Under-siege war veterans’ leader Jabulani Sibanda on Wednesday remained defiant, insisting he wanted to meet President Robert Mugabe over Zanu PF party issues and dismissed as “nonsensical” reports that he had planned a march to State House Thursday.
Following ringing endorsements from war veterans in Midlands and Bulawayo, Sibanda said he was still seeking a meeting with Mugabe, although the President had said he was acting as if he was possessed by the spirit of Beelzebub, the chief spirit of the Devil.
“We still want to meet the President,” he said.
“But what has been said that we are planning a march or demonstration is not true. Neither a demonstration nor a march to the State House was planned.”
The war veterans’ leader has reportedly been ousted by a previously unknown group, the War Veterans’ Council of Elders, who accuse him of undermining the First Family.
The group is fronted by former Chitungwiza MP Patrick Nyaruwata, George Mlala (Bulawayo), Nelson Chadamoyo (Mashonaland Central), George Matenda and Victor Matemadanda, both from Midlands.
Sibanda drew the ire of his peers after he refused to attend Grace Mugabe’s rallies, insisting he would not be party to a “bedroom or boardroom coup”.
The beleaguered war veterans’ leader insisted that despite the downturn of his fortunes within Zanu PF, he still wanted to meet President Mugabe.
“We only said we wanted to meet the President and there was no talk that we wanted to demonstrate against him,” he said.
“We know how to meet the President, all the talk that we have been organising a demonstration or march is utter nonsense.”
Among the list of charges, Sibanda was accused of blocking Zanu PF supporters from attending a demonstration against Vice-President Joice Mujuru at the party’s headquarters last week.
A deep chasm, along factional lines, has developed within Zanu PF, with anyone believed to be in Mujuru’s camp being publicly vilified.
Mujuru, Sibanda, Zanu PF party spokesman Rugare Gumbo and Zanu PF Mashonaland East provincial chair Ray Kaukonde are bearing the brunt of an unprecedented onslaught.