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Sibanda threatens multiple farm-owners

A STORM is brewing in Zanu PF after war veterans’ leader Jabulani Sibanda threatened to forcibly repossess land from multiple farm-owners across the country whom he accused of having abused the controversial land reform programme.

There are reports that many senior Zanu PF officials own more than one farm. 
In an interview with the Zimbabwe Independent on Wednesday, Sibanda said owning multiple farms was “illegal” and “counter-revolutionary”.
Sibanda, who is being accused of terrorising villagers in Masvingo Province, said his association was going to be very hard on multiple farm-owners whom he regarded as selfish and non-productive.
“There are some things that we said as war veterans we will not tolerate like those with multiple farms but not doing anything productive regardless of their positions. They are criminals, a person who has more than one farm through the land reform is a criminal,” said Sibanda without naming the multiple farm-owners.
On local and international media reports alleging that the war veterans’ leader was forcing villagers and civil servants to his meetings and threatening them with violence, Sibanda dismissed this arguing that the war veterans were having normal meetings with their “stakeholders, peasants”.
MDC-T information and publicity secretary for Masvingo province Dusty Zivhavhe claimed that Sibanda told a meeting in Chiredzi last week that even if Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai won the election he would not rule the country because it came through blood.
Zivhavhe also alleged that the war veterans’ leader told villagers that the election would be about people choosing if they wanted a war or not.
On Wednesday, the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) released a statement in which it alleged that Sibanda, with other members from his association coerced traditional leaders from Masvingo to tell their subjects to support only Zanu PF.
“The Zimbabwe Peace Project has noted that the current political environment does not guarantee a free and fair election in the near future since all the institutions of violence are still intact. It remains very worrying that all local governance structures in rural Zimbabwe have been politicised that they clearly and effectively serve the interests of Zanu PF,” said ZPP.
Sibanda described as “nonsense” allegations by Zivhavhe and the ZPP, saying the meetings were held to explain to the people how the MDC was committing a “crime against humanity through sanctions”.
“People are making a lot of silly allegations that I cancelled a Copac meeting and I am threatening villagers in Bikita, Zaka and Chiredzi.  Copac found us already on the ground and we didn’t disrupt any meeting. The allegations are stupid,” he said.
“The meeting is just a simple meeting of the war veterans going to meet the people and other freedom fighters. War veterans belong almost everywhere in the country,” Sibanda pointed out.
He said allegations that he has been campaigning for Mugabe in MDC-T- dominated areas ahead of the elections next year were “stupid”.
Sibanda said: “That is just speculation which is very stupid. Which MDC-T dominated areas that they claim to dominate and control? The people of Zimbabwe fought for self-rule.
“What is so special about what we are doing now?” adding that it was not the first time they have had such meetings”.


Wongai Zhangazha

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