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Prominent Zanu-PF member joins Zapu

by Staff reporter
07 Feb 2024 at 15:34hrs | Views
A Zanu-PF official in Matabeleland North, Jonathan Nkanyezi Sibanda, has rejoined ZAPU, claiming the ruling party has no principles and that the party leadership often sidelines him and incites members to make baseless accusations to frustrate him.

Sibanda, popularly known as Nkanyezi, claimed that as a result of the fallout, the provincial party leadership in Matabeleland North was resettling people in his farm at Redbank in Umguza, who had started pegging stands for themselves.

Nkanyezi is also the former Matabeleland North provincial war veterans chairperson under the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) and claimed he was "removed from that post without elections after an envelope came from Harare announcing the new leadership."

On Saturday, ZAPU's national chairperson, John Zolani Dlamini, and other National Executive Council members, including Matabeleland North chairperson Victor Mkhwananzi, welcomed Nkanyezi back at the party's offices in Bulawayo.

Nkanyezi said he joined Zanu-PF after ZAPU leader, the late nationalist Joshua Nkomo, advised them to.

He claimed to have worked "seriously for Zanu-PF in Matabeleland North," recruiting and mobilizing supporters.

"I served Zanu-PF's commissariat department in Matabeleland North as a whole, organizing Zanu-PF's membership in the province, when I was dealing with (Jacob) Mudenda before (Saviour) Kasukuwere's time," he said.

Nkanyezi claimed he soon learned that machinations in Zanu-PF were against his principles.

"They removed me from the commissariat and put me under education. I questioned whether I had been failing because I excel in mobilizing people. No one responded. When it was towards elections, I was put back only to be told the job needs a young person and was made a district coordinator," he narrated.

Nkanyezi said when he submitted his CV for an elective post, it mysteriously disappeared.

"I was informed by the team in Harare that my CV was lost and heard I was replaced by a driver in the province. When I asked the provincial chairman, he said I was to be part of the central committee," he said.

"I submitted my CV but was told the party had chosen a woman from Ntabazinduna and that I should join the elders. I then told the party if they don't want me in Zanu they better tell me."

Nkanyezi once claimed to have battled with Obert Mpofu, and then-Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko recommended him to file a complaint with then-President Robert Mugabe.

"Obert had been misled that I was challenging him. We managed to solve that and he asked me to campaign for Richard Ndlovu (current Matabeleland North Minister of Provincial Affairs and Devolution)," he claimed.

However, Nkanyezi claimed Ndlovu accused him of putting together individuals to challenge him after gaining power.

"That annoyed me very much. I told him we should talk face to face, not to accuse me over the phone. In response, Richard said he was cautioning me because he would send his boys to shoot me. That irked me and I told him if ever we met, I would shoot him first. Up to today we haven't met," he joked.

"These are some of the issues that annoyed me. They sidelined me a lot."

Nkanyezi suspects the Zanu-PF provincial leadership of sending people to invade his Redbank Farm.

"In 2005 the invaders said my farm was too big and should be cut. I involved police who ordered the invaders to move out. But as I currently speak, the invaders are back and pegging my land to put shopping centres. Enough is enough!" he exclaimed.

Nkanyezi said ZAPU remained his political home and often reminisces about the time he spent with late cadres such as Sidney Malunga, Norman Zikhali, Johnson Mkandla, Jeffrery Khumalo, and Simela.

"I worked with these men in ZAPU and now I am lonely. I asked myself what I was doing in Zanu where I was feeling lost. That's why I decided to come back home because I believe in ZAPU principles."

In welcoming Nkanyezi, ZAPU National Chairperson said most of the Zanu-PF members were there for survival rather than choice.

"Nkanyezi did not defect from Zanu-PF. He was never a member of Zanu from the beginning. When it's raining you temporarily seek refuge at your neighbour's place and when the rain stops, you continue to your home," Dlamini said.

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