28 June 2011
War Vets leader Jabulani Sibanda has become a hate figure among his own ZANU PF party in Masvingo province, following his destructive campaign strategy.
Sibanda has been in and out of the province for the past six months now, making several visits, mainly to Bikita, Zaka and Gutu districts. These are areas where ZANU PF lost dismally to the MDC-T in the 2008 election. Masvingo has 26 parliamentary seats from the seven districts in the province.
The MDC-T had one parliamentary seat prior to the harmonized elections but managed to grab 13 more constituencies, to make 14 in total to ZANU PF’s 12.
A highly placed source in Masvingo told SW Radio Africa on Tuesday that aspiring parliamentary candidates from ZANU PF were hiring Sibanda to campaign for them in the hope they would dislodge sitting legislators from the MDC-T.
‘Sibanda is in Masvingo not on a ZANU PF approved campaign program, but is representing certain individuals within the party to whip up support for them in anticipation of elections. But his campaign methods of intimidating and threatening villagers with death has had a disastrous effect on ZANU PF,’ our source said.
He added; ‘If you study his movements, he’s mostly seen in areas where ZANU PF lost seats to the MDC. The aspiring candidates there are queuing up to pay for his services, including settling his hotels bills at Flamboyant hotel, which he uses as a springboard to launch his campaigns.’
But his actions have pushed a lot of people away from ZANU PF and scared the provincial leadership.This forced the ZANU PF provincial co-ordinating committee, led by chairman Lovemore Matuke, to last week expel Sibanda from the province. They argued Sibanda had overstayed in the province and it was time to leave.
Sibanda though has defied this order and declared he will only leave Masvingo in a coffin.
Sibanda’s modus operandi involves forcing villagers to attend his illegal meetings in districts such as Gutu and Bikita, threatening them with violence if they do not vote for Robert Mugabe and his ZANU PF party in the next elections.