MDC-T has demanded that the police should take action against controversial war veterans leader Jabulani Sibanda for reportedly inciting violence and intimidating villagers in Masvingo.
MDC-T urged Police Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri to rein in Sibanda as a matter of urgency.
Sibanda is reportedly criss-crossing the length and breadth of Masvingo province drumming up support for Zanu PF ahead of an impending referendum to either accept or reject a draft constitution.
Sibanda reportedly told villagers in Zaka at the weekend that he had been “sent to warn all sell-outs in the area that Zanu PF is ready to kill them” if they fail to join his party before campaigns for next elections have begun.
He also reportedly commandeered the villagers to attend his meetings.
However, police national spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena said Sibanda had not committed a crime.
“They must be clarity on the nature of the incitement of violence. Incitement is followed by violence and that has not happened,” Bvudzijena said.
“We have not seen the violence. The statements must be followed up by some action or response from those being incited. We have not seen anything. In itself there is no crime.”
MDC-T said it was concerned about police’s inaction.
“The MDC is strongly disturbed that Jabulani Sibanda, a self-styled war veteran, can cause so much suffering in Masvingo province during the past three months without any restraint from the police,” the party said in a statement.
“It is common cause that Sibanda, with a team of 15 of Zimbabwe’s most violent war veterans, is preaching hate, intimidating and dividing the people, inciting violence and disturbing peace by forcing people to attend his meetings in the province.”
Sibanda was not available for comment. His mobile was not reachable.
MDC-T said Sibanda’s conduct was retrogressive as it violated provisions of the Global Political Agreement.
“The behaviour of Sibanda and other destructive elements drawn from the former ruling party poses a real threat to the health of the Inclusive Government and must stop forthwith,” the party said.
“MDC calls on the inclusive government, Police Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri and his machinery to act on Sibanda as a matter of urgency.”
The MDC-T accused Sibanda of disrupting classes at Nhema Primary School when he ordered teachers and pupils to his rally on Wednesday before proceeding to Fuve Business Centre in Zaka, where he allegedly threatened hundreds of villagers with violence if they snubbed his meetings.
“What is further worrying is that this happened in full view of the police. Zanu PF is funding Sibanda in the party’s mission to fight ordinary villagers and to interfere with their normal lives,” the party said.
“It is not a secret that on 29 March 2008, the people of Zaka rejected Zanu PF in favour of the MDC. Zanu PF should come out clean and denounce him if it is not involved in Sibanda’s machinations. Their silence means he is their functionary on a mission to prop up their electoral fortunes.”