ZIMBABWE War Veterans’ Association Bulawayo province chairman Japhet Phuthi says President Robert Mugabe is being misinformed about what is happening on the ground, leading to the veteran ruler’s outburst against the ex-fighters chairman Jabulani Sibanda.
In an interview yesterday, Phuthi said the war veterans’ national executive would soon meet and top of the agenda would be clearing the air on what was going on within Zanu PF and within their association.
“We are perturbed by what happened in Harare last week as a result of misinformation,” he said.
“People like George Mlala of the little known group that calls itself elders of the war veterans, misinformed the president about our leader Jabulani Sibanda.”
Sibanda has been in the eye of a storm since he said all able-bodied Zimbabweans should not allow a “boardroom or bedroom coup” in apparent reference to a plot to unseat Vice-President Joice Mujuru.
Mugabe last week lashed out at Sibanda saying he was possessed by the spirit of Beelzebub and was possessed by the devil.
Among a list of charges, Sibanda was accused of blocking Zanu PF supporters from attending a demonstration against Mujuru at the party’s headquarters last week.
Phuthi indicated that after the meeting, the war veterans would seek audience with the president, where they would explain their position.
“We are going to come out with a decision and we will tell the president the exact information,” he explained.
“Looking at the fact that the executive is national, we cannot just announce things now so we need to sit down and come out with the best solution.
“We are still discussing the issue and very soon we will notify you of our moves as we will sit as a national executive.”
Phuthi said the war veterans’ leadership was on top of the situation and had everything under control.
“The only problem is to gather people nationally and that is not easy, for now I am in a meeting and cannot talk anymore,” he said.
The previously unknown grouping, elders of the war vets, at the weekend claimed to have booted Sibanda out of the leadership of the war veterans.
The group is fronted by Patrick Nyaruwata from Harare, Mlala from Bulawayo, Nelson Chadamoyo of Mashonaland Central, George Matenda and Victor Matemadanda, both from the Midlands.
Zanu PF is in the throes of serious infighting after First Lady Grace Mugabe suggested that Mujuru must resign, insinuating that Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa replace her.