Gutu Senator Empire Makamure (MDC-T) this week told Parliament that the activities of war veteran and Zanu PF activist Jabulani Sibanda in Masvingo should never be tolerated and should be considered as violence.
He said violence did not only mean physical assault, but also included hate speeches at gatherings such as the ones conducted by Sibanda, as well as those peddled through the media.
Makamure castigated Sibanda while contributing to debate in the Senate on acts of violence and wanton aggression against Zimbabwean citizens. The debate was introduced last week in Senate by MDC-T non-constituency Senator Morgan Komichi.
“Violence is not (only) in the form of throwing stones, but (also) in the form of speeches and through the media,” said Makamure.
“We have a problem in our district of a man called Jabulani Sibanda who roams the district at will, organising meetings attended by people and in some cases headmen and even chiefs speak ill about other political parties, shouting slogans against others.
“That is a form of violence being perpetrated by this man in our district and the police allow him to go scot-free,” said Makamure.
He said Sibanda’s meetings were solely to denounce the existence of the MDC-T and to force people to join Zanu PF.
He alleged those who did not defect to Zanu PF were made to pay fines.
While debating on the same motion, Matobo MP, Sithembile Mlotshwa (MDC-T) said President Robert Mugabe as the Head of State should question why violence was happening throughout the country.
“Even in the government of national unity, there is one person with more powers. He is the one who should question the violence happening in the country,” said Mlotshwa.
However, the Zanu PF Senator for Gokwe North, Tariro Mtingwende argued it was the MDC-T which engaged in acts of violence by beating up chiefs and she alleged in Gokwe a chief was murdered for being affiliated to Zanu PF.