This was after Zapu spokesperson, Methuseli Moyo was quoted as claiming that Zapu members of the association were angry over Zanu PF’s attempts to extort donations for its conference from the association members by force.
Sibanda said farmers in Insiza and Shangani areas did not all belong to Zapu, but some were members of Zanu PF, MDC and MDC-T. He said for Zapu to portray itself as the owner of the association was malicious and destructive to the organisation which was founded with the core objective of pursuing independent and non-partisan farming activities in the area.
Zanu PF and Zapu allegedly locked horns over the former’s attempts to force the farmers to donate towards the party’s conference set for Bulawayo between December 6 and 10.
Sibanda said they founded the Insiza Shangani Farmers Association in the year 2000 with Bathandi Mpofu and Molly Mpofu, among others. He said after the formation of the association, they then incorporated numerous farmers in the area.
“The organisation was apolitical but was based on the ideology of Zanu PF because Zanu PF was the only party with a clear land policy then. The constitution of the association deals with farming. It was aimed at dealing with the issue of inputs and the pegging of farming land,” said Sibanda.
“The mention of Zapu in the association is not what we planned for in the first place. There are many people from other political parties.” Sibanda said Zapu must respect other members in the association. He said since the association was founded under the ideology of Zanu PF, there was nothing wrong with the party asking for the donation from it.—BY SILAS NKALA