PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe yesterday hit out at war veterans’ leader Jabulani Sibanda, whom he accused of being possessed by the devil for opposing First Lady Grace Mugabe’s ascension to the Zanu PF women’s league top post.
Mugabe said he had heard that Sibanda was allegedly stopping buses from transporting Zanu PF supporters to the Zanu PF headquarters, where a massive demonstration was held against Vice-President Joice Mujuru.
“Jabulani speaks like he is possessed by the devil,” he said.
“We hear that Jabulani Sibanda stopped some buses from coming . . . is Jabulani now ruling the country?”
The war veterans’ leader could have earned the wrath of the president after he said Grace’s rise within Zanu PF was fraudulent and that he planned to meet Mugabe in the wake of attacks on Mujuru.
“I heard he wants to go to war against me,” Mugabe said.
“So with his war veterans he wants to fight me with my soldiers? I will have to see when he is planning it.”
The president sensationally claimed that Sibanda had received one vehicle from the party’s secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa and five more from a company headed by David Butau in Mashonaland Central to facilitate his campaign against the First Family.
Sibanda said he had been informed of Mugabe’s attacks on him, but said he could only respond after stories had been published.
Seemingly turning to the Mujuru issue, Mugabe subtly hinted that if they did not want her, they should vote her out at the party’s congress in December.
“Even marriages do fail,” he said.
“You cannot just say to your wife, leave my place today. The matter is first taken to her parents.
“Do not vote for those who you do not want.”
The crowd kept chanting Mujuru’s name, but the president subtly skirted the issue.
Mugabe questioned why there were people opposing Grace’s rise to the women’s league’s top post, considering that Sally, the president’s first wife held the position.
“If the women’s league could accept the president’s first wife, why would they not do the same for this one,” he said.
“There is nowhere in the Zanu PF constitution where it is said the president’s wife cannot contest for positions, why are others pained?”
Mugabe blasted provincial chairpersons who were accused of attempting to disrupt Grace’s rallies.
“In Mashonaland East, there is Ray Kaukonde, if you are a provincial chairperson, it does not mean you have all the powers,” he said.
“In Mashonaland West he thinks he has been given kingly powers more than Mugabe. He says his word is final.”
Meanwhile, hundreds of Zanu PF supporters yesterday descended on the party’s headquarters calling for Mujuru’s immediate resignation.
In a brazen show of contempt, they carried placards saying they wanted to get rid of “Dr 10%”, whom they also described as the “old witch of Dotito”.
Grace has previously accused Mujuru of extortion and demanding a 10% stake in every company in the country.
Leader of another faction of war veterans, Joseph Chinotimba, said they were not going back on their resolution to have Mujuru ousted, while the youths also called for her resignation.
There was gratuitous applause for Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is believed to head a faction opposed to Mujuru.
The vice-president reportedly arrived at the venue and did not encounter the hordes baying for her head.
After addressing the meeting, Mugabe then went in for the politburo meeting, where Grace’s charges against Mujuru were expected to be the main item on the agenda.