Comment: Sibanda must be tamed

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Jabulani Sibanda is at it again, this time he has invaded Gwanda where he is threatening villagers with unspecified action if they fail to attend his political gatherings.

Recently he was in Masvingo where he reportedly terrorised villagers in a bid to coerce them to support Zanu PF.

What boggles the mind is the impunity with which this man breaks the law, violating villagers’ rights to peace.

People like Sibanda give war veterans a bad name. His actions show that he has the backing of Zanu PF and it exposes the party’s knack for intimidation and use of force to gain votes. This is gross violation of human rights and democratic principles.

In Gwanda, the marauding Sibanda was assisted by Chief Nhlamba to mobilise the people and this typifies how chiefs have been willingly roped in to be part of Zanu PF’s intimidation machinery. It is a pity that this man is given the right to violate innocent villagers’ rights.

The major question that begs an urgent answer is: Is Jabulani Sibanda above the law? If he is not, why are the authorities turning a blind eye to his nefarious activities that destroy peace in villages he chooses to terrorise?

While President Robert Mugabe preaches peace, the likes of Sibanda go about preaching terror on behalf of Zanu PF, the very party that the President heads.

This contradiction makes us sceptical about the genuineness of the President’s call for peace.

No Zimbabwean should be above the law, but if Sibanda and his ilk are allowed to do as they please, without holding them accountable, does this not show that those in positions of power are not committed to the truth and democracy?

Sibanda is symbolic what Zanu PF uses to stay in power, coercion of innocent citizens and violation of their rights.

How else we can we explain the party’s pretence of not knowing the evil unleashed by their own war veteran on hapless citizens?

Not that the villagers cannot deal with the likes of Sibanda, far from it, they are aware that Sibanda represents a larger and more evil force that is very vindictive.

They would rather suffer in silence than face the wrath of Zanu PF epitomised during the Gukurahundi period.

What Sibanda and others need to understand is that membership to a political party is voluntary and it is the people’s right to choose political parties they want to belong to.

Coercion has failed Zanu PF before and what makes Sibanda think it can work miracles this time?

What Sibanda and Zanu PF do not understand is that people are fed up with their tired ideology and force will never win their hearts.

We would give Zanu PF and Sibanda free advice, renew your approach to accommodate ordinary citizens and stop harassing them. But first, people like Jabulani Sibanda must be tamed.