All that matters is representation of the views of Zimbabweans and ideological correctness, the leader of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association told The Zimbabwean this week.
Responding to questions about Grace Mugabe’s suitability for the presidency, Sibanda said there were some principled non-war veterans who valued the aspirations of the black majority more than those who took up arms to fight the former colonial masters.
He noted that successive generations would further the interests and values of the struggle in their own way. Mbuya Nehanda, Sekuru Kaguvi and Lobengula had begun the struggle. The generation of Benjamin Burombo and others took it a step further in the 1920s-1930s, and succeeded pressuring the British into recognising the black man’s right to walk on pavements, among others.
Then came the generation of President Robert Mugabe, Joshua Nkomo, Josiah Chinamano, Simon Muzenda and others in the 1960s. “After some 10-12 years those detained were released and went on to execute the next stage of the liberation war through demonstrations and the armed struggle itself,” said Sibanda.
Because the liberation struggle was the responsibility of one generation to another “I would not say a person who did not participate in the liberation struggle cannot lead the country, since that would be wrong,” he said.
Sibanda’s position was a slap in the face of army generals who announced that anyone without liberation war credentials would not lead the country, let alone be saluted.
This was in apparent reference to MDC-T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, who posed a serious threat to Mugabe’s presidency since 1999.
Commenting on the first lady’s political ambitions for the country’s highest office, Sibanda said “The First Lady was unanimously supported by the Women’s League for the chairpersonship and as far as I know, she would assume the position after the Congress if she succeeds,” said Sibanda.
Observers said Sibanda’s leadership criteria might give Grace a free passage to the presidency when time comes.Post published in: News