by Irene Madongo
01 March 2011
Notorious war vet Jabulani Sibanda has forced a district to shut down its schools and made teachers attend his pro-ZANU PF rally, where he said members of the MDC would be killed, the local MDC-T spokesman has said. Sibanda had reportedly been to Zaka and Bikita intimidating locals, before appearing in Gutu.
MDC-T spokesman for Gutu West district, Stanley Manguma, said Sibanda resorted to forcing teachers and school children to attend his rally after two others were poorly attended.
It’s understood only 12 ZANU PF supporters attended the first meeting, and around 20 people attended the following one. Fed up with this Sibanda approached a local chief who is a staunch ZANU PF supporter, who then instructed headmen and headmasters to close schools, Manguma explained.
The teachers and school children then attended the rally at Matizha Business Centre on Monday, and the numbers of those present ballooned to around 600. The school children were then dismissed and Sibanda began making dangerous threats, including saying that people will be killed this year.
“This shows ZANU PF is already in the mood for an election. They are telling people ‘we are going to have an election whether the MDC wants it or not ,’” Manguma explained.
Sibanda’s remarks have left locals and MDC members in the area living in fear. His campaign is a roll-over from last year where he went about disrupting learning, by ordering teachers and school children to attend his rallies in other parts of Masvingo province. He also operated a terror tour of Mashonaland Central and Manicaland.
Despite calls by the MDC-T for Sibanda to be arrested, Zimbabwe’s partisan police have instead been accompanying him on his operations and he remains free to intimidate locals and cause havoc.