MASVINGO — A local youth pressure group, the Community Tolerance for Reconciliation and Development (Cotrad), has organised a protest march against war veterans’ leader Jabulani Sibanda whom they accused of terrorising villagers in the province.
Cotrad programmes manager Brighton Ramusi said the march will take place on Thursday in Masvingo.
“We are not against the personality of Jabulani Sibanda or any individual, but against retrogressive acts that reverse the hard-earned political independence of Zimbabwe,” said Ramusi, adding they wanted Sibanda to end his terror campaign and leave the province.
“Jabulani Sibanda’s proclamations are indeed a recipe for disaster in nation building. We really honour the contributions made by each and everyone who made the political independence of Zimbabwe a reality, but we are strongly against the culture of political violence and intimidation.
“Liberation fighters fought to see a free Zimbabwe where nationals have a right to choose their own leaders without fear, intimidation or violence. As a youth-oriented organisation, we are keen to help our leaders in building the Zimbabwe we want.”
But Sibanda, who was in Harare yesterday, said he will return soon to Masvingo and scoffed at the planned march.
He vowed to stay put in the province.
“That is nonsense. Who and what is Cotrad? My operation in Masvingo is ongoing. Currently, I am in Harare, but will return soon. I will invite you to one of my rallies when I come.
“The revolution is ongoing and I have to teach the people. The revolution is an ongoing thing.
“We will continue with our programmes in Masvingo,” Sibanda said in a telephone interview yesterday.
However, Ramusi said: “As Cotrad, we therefore call upon every peace-loving youth in Masvingo province to come and join us in the march against disruption of peace, political intimidation, and violence.
“Remember history is calling you and shall judge you harshly for folding your arms when you are needed most. Yes, as youths you don’t have the purse but you have the pace and numerical advantage.”
Sibanda defied a resolution by the Zanu PF provincial executive to have him ejected after it argued he had “overstayed his welcome”.
Zanu PF also accused Sibanda of doing “more harm than good” to the former ruling party, as he was allegedly fuelling internal power struggles within the provincial structures.