Gen Sibanda appointment above board

THE appointment of General Philip Valerio Sibanda to the Zanu PF Politburo as an ex-officio member is above board, as he will not be a substantive and voting member, President Mnangagwa said yesterday.

Addressing journalists on the sidelines of the Saudi Arabia-Africa Summit, the President said there was no need to be confused with the recent appointment of Gen Sibanda to the Zanu PF Politburo.

“People are mistaken. They think that General Sibanda is a civil servant: he is not,” said President Mnangagwa.

“Secondly, he is an ex-officio member of the Politburo, which means he is not a substantive member of the Politburo; he cannot vote, he is an ex officio. There is no contradiction, and I as President can appoint anyone as ex-officio member, which means by virtue of a particular position, you can be allowed in a certain board.

“I don’t know who gets offended. He (Gen Sibanda) cannot vote but he can contribute because he is ex-officio member.”

Gen Sibanda, whose nom de guerre was Cde Gwenzi, was appointed as an ex-officio member of the Politburo last month at the Zanu PF Annual National People’s Conference, keeping with tradition of the ruling party’s practice that dates back to pre-independence when the Zanu and Zapu military wings, ZANLA and ZIPRA, were part of the top making bodies of the two movements.

In his closing remarks at the Zanu PF Conference, the President announced the appointment of Gen Sibanda in line with ruling party’s constitution.

Said the President: “The amended 2023 party Constitution gives impetus, urgency and renewed focus to the socio-economic and political realities of our country towards lifting many out of poverty and into prosperity.

“During the course of the year, we lost one of our party stalwarts, Cde Joshua Teke Malinga, who was the Secretary for People with Disabilities. To fill the vacancy, I am appointing Cde Rose Mpofu of Matabeleland South Province as a Politburo member and the new Secretary for People with Disabilities. Additionally, ‘Cde Gwenzi’, General Phillip Valerio Sibanda, as an ex-officio member of the Politburo.”

Soon after the country’s independence in 1980, the late General Solomon Mujuru was a member of the ruling party’s Central Committee and subsequently became a Politburo member.

Top military personnel in the country, who invariably were products of the ruling party Zanu PF, were also appointed to the Politburo at one point or the other during their professional lives.

And analysts have said every Zimbabwean, regardless of employment status or station in life, has the inalienable right to make political choices freely.


Positive Eye News

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