Zanu PF councillor assaults rival at funeral

Esigodini Ward 16 Councillor Patson Sibanda allegedly head-butted, spat and hurled insults at his political rival at a funeral wake, CITE has learnt.

Cllr Sibanda of Habane, had an altercation with Nkanyiso Dube where he also threatened to kill him. 

Sibanda and Dube, both from ZANU-PF both ran for the council office which the former won during the 2018 elections.

A resident from the ward, who asked not to be named, said Cllr Sibanda’s actions left mourners shocked as they did not expect the altercation to get that serious.

“We were at a funeral wake of one of our residents on July 14 at around 7PM. Dube arrived at the funeral and in a joking manner said the people’s councillor has arrived-referring to himself. Cllr Sibanda got offended by the remarks and he started insulting Dube,” the resident said.

“Some members of the community advised Dube to sit a little further from Cllr Sibanda and he adhered. After a while, Cllr Sibanda came over to Dube and head butted him before spitting on his face. People restrained Dube and he begrudgingly let go. He kept hurling unprintable insults at Dube, threatening to kill him.”

The resident said this was not the first time that Cllr Sibanda had assaulted a community member at a funeral wake.

“The other time he once hit a young man at a funeral accusing him of singing obscene songs. Well at the time he said he was trying to discipline the youths and an agreement was reached that he shall not lay a hand on community members again. Clearly this has not stopped. What is worrying is that he does this in a drunk state,” said the resident.

Contacted for comment, Dube said he felt humiliated by Cllr SIbanda’s untoward behaviour.  

“Imagine my wife and my child were there at the funeral and I got humiliated like that. The way he insulted me is unthinkable for a councillor. I tried to be respectful enough not to engage him into a fight but he just wouldn’t stop. I even pleaded with him to respect the place where we were (funeral) but he would not hear any of it. I have since reported the matter to the police so I await the law to take its course,” said Dube.

Cllr Sibanda admitted that he did assault Dube adding tthat since the election period, Dube had been on his case accusing him of rigging the election.

“I do admit that this incident happened but I did not cause him much harm. He is the one who provoked me. Since the time he lost the election he has always bad-mouthed me in front of people, accusing me of buying votes. On several occasions I have told him to accept that he lost the election and move on but he doesn’t listen,” said Cllr Sibanda.

“The allegations that I hit a young man at a funeral are also true but as an elder I was only reprimanding a young person for misbehaving but for them to say I was drunk when I hit them is not true.”

Matabeleland South acting provincial police spokesperson, Inspector Loveness Mangena, could not confirm the incident as she said she was out of office.

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