A Zanu PF faction grouped under the Generation 40 banner, has approached expelled Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) chairman Jabulani Sibanda in a desperate move to lure liberation war stalwarts into their corner.
According to state media reports, the group viewed Mr Sibanda as an important figure in the mobilisation of people to support their “succession agenda”. The G40 agenda is allegedly being peddled on social media.
Mr Sibanda on Thursday confirmed that certain individuals linked to G40 had approached him. Although, he declined to reveal names, he said the group was in the deep end desperately seeking the support of war veterans.
Mr Sibanda said as a war veteran, he dismissed the group’s overtures as “they betrayed the founding principles of the liberation struggle.”
“Yes, they are trying (to lure me) and they will be phoning even now,” said Mr Sibanda.
“They are under pressure. They are in the deep and I am not. There are some who believe that I must be holding a grievance against (Cde Chris) Mutsvangwa on how he treated me when I was chairman of the war veterans.”
Mr Sibanda continued: “There are people who believe that (expulsion) happened to me because I was Ndebele or Zipra. There are a lot of forces at play. There are people who have come to talk to me saying this is what is needed.
“But to me, their concerns are much more personal and not about the future of the nation. What I see now is people hiding, founding another party in Zanu-PF yet there are structures.
“It is either you are a ward, cell, district, provincial, Central Committee, Politburo member or you are in the Presidium. Amongst themselves, havana chinhu. Why would you look for one person when you have everything?”
Mr Sibanda said the statement by former Tanzanian president Dr Benjamin Mkapa when he met President Mugabe on Wednesday could be directed to a misguided clique in the ruling party that wanted to usurp the powers of the President.
Dr Mkapa arrived in Zimbabwe on Monday for a week-long visit.
During his meet with President Mugabe, Dr Mkapa said new African leaders needed to be inducted into the history of Africa for them to carry forward the vision of the continent’s founding fathers.
“If you look at (Dr) Mkapa’s statement, you will see that he is concerned about another generation within our parties which is disassociating itself with the expectations of African people and history,” he said.
“This destabilisation means a destabilisation of liberation movements in the region. It’s far reaching than you can think. Look at this thing geographically, historically and internationally.”
Mr Sibanda said it was unfortunate that a group of people flaunting ill-gotten wealth was trying to bulldoze its way to power. He said leaders were chosen on the basis of their leadership qualities and not the wealth they have.
“Very few people want to use their wealth, which some have acquired corruptly to be a ruling elite in this country,” he said.
“When President Mugabe became President he was a teacher not a billionaire, while Dr Joshua Nkomo was a trade unionist. It should be about leadership qualities not wealth. There were many businesspeople but people knew that freedom cannot be bought.”
Sibanda said war veterans were not seeking to monopolise the country by reminding people they fought for independence. He said the war veterans were simply identifying with the idea of sovereignty and self-determination which they fought for.
Mr Sibanda said such fundamental tenets of the liberation struggle were now under threat from certain elements with sinister agendas.
“When war veterans say they fought for the country, they are not saying they are the only people who fought for the country,” he said.
“Every national in this country has got a son or daughter who died in the war. Kana waakuita anything to a living war veteran vanhu varikuona uchiita izvozvo to their departed sons and daughters.
“War veterans are simply identifying themselves with the reasons they went to war and when those are threatened, they feel negated and ignored. There is no person who can insult a living war veteran today without insulting those who died