By James Gwati- Sengezo Tshabangu, the self-proclaimed CCC interim secretary general, has dealt a severe blow to the Ndebele tribe by recalling CCC spokesperson Senator Felix Magalela Mafa Sibanda from the Senate.
Mafa Sibanda, a veteran politician and pro-democracy activist, has long been at the forefront of demanding accountability for the Gukurahundi atrocities that claimed over 20,000 lives in the early 1980s.
Tshabangu’s move is seen by many as a strategic manoeuvre aligned with President Emerson Mnangagwa’s agenda to silence Mafa Sibanda from pushing the Gukurahundi compensation discourse through parliament. Recently, Tshabangu distanced Mnangagwa from the Gukurahundi atrocities, attributing the heinous crimes to the late President Robert Mugabe.
The recall of CCC spokesperson Mafa Sibanda underscores Zanu PF’s intolerance of dissent and signals the government’s determination to crush any opposition, raising concerns about the state of democracy and freedom in Zimbabwe.
Felix Magalela Mafa Sibanda: A Stalwart for Democracy
Mafa Sibanda’s dedication to serving Zimbabwe spans decades. His political career began in the 1970s with Zapu, fighting against the Rhodesian regime. A key figure in organizing mass strikes against Mugabe’s government in the 1980s, Mafa Sibanda’s leadership in the Zimbabwe Teachers’ Union marked a turning point in challenging authoritarian rule.
Beyond his political activism, Mafa Sibanda is a successful businessman, the founder and CEO of Sibanda Holdings, with interests in mining, agriculture, and manufacturing.
Zanu PF Persecution and Sibanda’s Legacy
Mafa Sibanda’s commitment to democracy comes at a personal cost. Having lost a son to the Gukurahundi genocide, he faced persecution, with his house set on fire by ZANU-PF nationalists in 1990. Forced to flee Harare, he has since lived in Bulawayo.
Sengezo Tshabangu: A Controversial Figure
Tshabangu, a Zanu PF loyalist rumoured to be President Mnangagwa’s son, has a history of using violence and intimidation to silence opponents. In 2020, he was accused of assaulting an MDC member.
Implications for Democracy
Mafa Sibanda’s recall from the Senate is a profound setback for the people of Zimbabwe. However, his legacy as a true hero dedicated to social justice, accountability, and democracy remains unshakable. Tshabangu’s actions are viewed as a threat to democracy and freedom, yet they cannot erase Mafa Sibanda’s enduring inspiration for future generations of freedom fighters.