MDC-T MPs Tuesday described Zanu PF apologist and war veterans’ leader Jabulani Sibanda as a terrorist and demanded he be immediately removed from Masvingo province where he has caused untold suffering.
Sibanda has been in Zaka and Bikita districts for the past several weeks allegedly threatening villagers with death if they continued to support any party other than Zanu PF.
Zanu PF lost elections in the two districts for the first time since independence and Sibanda is said to have gone into the now MDC-T stronghold to restore his party’s waning fortunes.
Festus Dumbu, MP for Zaka West who described Sibanda as a “terrorist”, said during debate on the Presidential Speech Tuesday that people in his constituency no longer tolerated the nefarious activities by Sibanda.
Dumbu said Sibanda was using chiefs in Masvingo to lure people to meetings in the guise that they would discuss issues affecting their communities, only to be surprised that they would be addressed by the war veterans’ leader.
“Chiefs call for local meetings, but later during the meetings Sibanda comes out to deliver scathing speeches in an operation that he had code-named: ‘Operation Buda Pachena’ (Come Clean),” said Dumbu. “Sibanda’s behaviour is no longer tolerated in Zaka and people have decided to shun the chiefs’ meetings.”
Dumbu said Sibanda was now extending his terror in Zaka to civil servants and on Tuesday, he allegedly used chiefs to force-march headmasters to attend his meetings.
“The people in Zaka demand that this terrorist be ejected from the area as soon as possible or be arrested,” said Dumbu.
He said his constituents had suffered a lot at the hands of the Zanu PF terror campaign as some of them had been murdered in Jerera during the June 2008 bloody presidential election campaign period.
At this juncture, Zanu PF MPs who were not happy with the accusations called for a point of order from the Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly Nomalanga Khumalo. They said Dumbu was accusing someone who could not answer to the charges in Parliament.
Zanu PF MP for Mberengwa East Makhosini Hlongwane retorted that it was not only Zanu PF which had been responsible for political violence in the country.
“The GPA has acknowledged that the violence perpetrated in the country on the basis of politics had been driven by all the three political parties in the GPA,” said Hlongwane.
MDC-T MP for Bulawayo East Thabitha Khumalo charged back: “The MDC was not there in 1980 when people in Matabeleland were massacred in their thousands and today Jabulani Sibanda is in Masvingo being supported by Zanu PF and yet you are not men and women enough to stand up and tell the truth.”
She said Zanu PF preached peace but practiced war. The party, she said, had experts in making lies sound like the truth.
Kambuzuma MP Willas Madzimure (MDC-T) said Sibanda should immediately get out of Masvingo as he was not of the Shona tribe.
“Sibanda has traversed the country from Tsholotsho to Masvingo and he is a factor for underdevelopment because no development can happen when people are terrorised and disrupted from their developmental activities,” Madzimure said.