Ex-war vets leader Jubilani Sibanda storms back into active politics

by Tulip Charowa

FORMER Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans (ZNLWVA) leader Jabulani Sibanda has stormed back into active politics after taking a sabbatical to focus on farming.

His comeback has excited Government spokesperson Nick Mangwana, who said the former Zanu PF chairperson for Bulawayo Province was rejoining Zanu PF actively as opposed to passively.

Mangwana said those accusing Sibanda of being a violent mobiliser were a case of “sour grapes” as Sibanda has previously been lured by the opposition to join its ranks.

It had been announced in State-owned media over the weekend that Sibanda, who was re-admitted into the party in 2018 following a successful application together with other members that were previously expelled, was dusting up his regalia to participate from the frontline of national politics.

Sibanda was previously accused by opposition MDC Alliance members of leading an orgy of violence against their supporters especially in the violent 2008 election.

However, MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa in April 2008 led a spirited but flopped attempt to woo Sibanda into the opposition ranks after what was perceived to be a fallout between Sibanda and post-Mugabe leaders in Zanu PF.

Chamisa even visited Sibanda at his Bulawayo home and announced that he had had “fruitful” discussions with the former liberation war fighter.

Sibanda has never hidden his distaste of the opposition MDC in their various shades in Zimbabwe, describing them as representing “foreign interests”.

“The MDC and has to be stopped, which means Zimbabweans should never vote the opposition into power. That can never happen. That is why we have to educate the people at rallies; invite them to different meetings so that they have an understanding of what is happening,” said Sibanda in previous interviews with international media.

“As war veterans, our loyalties lie with Zanu PF, a tried and tested revolutionar party.”

Meanwhile, expelled former Zanu-PF youth leader Lewis Matutu described Sibanda as a principled leader who may not find it easy to fit in Zanu PF.

“Jabu stands for the truth he is principled and candid in his approach something others don’t like in Zanu PF,” Matutu said.

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