War veterans’ leader Jabulani Sibanda’s terror campaign has rolled into Chiredzi and Triangle where he is allegedly forcing villagers and civil servants to attend rallies and threatening that there would be war if Zanu PF lost the next elections.
He is reportedly telling villagers to get rid of “white tendencies” such as putting artificial hair and makeup and cosmetics stressing they should be natural like true Africans.
Sibanda, who is accompanied by about 16 war veterans addressed villagers at Chiredzi Primary School on Thursday and is believed to have addressed another one at Zezombe Primary School on Friday, a few kilometers outside Chiredzi, where he reportedly announced that the election would be about whether people wanted war or not.
The forced meetings have left civil servants angry because information to force people to Sibanda’s meetings was allegedly being disseminated through the education and local government structures.
In rural areas, war veterans have been given the responsibility of mobilising villagers and ensuring that schools are closed.
Sibanda could not be reached for comment as his mobile phone was unreachable but Chiredzi West MP Moses Mare confirmed the meetings were taking place.
MDC-T information and publicity secretary for Masvingo Dusty Zivhavhe said he attended the meeting addressed by Sibanda in Chiredzi on Thursday.
“He was here yesterday ( Friday) and he is working with government departments. He told people that even if Tsvangirai wins the election he would not rule the country because it came through blood. He said Zimbabwe was not like a cigarette which could be passed from one person to the other and therefore people should be careful how they voted,” said Zivhavhe.
“He also said people should stop copying whites by putting on things such as “human hair” and instead be natural.”
Zivhavhe however said there have not been any incidents of violence although people were being intimidated into attending the rallies.”
He said he was not aware where the war veterans leader was on Friday but a teacher in Chiredzi said he addressed a meeting at Zvemombe Primary School, a few kilometers outside Chiredzi, where he repeated the message.
“He has recruited some people who are going around resettlement areas telling villagers to come for meetings, while at the same time sending circulars to schools through the ministry’s structures informing the authorities to shut down schools and forcing teachers and pupils to attend his meetings,” he said.
“Today he was addressing villagers at Zvemombe Primary School and on Monday he will be in Ngundu. The message he is sending is that people must guard against voting for the MDC as it is made up of sellouts who want to return the country to British rule. He is saying civil servants are expected to play a big role in ensuring that the country is not re-colonised. He is saying that in the event that people vote for the MDC, there would be war in the country.”
Sibanda has been in Masvingo province for several months, mobilising support for Zanu PF ahead of the elections scheduled for next year.