A Zanu PF politician who played a frontline role in the chaotic land reform program of the early 2000s, has added his voice in light of the fast-aproaching 2023 Harmonised elections, saying there was need for Zimbabweans to pray for the nation and embrace peace ahead of the crunch poll.

In his address to congregants drawn from various religious sects at a predominantly Zanu PF gathering in Redcliff town last Monday, former Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) chairperson Jabulani Sibanda said the current problems bedevilling the country needed the intervention of spiritual leaders, and not politicians.

He said the ruling party was now ‘shifting the frontline from military to spiritual’.

“I don’t believe in war (and) I don’t believe in weapons of war,” said Sibanda.

“I wish one day, what we need will overcome the need for war. From today, I am no longer your leader- it is you (the church leaders) who are now my leaders. From today, my commander is no longer President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa- it is you our church leaders… It is no longer the party now- tauya kuzo surrender kuti nyika ndeyenyu,” he said.

Well known for having been one of the bodyguards of late Zimbabwe Vice President Joshua Nkomo, Sibanda also took a swipe at the country’s former colonisers for importing ‘pagan’ practices like lesbianism.

Zimbabweans are scheduled to vote in a potentially explosive plebiscite slated for 23 August, this year.

Various political commentators have opined that the next elections will most likely replicate the previous poll in which ruling Zanu PF leader, President Emmerson Mnangagwa controversially defeated then MDC-Alliance front-man, Nelson Chamisa who now heads the main opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) party.