Jabulani Sibanda gives a solidarity message during the MDC Renewal Team inaugural national convention while secretary-general Tendai Biti and national chairman Samuel Sipepa Nkomo look on in Harare yesterday

Jabulani Sibanda gives a solidarity message during the MDC Renewal Team inaugural national convention while secretary-general Tendai Biti and national chairman Samuel Sipepa Nkomo look on in Harare yesterday

Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter—
Former Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association leader, Mr Jabulani Sibanda, yesterday addressed MDC Renewal inaugural congress where he invited the opposition party to join hands with the People First political outfit in dislodging zanu-pf. Mr Sibanda was expelled from zanu-pf after being linked to the former Vice President Dr Joice Mujuru’s putschist cabal that was implicated in a nefarious plot to oust President Mugabe ahead of the revolutionary party’s 6th National People’s Congress in Harare.

zanu-pf has since dismissed Dr Mujuru’s political party manifesto unveiled on Monday saying the revolutionary party remained unmoved as it was preoccupied with efforts to turn around the country’s economic fortunes. Dr Mujuru’s People First proposed political project has over the past few days, been working with the private media to prop up its political profile.

Secretary for international relations for MDC Renewal, Mr Gorden Moyo, introduced Mr Sibanda as a representative of People First. Mr Sibanda’s political outfit failed to come in the morning when other political parties delivered their solidarity messages and left organisers guessing.

He eventually came around 5pm and sat in the auditorium before the MDC Renewal secretary-general Mr Tendai Biti, interrupted their programme to allow Mr Sibanda to give his solidarity message. Mr Sibanda urged the opposition parties to work together regardless of their language, origin and creed.

“I have been sent by my superiors to congratulate you. We need to work together. Unless if we come together we won’t go anywhere,” said Mr Sibanda.

His speech was characterised by occasional reference to biblical scriptures.

“If you read the book of Isaiah, God is saying come and let us reason together. God created Earth and gave men to have dominion over all species. God does not want men to have dominion over other men. You have formed this party because you believe that every Zimbabwean has a right to choose a party.

“You believe that leaders must be servants of the people and not masters of the people,” said Mr Sibanda. He said he was fired from zanu-pf without being afforded a chance to make representations. “A person just decided kuti unemhosva and when that happens you become wrong not because you are wrong,” said Mr Sibanda.

He criticised the Government’s indigenisation process that has empowered thousands of Zimbabweans. “There is a difference between indigenisation and individualisation,” he said. He urged people not to stage demonstrations saying an opportunity to remove or retain governments existed through democratic elections after every five years in terms of the national Constitution.

“Never in any situation demonstrate. It is not good for you. Our Constitution allows you to remove or retain a government after every five years. Our responsibility is to mobilise people,” said Mr Sibanda to an applause from a handful of participants. Close to 300 delegates made it to the conference venue against the expected 7 000.