ZIMBABWE – War veterans leader Joseph Chinotimba has blamed Jabulani Sibanda for the 2008 election violence which left at least 200 people, mainly opposition supporters, dead.
Speaking at a campaign rally in Epworth on Sunday Chinotimba said,
“Jabulani Sibanda led war veterans on a campaign of violence against Tsvangirai and his supporters in previous elections yet they are coming together as allies now. Any political party or individual that embraces such a war veteran is stupid.”
Some analysts questioned whether Chinotimba’s effort to shift the blame on Sibanda was part of a ploy to discredit the new alliance between Sibanda and MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
Sibanda told the Daily News in a recent interview: “In 2008, there was a third force behind the violence but in 2013 we heeded the warning by former South African President Thabo Mbeki that if the 2008 situation was allowed to recur, Britain would invade us and we went out to campaign for a peaceful election.”
Chinotimba also denounced former Presidential Affairs minister Didymus Mutasa for failing to appreciate the “good things the party did for them”.
“We now have fake war veterans who sell-out and my heart bleeds, especially when they do so after getting land and all from Zanu PF,” Chinotimba said.
“I was suspended from the party myself after I was accused of participating in the Tsholotsho Declaration but as a disciplined war
veteran, I never thought about selling out.”
Elections in Zimbabwe have often been violent, with hundreds of opposition supporters killed in the last 15 years in clashes with
security forces and Zanu PF youth militia, according to the MDC and rights groups.