War veterans’ leader Jabulani Sibanda yesterday said WikiLeaks revelations that some Zanu PF stalwarts confided in United States ambassadors expressing their desire to have President Robert Mugabe out of office had not shocked them as the former freedom fighters knew all along that there were “sellouts” within the party.
WikiLeaks diplomatic cables have exposed a long list of senior Zanu PF and government officials — among them Vice-President Joice Mujuru, Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, Transport and Infrastructural Development minister Nicholas Goche and Youth, Indigenisation and Empowerment minister Saviour Kasukuwere — as having shared confidential information with American envoys.
Former ministers Jonathan Moyo, Sikhanyiso Ndlovu and Dumiso Dabengwa reportedly did the same, discussing sensitive issues around the political and security situation in the country.
Sibanda said the ex-fighters always knew that “there were sellouts among us dating back to the years of the liberation struggle”.
“Those revelations are not surprising. We have always known that these people are sellouts, some even during the days of the liberation struggle,” he said.
“The spirit of inclusivity, sadly, at times ends up assembling counter-revolution functionaries.”
Sibanda added: “We are not at all surprised, but we are concerned by this level of disloyalty and why these issues were never raised in meetings organised by the party only to go and confide with the enemy.
“They are not only cowards, but traitors as well.”
Asked what the war veterans felt should be the way forward following “Cablegate”, Sibanda said they would act, but would not discuss their intended action with the media.
“The question is not what we will do, but what we have been doing. We knew that some of them wanted to remove President Mugabe from power, that is why we held the One-Million- Man March (in 2007) to frustrate their efforts and it worked,” said Sibanda.
“We know that they pretended to act on behalf of the people, but they do not have the interest of the people at heart as they were working with the Americans. We are going to act, but we will not discuss what we are going to do in the media.”
Sibanda has in recent times openly clashed with several top Zanu PF leaders in Matabeleland including Dabengwa, John Nkomo and the late Vice-President Joseph Msika.
Other government officials who met American diplomats include Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono and top army commanders Major-General Fidelis Sakutu and Brigadier-General Herbert Chingono.
The late top Zanu PF official Eddison Zvobgo also met US diplomats.
Last week Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo said the party was going to investigate revelations that some of its senior officials supplied damning information about President Mugabe.
The party’s secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa has called on those named in the WikiLeaks cables to be punished if they are found guilty of betrayal.