperson should be occupied by a unifying figure, qualities Sibanda lacked.
The official warned that should Sibanda get into the presidium post, Zanu PF would plunge into endless squabbles “because of his character”.
“That is a special position which has to be taken by someone who has the interests of the nation at heart; someone who is able to unite the people in the interests of the party,” said the official.
“Sibanda is not such a person. He is an angry person who will cause divisions and problems because he is extremely divisive.
“Not only that, we will lose support because of the way he operates if he lands the post.”
Another politburo member said Sibanda was unsuitable to occupy such an influential post as he had insulted leaders from Matabeleland on many occasions, adding that they would find it difficult to work with him.
“How will he unite the people since every time he opens his mouth, he will be shouting at them?” the politburo member asked.
“Zanu PF cannot have such a person as chairperson. Even the general public has nothing good to say about him because of what he has said about them.
“He is always attacking people with opposing views. He is not a leader, but a very dangerous person who cannot be entrusted with that position.”
Sibanda has previously clashed with almost all Zanu PF leaders from Matabeleland, including the late vice-presidents Joseph Msika and John Nkomo, whom he described as big jokes.
The 2007 Zanu PF extraordinary congress almost degenerated into chaos when Msika and Nkomo threatened to walk out in protest over Sibanda’s presence and activities.
President Robert Mugabe had to step in to cool tempers.
When contacted for comment yesterday, Sibanda said he was in a meeting and was no longer answering his mobile phone when Southern Eye called him later.
Zanu PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa has also openly declared his interest in the chairmanship post.