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At the time, Sibanda was a Zanu PF member.
In a question and answer interview excerpts gleaned from the Zimbabwe Independent, Sibanda said no genuine war veteran participated in violence.
He blamed the violence on a “Third Force”.
“When I was national chairman of war veterans in 2008, there was no genuine war veteran who was involved in that violence. It was a Third Force.
“I don’t want to talk about the Third Force, but people know what happened” he said.
Sibanda reportedly spent years in different provinces “terrorising villagers” and warning them against voting any party that wasn’t Zanu PF.
On what role he played in the 2008 elections he said “Before the elections, I sat down and analysed the political situation. That time there was something that was said by the British.
“They had said in their parliament they are working with the MDC to achieve regime change in Zimbabwe. That statement prompted me to discuss with war veterans how to defend our freedom by stopping the British from achieving their agenda.
“I approached then secretary for legal affairs in Zanu PF, Emmerson Mnangagwa, and he invited me to Kwekwe. I raised the war veterans’ concerns with him.
“The first concern was on why Zanu PF had agreed to harmonised elections when they were forces outside who wanted to steal our freedom. I felt it was dangerous and we should rather have local government elections first to test our strength.
“He said, “no, we are going to win the elections”. My second argument was that they were multiplying constituencies and yet Zanu PF was imposing leaders during primary elections. I thought the party would lose, particularly in bigger provinces. Mnangagwa said to me, “no, we are going to win the entire provinces and constituencies”. He was wrong and I was right; they were reading things wrongly as they are doing now”.
He added “I went to Nicholas Goche, then secretary for security and the late Elliot Manyika (then Zanu PF commissar), with the same concerns but they did not listen. We went into the election and the people who thought were right were proved wrong.
“Those who thought they were right were now facing a dead end, so they came up with the Third Force resulting in violence. The war veterans were not involved in that”.
Asked on comments by legislator Joseph Chinotimba that he led war vets into violence, Sibanda said “He is a parliamentarian. People don’t take him seriously, but he must be taken seriously. But look, he was not in the executive of war vets. Chiri kungotimba (he is just digging) like his name suggests”. Source – Zimbabwe Independent
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