HomePoliticsSuccession proponents ‘sellouts and criminals’

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WAR veterans chairman Jabulani Sibanda says the succession debate has unnecessarily divided Zanu PF when the party’s constitution is clear on how a leader is chosen.

Sibanda told journalists at the Bulawayo Press Club that setting up a succession committee headed by Vice-President John Nkomo further deepened the cracks as different factions battled it out for control of the party.

He labelled people pushing what he described as “the divisive” succession debate as “sell-outs and criminals” and power-hungry people.

“Zanu PF has introduced the succession programme to run concurrently with the constitution — that is causing confusion in Zanu PF. As war veterans, we will refuse to allow that confusion to spill over to us and affect our operations.”

Sibanda said Zanu PF members should desist from using war veterans in their succession battle.

“If there are people in Zanu PF who are running a programme of succession, they are dangerous to the revolution and the party as (Ian) Smith was. That person practising succession theory is an enemy not only of Zanu PF but Africa,” he said.

Sibanda said Zanu PF’s constitution is “crystal clear” on electing leaders.

“Those people are sell-outs regardless of how powerful they are; succession is done through the constitution and it is clear how leaders are elected.”

“Any person who takes another path outside congress, that’s unconstitutional and criminal,” he said.

Succession matters are discussed and concluded only during congresses which are held every five years, he said.

Sibanda fell short of naming Zanu PF members who are pushing the succession issue.

The battle for power is between factions led by Emmerson Mnangagwa and Retired Army Commander General  Solomon Mujuru, who wants his wife, Vice-President Joice Mujuru, to take over from Mugabe.

Last year, a committee led by Nkomo was set up to come up with a succession plan.

The committee also includes Mujuru, Mnangagwa, Didymus Mutasa, Nicholas Goche, Oppah Muchinguri and Sydney Sekeramayi.

“That party would be weak and would crumble in the face of the opposition. No Zanu PF member will control war vest in their succession programmes,” he said.

“What are you saying about the sitting president? Pushing the succession issue are power-hungry sell-outs. Why do they want power? A leader has authority not power.”

On the current state of the war veterans, Sibanda refused to say whether he would stand for re-election at their next congress this year.

Said Sibanda: “Will I stand or not? I never sit down”.

Sibanda was evasive when asked to enumerate achievements during his chairmanship.

“It would be irresponsible for me to narrate (my) achievements; in fact I don’t achieve, we achieve. Achievements are known by people in the association,” said Sibanda.

Last week, President Mugabe, who is also the patron of war veterans, called for an end to the infighting among liberation fighters.

Joseph Chinotimba has claimed the chairmanship of the association from Sibanda.

But five of 10 provinces have said they still recognise Sibanda’s chairmanship.


Nqobile Bhebhe

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