WAR veterans’ leader Jabulani Sibanda has reportedly invaded Nyanga district in Manicaland where he ordered traditional leaders in the area to ban MDC-T rallies and intimidated villagers at his meetings.
REPORT BY OBEY MANAYITI STAFF REPORTER
Nyanga South MP Willard Chimbetete (MDC-T) yesterday claimed Sibanda descended on the area last week and held several meetings allegedly warning traditional leaders and villagers against voting for the MDC-T.
Mutasa South MP Trevor Saruwaka also confirmed Sibanda’s presence in Nyanga and condemned his intimidation of MDC-T members.
Sibanda is said to have also ordered Zanu PF activists to compile a list of known MDC-T members and perceived sympathisers and submit it to war veterans in Nyanga.
But Sibanda denied he was intimidating the villagers and force-marching them to political meetings.
“I am not preaching violence to anyone. In fact, people are voluntarily coming to my meetings and I have never forced anyone to attend my meetings. In fact, people are inviting me to address them further. I don’t believe in violence and I cannot engage in something I am preaching against,” Sibanda said.
Chimbetete, however, said Sibanda invaded the constituency on November 16 and summoned all headmen and their subjects to a meeting at Nyarukowa business centre.
“The agenda was simply that the MDC is not allowed to hold any meetings in the ward and they were warned not to vote for MDC in the next elections,” Chimbetete said.
“Anyone found voting for MDC will face the consequences. On the 17th of November, they moved to ward 18 at Magarati Primary School. The headmen and their subjects were rounded up and given the same message of intimidation that no more MDC meetings were allowed in the area. Each headman was asked to stand up with his people and a count was conducted to ensure the number would have improved at the next meeting.”
He added: “Sibanda is telling villagers in my constituency and other areas in Nyanga to surrender their MDC-T material and publicly renounce their support. He is also using headmen to intimidate people. He openly told villagers that he will not stop at anything even if it means using violence to wipe out anti-Zanu PF elements in Nyanga. Villagers are now living in fear as they don’t know what he will do next as he is promising violence. We want Jomic to intervene urgently because people are now living in fear.”
MDC-T ward 15 chairperson Raymond Bumhira said Sibanda had tasked Zanu PF youths in the area to compile a list of all known MDC-T supporters and submit it to war veterans’ leaders in Nyanga.