via ‘Zanu PF plotting brutal campaigns’ – DailyNews Live 13 April 2015 by Mugove Tafirenyika
HARARE – Firebrand former war veterans’ leader Jabulani Sibanda (pictured) has warned that President Robert Mugabe’s ruling Zanu PF party — severely weakened by its vicious factional and succession wars — will heighten its well-known thuggish tactics that include bloody campaigns and the brutalisation of its opponents to survive and remain in power.
Speaking in an interview with the Daily News yesterday, Sibanda said the party’s ongoing brutal purges of officials perceived to be loyal to former vice president Joice Mujuru had severely weakened the party to “a point of no return”.
“The party has been disintegrated and the danger that lies ahead is that they will soon realise that they have lost ground and have no strength and will resort to annihilating those opposed to them, killing people through assassinations.
“That is obvious and very clear because what matters to them is not the majority but that which can give them power and they would want to show that they mean business,” Sibanda, who is well-versed in Zanu PF’s modus operandi, said.
And as Sibanda spoke yesterday, there was turmoil and much trepidation within the ranks of the ruling party as it moved to purge more of its officials seen as allies of Mujuru, with a number of its provincial co-ordinating committees recommending the summary expulsion of dozens of MPs and other bigwigs in the past few days alone.
In Harare, former provincial chairman Amos Midzi, former politburo member Tendai Savanhu and the sitting provincial minister Miriam Chikukwa are among those who are facing the party’s ruthless guillotine.
In Mashonaland Central, the axe is set to land on former Public Service minister Nicholas Goche and Mbire MP David Butau among several officials, while in Mashonaland East the main target is beleaguered former chairman Ray Kaukonde.
Sibanda said yesterday that the endless purges were a harbinger of “the trials and tribulations that Zimbabweans will soon endure at the hands of Zanu PF” as the party knew that it was not possible to win elections fairly after “disintegrating and demobilising the party like this”.
Describing the purges as “staggering political idiocy”, Sibanda said Mujuru and others like him who had been shown the exit door had been “effectively imprisoned” as they were being “followed everywhere by State security agents”.
Former Presidential Affairs minister Didymus Mutasa has also attested to the fact that State security agents were following him everywhere, claiming that they were doing this with a view to assassinating him.
Turning to independence commemorations in the country later this week, Sibanda said there was no doubt that the majority of war veterans felt betrayed by Mugabe and his government.
He added that while many war veterans did not necessarily regret having worked very hard to keep Mugabe and Zanu PF in power since Zimbabwe’s independence from Britain in 1980, they nonetheless felt that the revolution had thus far been “liquidated”.
“The conflict over internal party elections currently obtaining is a betrayal of war veterans’ aspirations. It is criminal because the revolution is now devoid of any legality. They (Zanu PF leaders) have committed a crime of unparalleled proportions.
“What we thought was that after campaigning so hard, spending months sleeping in the bush and subsequently winning elections resoundingly in 2013, that we would use the five years of Mugabe’s reign to reorganise the party ideologically and structurally.
“We, however, discovered that the ideology had changed to that of scattering the masses, demobilising and intimidating them using politically borrowed State power,” he said.
The outspoken Sibanda warned his former bosses in Zanu PF that the tables would turn against them soon.
“Yes, we have been betrayed and we do not regret ever working under Mugabe because some of us were not working for an individual’s legacy but that of the nation. Remember when we were under the Ian Smith bondage, some thought that his system would not be dismantled but it was.
“So if it happened then it will certainly happen now. Intimidation will not work,” he said with conviction.
“In the past 35 years, we managed to liberate the land and had it not been for corruption both in Zanu PF and government, we would now be through with coming up with a Minerals Act that would have ensured that national resources benefit that boy in Chipinge and that old man in Tsholotsho.
“We would have ensured that our health delivery system and education, as well as infrastructure is developed using our resources, not this situation where the army mines in Chiadzwa,” Sibanda said.
Sibanda spoke yesterday as Zimbabweans have been savaging the ruinous policies of Mugabe and Zanu PF party, saying these have reduced the country to a basket case where chaotic urban street vending has now become professionalised and where there is very little to celebrate on Independence Day this coming Saturday.
Political analyst Maxwell Saungweme said independence was now “practically and to all intents and purposes, for a few privileged individuals” as many Zimbabweans were languishing in abject poverty.
“Independence means enjoying basic freedoms — freedom of speech, movement, association, enjoying and participating in economic opportunities in your country, equality and prosperity,” said Saungweme.
National Vendors Union chairperson Sten Zvorwadza said he wondered why some political leaders had the temerity to stand up and say they liberated Zimbabwe when many people were suffering terribly, while vendors were being threatened with eviction.
“Vending is the only enterprise that is supporting livelihoods of the majority these days but when they are denied their right which is espoused in the Constitution in section 13(1) (a) it is like removing oxygen for a person who needs it,” Zvorwadza said.
“It points to the fact that the liberation war was not fought for the generality of Zimbabweans, but for a minority group leading the country selfishly,” he said.
An unemployed graduate, Tonderai — who has been walking the streets since he completed his business management degree seven years ago — said his mood was so low at the moment that he sometimes also felt like asking the country’s leaders to “hand the country back to the colonisers” as they had done “such a bad job of managing our independence”.
“What is the meaning of this independence beyond those few political elites and their cronies who are ripping off and raping this country?
“Do our leaders even know that many young Zimbabweans who are highly educated are now either vegetable vendors or risking being eaten by crocodiles in the Limpopo River as they illegally cross into South Africa where they also face terrible xenophobia?” said Tonderai.
These sentiments came as the government-initiated “#1980SoFarSoGood”, which was supposed to be a feel good hash tag for Zimbabweans to adopt ahead of the 35th anniversary of independence next Saturday, came under a barrage of attack.
Many Zimbabweans have gleefully savaged the hash tag on Twitter, insisting that life in Zimbabwe under Mugabe has not been good at all in the three-and-a-half decades since he took over at independence.
Users posted pictures of the empty supermarket shelves and wads of worthless Zimbabwe dollar notes that were seen in 2007-8, at the peak of Zimbabwe’s economic crisis.
There were also photos of hungry Zimbabwean children picking up grain from the side of the road, and of burning homes at Manzou Farm in Mazowe, which was cleared of villagers by Zimbabwe’s controversial First Lady Grace Mugabe earlier this year to make way for her game reserve.