THE call made by a group of Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWA) elders for the association chairman, Cde Jabulani Sibanda, to resign has raised the ire of some war veterans who have accused them of sowing divisions.
War veterans who visited Sunday News yesterday, vowed to stand behind Cde Sibanda.
A group of ZNLWA elders on Friday addressed a Press Conference in Harare where they called for the resignation of Cde Sibanda as war veterans chairman and if he did not resign, the elders pledged to force him to do so.
Cde Sibanda recently came under fire for snubbing the First Lady, Dr Grace Mugabe’s highly subscribed 10 provincial “Meet the People” rallies following a proposal for her to assume the position of Zanu-PF secretary for Women’s League.
Matabeleland South ZNLWA provincial member, Cde Gibson Siziba, said those who were calling for the resignation of Cde Sibanda were not sincere and do not appreciate the work Cde Sibanda did for Zanu-PF in the run-up to the 2013 elections.
“Those who are leading the clandestine call for the vote of no confidence against Cde Sibanda are like people from the opposition party calling for the stepping down of the ruling party’s President. I am saying so because those who are calling for the ouster of Cde Sibanda do not belong to this disciplined war veterans association led by Cde Sibanda.
“When they (ZNLWA elders) were called to come and contest in the election of national executive members of this association, they chickened out and constitutionally no one can suspend or remove a leader of an association they do not belong to.
“As Matabeleland South, I can’t remember sitting down discussing about Cde Sibanda being incompetent. It is shocking because everyone in the ruling party and war veterans praised Cde Sibanda’s campaigns he held around the country which led to the Zanu-PF’s land slide victory. Clearly, this is a contradiction to what they are saying. This shows that the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing,” Cde Siziba said.
Another war veteran, Cde Max Mnkandla challenged war veterans to stop interfering with the ruling party’s supposed problems.
“Those people who are calling for the resignation of Cde Sibanda are cowards, fools and are sowing the seeds of division. That is rubbish,” fumed Cde Mnkandla. “War veterans are organised to guard against external and internal revolts.”
Cde Jabulani Phetshu, a Zanu-PF provincial member from Matabeleland South called for peace and warned that people should not drag the name of the First Family into their personal vendettas.
“If people in the war veterans associations have old scores to settle they must not hide behind the First Lady. She is the mother of all the children and she is the one who disciplines the children when they are fighting. Let’s avoid a situation where one side hides behind the mother as the shield.
“Speaking in my own personal capacity, I will try by all means to convince the party and war veterans to amend the constitution because it causes splits, promotes factionalism and resistance. When people want to change leadership, they must use the constitutional clause on the elections.”
Cde Sibanda could not be reached for comment yesterday, but on Friday told our sister paper, the Chronicle that he would not react to the calls for his resignation.