UNDER-SIEGE war veterans leader Jabulani Sibanda yesterday remained defiant, insisting he wanted to meet President Robert Mugabe over party issues and dismissed as nonsensical reports that he planned a march to State House today.
Following ringing endorsements from war veterans in the Midlands and Bulawayo, Sibanda said he still sought a meeting with Mugabe although the president had said he was acting as if he was possessed by the spirit of Beelzebub, the chief spirit of evil.
“We still want to meet the president,” he said.
“But what has been said that we are planning a march or demonstration is not true. Neither a demonstration nor a march to the State House was planned.”
The war veterans’ leader has reportedly been ousted by a previously unknown group, the war veterans’ council of elders, who accuse him of undermining the First Family.
The group is fronted by Patrick Nyaruwata from Harare, George Mlala from Bulawayo, Nelson Chadamoyo of Mashonaland Central, George Matenda and Victor Matemadanda both from the Midlands. Sibanda drew the ire of his peers after he refused to attend Grace’s rallies insisting he would not be party to a “bedroom or boardroom coup”.
The beleaguered war veterans’ leader insisted that despite a downturn of his fortunes within Zanu PF, he still wanted to meet the president.
“We only said we want to meet the president and there was no talk that we wanted to demonstrate against him,” he said.
“We know how to meet the president, all the talk that we have been organising a demonstration or march is utter nonsense.”
Among a list of charges, Sibanda was accused of blocking Zanu PF supporters from attending a demonstration against Vice-President Joice Mujuru at the party’s headquarters last week.
A deep chasm along factional lines, has developed within Zanu PF, with anyone believed to be in Mujuru’s camp being publicly vilified. Mujuru, Sibanda, party spokesman Rugare Gumbo and Zanu PF Mashonaland East are bearing the brunt of an unprecedented onslaught.