RETIRED Zimbabwe National Army captain and son of the late nationalist Ndabaningi Sithole, Garikai, told NewsDay last
week that he was forced into opposition politics by top Zanu PF officials who kept blocking his ascendancy citing his relationship with the party’s late founding president.
Sithole (39), who has founded his own Zimbabwe Empowerment Movement (ZEM), said when he tried to revive the late nationalist’s Zanu-Ndonga, it was already too late as some of the members had defected to the MDC-T.
“I was a Zanu PF cadre since the death of my father,” Sithole said.
“I have donated many things including cattle to Zanu PF’s different functions, but there was not even a single day when I was acknowledged and even my several attempts to contest for any position were scuttled as some officials labelled me a Zanu-Ndonga activist.
“That is when I decided to form my own party together with my sisters. I had tried to revive Zanu-Ndonga, but I heard Reketai Semwayo had taken over the party and handed it over to (Morgan) Tsvangirai. I refused to join the MDC-T and formed my own ZEM,” Sithole said, adding the party would hold its inaugural congress at Birchenough Bridge early next year where about 8 000 delegates were expected.
Sithole, however, said he had no problems with President Robert Mugabe and his wife, Grace, and urged the revolutionary party to solve its current internal problems amicably.
Ndabaningi Sithole co-founded Zanu in 1963, but was
toppled by Mugabe at the height of the liberation struggle in the late 1970s after he was accused of selling out to the settler Ian Smith regime.
He died in 2000 after going on self-imposed exile in the United States.