The schizophrenic politics of Masvingo Province has exploded in Parliament, with Zaka West MP, Festus Dumbu (MDC), claiming that war veterans have unleashed a wave of violence in Masvingo because the province is considered as “not Zimbabwean” enough for not blindly supporting Robert Mugabe.
Although Masvingo supported the war strongly and overwhelmingly voted for Zanu (PF), making it the proud “one-party-province” in the Independence election, its allegiance has been shifting, until finally in 2008 it almost overwhelmingly voted for the MDC.
The issue is not a tribal one - Fayafaya
This has caused a backlash from the Zanu (PF) repressive machinery, now represented by Jabulani Sibanda.
In what newzimbabwe.com called an extraordinary exchange in Parliament on Tuesday, Jabulani Sibanda’s harassing and threatening of residents of Zaka district under his operation “Budiranai Pachena” exploded into a diatribe in which the MPs said the province has always been sidelined by Zanu (PF).
Villagers are being forced to attend meetings where Sibanda lectures them why war veterans fought in the country’s liberation war, and terrorizes them in a campaign which is funded by the Central Intelligence Organisation (his vehicle is reported to be a CIO vehicle, and he always has the money to keep his ex-combatant trops fed and watered, yet he does not work).
He spent several weeks in Gutu terrorizing people there and has now moved through Zaka North, despite complaints from Zaka district officials, MPs and traditional leaders in the Province, who are shocked at why they are being targeted, yet they were the very people who were the first to send their children to the war of liberation.
MP Dumbu said it was as if Masvingo was not considered Zimbabwean enough because of its rejection of Zanu (PF) and Mugabe in the last election. His discussion was picked up by Kambuzuma MP, Willias Madzimure, also MDC, who went further to say the harassment Masvingo residents was part of a long-term Zanu PF strategy to sideline and terrorise the Karanga tribe.
“Makaranga have been abused more than enough and I’m actually aggrieved because my own parents and relatives are being harassed and threatened, some are beaten up and others are even killed,” Madzimure charged.
He alleged that other provinces had been spared the violence because they were “smart people” and “true Zimbabweans”.
“The rest of us, we are not Zimbabweans,” the MP said. “That is exactly what we see in the dynamics of the ruling of this country. There are people who are special and we are talking about it openly because it has continued to happen and it cannot be allowed to continuously happen.”
Diaspora analysts, including Read Maverese, former Scotland Branch chairman for the MDC, said the tribal analysis was not relevant here. He said the whole thing had been blown out of proportion along tribal lines by Dumbu because of his definition of the origins of Makaranga.
“He is rather letting out his view about Makaranga. That statement was not good. I feel very angry because of his sentiments, being Mukaranga myself.
“The main reason why Sibanda is terrorizing Masvingo, particularly Zaka where I come from myself, is because the people deserted Zanu for MDC in the 2008 elections.
“As this was its traditional support base, just like Uzumba, since independence, we are being punished for that, just like people in UMP,” said Fayafaya.
But Madzimure saved his last breath for Zanu (PF) politburo members and senior army officials who hail from Masvingo but who are failing to stand up for their tribesman, declaring: “We have figure-heads here who think that because they were put in the (Zanu PF) politburo and now they are super Karangas. They are not,” he said.
Masvingo has many senior officials in Mugabe’s structures but those who are promoted into the central committee and the Politburo, are somehow selected for representing Mugabe's interests in the Province rather than representing the province's interest to Harare.
This has caused conflicts with the Zanu (PF) Masvingo structures over the years, culminating the provincial politicians always retaining their offices because of their allegiance to one or another of the Harare politicians, either Muzenda, Mutasa or Mnangagwa, or John Nkomo and his rivals in Bulawayo -led to their being voted out en mass in the 2008 election
Dumbu told MPs that on Monday this week, the Zaka Education Officer, a Mr Chikwange force-marched school headmasters to Sibanda’s meetings where they were threatened with death should Zanu PF lose in elections which Robert Mugabe says will be held next year.
Mugabe however is doing nothing to satisfy the conditions which SADC and the Global Political Agreement say have to be fulfilled for a free and fair election to take place.
Only two weeks ago, said Dumbu, Chief Bota from Zaka held a memorial service for his first-born daughter who was murdered by alleged Zanu PF militants during the 2008 elections.
“While people are trying to heal their wounds, Zanu PF sends this (illegitimate child), Jabulani Sibanda to terrorise the Zaka people.”
He described Jabulani Sibanda's dis-courteousness and lack of “a code or law of survival as a human being” as an insult to Ndebele people. The MP alleged that Sibanda was force-marching kraal-heads, civil servants and chiefs to his meetings.
“People no longer have any space for their freedom because they are being force-marched to Sibanda's meetings. At the meetings, there comes this mubvandiripo who delivers his speech under the guise of the Operation Budiranai Pachena.”
President Robert Mugabe says the country could go to the polls as early as next year, amid fears by Zimbabweans from all spheres; students, youths, women, and opposition parties that his Zanu PF party wants elections before constitutional measures which would guarantee the security of voters are put in place.