OUSTED Zanu PF politicians Jabulani Sibanda and Temba Mliswa on Saturday made a rare damascene moment when they urged Zimbabweans to cast their fears aside and confront President Robert Mugabe’s oppressive regime.
The two were part of an estimated 2,000 strong crowd that converged at Zimbabwe Grounds in Harare to pray for abducted good governance activist Itai Dzamara’s safe return.
Sibanda took to the podium amid wild cheers from a predominantly MDC-T crowd and missed no opportunity to rail on President Mugabe and his regime.
“When leaders are elected into power, they forget where they came from; they forget their powers came from the people.
“They think power is now their personal and family property,” said the former war veterans’ leader.
Sibanda said he was touched by seeing Zimbabweans from all provinces coming together for one cause.
He continued: “The question is, for 35 years we never knew we are Zimbabweans, for 35 years we never stopped to imagine how the next person felt.”
The once fierce Mugabe defender, who punctuated his Shona address with Biblical references advocating uprising, said he was dismayed at seeing that Zimbabweans felt better off looking for means to manage their miseries under the current regime instead of confronting the real beast.
“We are going after pain killer after pain killer, pain killer after pain killer, pain killer after pain killer, pain killer after pain killer, pain killer after pain killer, pain killer after pain killer; bvisa zvinoda kubviswa!” he said to deafening applause.
“God says you are sleeping too much … macomrades zvandinoreva apa ndeizvi (Comrades what I mean is that), this is the time for people to unite countrywide …
“ … this is the time to forget what is your party, forget who you are, forget your post, know the people of Zimbabwe’s aspirations,” said the politician, who was dislodged from Zanu PF after aligning himself with a party faction fronted by ousted Vice President Joice Mujuru.
Not to be outdone was Mliswa who said Zimbabwean youths should emulate veterans like the late ZANLA commander Josiah Tongogara who refused to be continuously oppressed by the colonial white regime.
“People like Tongogara refused to be oppressed,” said Mliswa. “Why are you sitting idle in the face of similar oppression?
“Why do we behave like cowards? Youth is the vanguard of your political party but you must transcend from a political party to be the vanguard of Zimbabwe.
“My challenge to you is that you must now wear the hat to say I shall now be the vanguard of Zimbabwe.
“What happened to Itai must not happen to any other person but if you remain silent, it is problematic.”
Mliswa challenged MDC-T legislators to demand President Mugabe’s appearance in parliament during the question and answer session to be grilled on Dzamara’s disappearance.
The former Zanu PF Mashonaland West chair and successful farmer ended his address with a pledge to donate a tonne of maize from his latest yield to Dzamara’s family.
MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai said he was overwhelmed by the rare moment where he was now sharing the same platform and speaking the same language with Sibanda.
“I have never imagined sharing a platform with a Zimbabwean son called Jabulani Sibanda,” Tsvangirai said.
“This is unprecedented in Zimbabwe. I want to thank you Itai whether you are dead or alive for uniting the children of Zimbabwe in the spirit of fighting dictatorship and the suppression of the people of Zimbabwe.”