By Tichaona Sibanda
21 January 2013
War vets leader Jabulani Sibanda has told MDC-T supporters in Chipinge that they will be killed if they vote against ZANU PF in the forthcoming harmonized elections.
The MDC-T says Sibanda has been based in Musikavanhu for the last three days, forcing villagers to his meetings. He has promised he will unleash violence against anyone who supports the party led by Prime Minster Morgan Tsvangirai.
Pishai Muchauraya, the party spokesman in Manicaland, confirmed that the war vets leader had been intimidating their supporters with the object of spreading fear.
Muchauraya, the MDC-T’s Makoni South MP, accused Sibanda of lying to the villagers that he had the capability to monitor how the villagers will vote in the election.
‘He has ordered all headmen and chiefs in the district to write down names of people whose ages range from 15 to 60 and also state which party they support,’ he said.
According to Muchauraya, Sibanda claimed that all villagers in the district will be issued with numbers by the chiefs that they will present to ZANU PF people who will be monitoring people as they come to vote.
‘Sibanda says they will use the numbers to see who has voted against ZANU,’ Muchauraya said.
The MP however rubbished the claims, suggesting Sibanda belongs to the ‘wild west’ where things were settled using the laws of the jungle.
‘This is just a gimmick by Sibanda to intimidate our supporters. He has no capacity whatsoever to dictate how voters will cast their votes, once inside a polling booth.
‘He preached the same message in 2008, but ZANU PF lost the election and they will lose again this time using the same strategy,’ Muchauraya said, adding that an election campaign needs to be done in a free and democratic manner.
‘Electioneering should not be done under threats and intimidation. Intimidating people is itself, of course, the highest manifestation of dictatorship,’ explained Muchauraya.
Meanwhile police in Chivhu arrested an MDC-T official on allegations of waving his party symbol to a senior police officer.
Reports said the MDC deputy district chairperson for Chikomba West, Patrick Chipo Gwini, was arrested in Chivhu and was detained for about four hours. He was charged and was ordered to report again to the police.
The official said police allege that he provoked a Superintendent Mutasa by waving the open palm MDC salute at him. Gwini denies the allegations claiming the police were after him, after he accused them of being partisan at a recent meeting of political parties.