By Nduduzo Tshuma
WAR veterans yesterday declared that they will not allow their deposed chairperson Jabulani Sibanda to meet President Mugabe over his recent remarks that the First Family wanted to stage a “bedroom coup” against Vice-President Joice Mujuru.
The war veterans’ council of elders last Friday expelled Sibanda for the utterance which they felt were tantamount to mocking President Mugabe and the First Lady, Grace Mugabe.
Sibanda is seeking a meeting with the President to discuss the “welfare of war veterans” and possibly apologise for the insult and his threat to mobilise veterans to march on State House.
Yesterday, the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) executive met in Harare and “instructed” the deposed chairperson, “to go and clarify and explain his position on the misrepresented issue of the bedroom coup to our patron HE RG Mugabe.”
However, one of the war veterans’ leaders, Joseph Chinotimba dismissed the meeting as a nullity saying Sibanda was already out of office. He said they would block him from meeting the President.
“Jabulani is on record saying those things. He can’t claim to have been misinterpreted. He is the one who spoke to the media and the records are there. He repeated it in the Chronicle today (yesterday),” said Chinotimba.
Chinotimba said after the interview with the Chronicle, he was going to call the President and advise him not to entertain Sibanda.
He said if he were President Mugabe, “I would tell him to go and apologise to the late Vice Presidents Joseph Msika and John Nkomo. When they died they did not see eye to eye with Jabulani because of the insults he made to them.”
He added: “Jabulani’s tendency of insulting leaders started with the departed Vice Presidents. At one point, he said the only Msika he knew was Renkini and Mbare in reference to the late VP. He should go to heaven first and apologise to those leaders.”
He dismissed the ZNLWVA meeting and resolution as nonsensical.
“Jabulani has been removed from the organisation. We are going for congress and elections. Afterwards, he can then come and apologise to us and then we apologise on his behalf to the President,” said Chinotimba.
He said Sibanda also complicated things for Vice-President Mujuru when he said she was being persecuted for crimes perpetrated by her late husband Retired General Solomon Mujuru.
“He should tell the nation what the General did. He can’t claim to be misquoted on the First Lady and maintain what he said about the General. He should come out in the open and say what he knows about the General,” said Chinotimba.
“We are saying down with Jabulani, down with him. He should just sit down with his wife, MaNdlovu that he was talking about in the media, and shut up.”
ZNLWVA, in a statement yesterday claimed that Chinotimba had been rejected by war veterans from his province for mismanaging resources.
“These so-called elders of the war veterans are the same people who are leaders of an organisation that calls itself Kingdom Nehoreka Association that calls on all comrades to go for cleansing to remove the so-called bad spirits from the war of liberation, hence their quest to destroy the main wing of the war veterans’ association in favour of their own organisation,” reads the statement.
But Chinotimba said he was the one who led the push for Sibanda to be voted as the chairman of the organisation.
“They are just talking nonsense. It’s a group of people being used and don’t know what they are doing,” he said. The Chronicle