Home » Judicial » Former War Vets Chief Sibanda’s Trial Deferred

EX-ZIMBABWE Liberation War Veterans Association chairman, Jabulani Sibanda, will return to court in February next year for trial on charges of insulting President Robert Mugabe ahead of the Zanu PF congress earlier this month.

Sibanda stands accused of telling an audience in Manicaland that Mugabe and his wife, Grace, were plotting a bedroom coup as the factional fights in the ruling party threatened to tear it apart.

Sibanda, 56, is alleged to have been one of axed vice president Joice Mujuru’s storm-troopers and, in the ensuing melee, was fired from his position as head of the former liberation war fighters before being summarily expelled from the ruling party.

It is the state’s case that the former ex-combatants chief claimed at the Manicaland meeting that “power was not sexually transmitted” while referring to Grace Mugabe’s calls for Mujuru to be “baby-dumped” at the then pending congress.

Mujuru has since also lost her position in the Zanu PF presidium as well as the voice presidency after being fired for “conduct not consistent with her duties”.

Sibanda appeared before magistrate Milton Serima Monday for his routine remand hearing and his case was moved to February 27.

Prosecutor Sharon Mashavira alleged that, on October 27 at Herbert Mine, Mutasa in Manicaland, Sibanda addressed an illegal gathering of war veterans where he uttered the offensive remarks.

According to state papers the gathering was supposed to be a preparatory meeting for the reburial of exhumed remains of deceased liberation war fighters, at which Mujuru was reportedly going to be guest of honour.

It is alleged that around 1400hrs on the same day, Sibanda delivered a lengthy speech in which he allegedly said President Mugabe and his wife were plotting a “bedroom or boardroom” coup.

He is alleged to have threatened to “march on State House”, prompting President Mugabe to retort, at one meeting, that Sibanda wanted to “catch lightning”.

The court also heard that Sibanda allegedly stated that the ‘coup’ was meant to remove the country’s vice-president, Mujuru, from her then position within the ruling party and government, to be replaced by the First Lady.

Sibanda is out of custody after depositing $400 bail with the clerk of court.

Source : New Zimbabwe