War veterans in Joice Mujuru’s National People’s Party (NPP) yesterday took part in the time-honoured Zimbabwean political tradition of switching team jerseys to Nelson Chamisa’s MDC Alliance.
The war veterans, among them NPP senior officials including national chairperson Dzikamai Mavhaire, stunned a lot of people yesterday when they announced at the Morgan Richard Tsvangirai MDC headquarters they were joining the MDC Alliance.
After a highly-critical speech condemning Zanu PF leadership and party policy, Mavhaire said he and his team had joined Chamisa because “we all feel that the MDC is the party of truth.”
“We could easily have joined those who have power now (Zanu PF) but we are not glory hunters, we follow the truth and we are not concerned about positions here because I am actually ready to be card-carrying member,” Mavhaire said.
“We believe in the future but can you honestly say I am the future at my age? Can you say Mnangagwa is the future? If you tell me Chamisa is the future, I will believe you because even by merely looking at his age, you see the future.”
Chamisa welcomed dozens of the senior officials.
“We want to go back to the nationalist ethos and because our role is to grow the party, that is the trajectory we will take. So, we are going to amend our constitution to create a wing for our war veterans,” Chamisa said.
“We are not like Zanu PF that wants to only use them and dump them. We want to fuse them into the party. We will also not waste talent by relegating the likes of Mavhaire to the periphery.
“We will accommodate you at the top because you are our hero. I grew up admiring you especially when you first called for Mugabe to go. That was courage because he was dangerous, you could have been killed,” he said.
This was after former NPP spokesperson Jeffreyson Chitando had introduced almost the entire freedom fighters wing of the NPP as well as over 60 percent of the crumbling party’s youth and women’s assemblies.
Speaking on the offer to be the official Opposition Leader in Parliament, he said: “There are no talks with Mnangagwa but we hear that they are offering us recognition in Parliament. That is not a problem. It is a constitutional matter, so it is welcome but what is more important is that he must first recognise that he lost the election, hence he must give the people of Zimbabwe that which they voted for.”