The Herald (Harare)

9 January 2013

Zimbabwe: Freedom Fighters Cannot Be Separated From Zanu-PF - Sibanda

WAR Veterans leader Cde Jabulani Sibanda says freedom fighters cannot be separated from Zanu-PF as the two have the same ideology. He said there was nothing wrong with revolutionary ex-combatants aligning themselves with Zanu-PF because its opponents had former Rhodesian soldiers.

Cde Sibanda also said it was improper for MDC formations to say traditional leaders should be apolitical when the British system recognised the need to have royal representatives in all security systems.

"Is it by accident that (David Coltart) is a member of the MDC? Is it by accident that (Roy) Bennett and (Giles) Mutsekwa are members of the MDC-T? These are former Rhodesian soldiers who opposed the revolution that took them out yet they are in politics so why shouldn't freedom fighters be in politics," queried Cde Sibanda. "We have to be where we are because we believe we were set up for a purpose to overthrow a settler regime in our country and imperialism that enables bigger nations to exploit smaller nations.

"We are politically conscious and there is no way you can divorce us from the understanding that gives us courage to march on and standing for a hard right against an easy wrong. We can't be divorced from Zanu-PF."

Cde Sibanda said it was also strange that MDC formations were clamouring to deny chiefs the right to be involved in politics yet "their sponsors" saw the need to involve them.

"In Britain we have the British Army side by side with the Royal Army, the British Navy side by side with the Royal Navy, and the British Airforce side by side with the Royal Airforce.

"The British government security personnel are there to defend the territorial boundaries of the British but the Royal representatives are there to defend Kingship," said Cde Sibanda.

He said the British wanted to disarm Zimbabwe's traditional leaders from a political responsibility yet they gave their military a responsibility to defend the Royal family.

He dismissed claims by MDC formations that war veterans were beating up Zanu-PF's opponents. "The problem with the MDCs is that they are people who live in a fallacy world. They create a fear and then start fearing that fear they would have created. For that reason I will not comment on what they created," said Cde Sibanda.

However, MDC-T spokesperson Mr Douglas Mwonzora said war veterans had a right to politically belong but not coerce others to have the same beliefs.

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