The Sunday News
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa has shelved the appointment of Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) Commander General Philip Valerio Sibanda to the ruling Zanu-PF party’s Politburo, saying “the deferment of the appointment resolves the apparent conflict with the country’s Constitution”.
In a statement yesterday, Deputy Chief Secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet (Presidential Communications) Mr George Charamba said the position will be reviewed at the expiry of General Sibanda’s term at the helm of the ZDF.
“His Excellency the President, Dr ED Mnangagwa, has announced the staying of General PV Sibanda’s appointment to the ruling Zanu-PF party Politburo as an ex-officio member. The position will be reviewed at the expiry of General Sibanda’s term as a senior serving officer at the helm of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF). This deferment of the appointment resolves the apparent conflict with the country’s Constitution, which regulates the conduct of serving members of the security services.”
President Mnangagwa initially announced General Sibanda’s appointment at the 20th Zanu-PF National People’s Conference held at the Midlands Convention Centre in Gweru last month. He also appointed Cde Rose Mpofu as the party’s Secretary for People with Disabilities in the Politburo, replacing the late national hero, Cde Joshua Teke Malinga, who passed away in September. Gen Sibanda has served as ZDF commander since December 2017. Before assuming leadership of the ZDF, he was commander of the Zimbabwe National Army.
The decorated soldier, whose nom de guerre was Cde Ananias Gwenzi, trained and served as a Zipra combatant during the Second Chimurenga after leaving the country in 1973 to join the war.
He received military training in Morogoro, Tanzania. In 1974, after completing his training in the East African country, he was sent to Lebanon, where he spent nine months of rigorous training under the Palestinian Liberation Organisation.