MDC Alliance led by Mr Nelson Chamisa has suffered a heavy blow in Zaka after scores of its members, led by its parliamentary candidate for Zaka West in the 2018 polls, Mr William Zivenge, recently defected to the ruling Zanu PF.
The members cited their disgruntlement over lack of direction and incessant infighting in the embattled opposition party as their reason for defecting.
MDC Alliance is battling to shake off the aftershocks of a decision by the Supreme Court, which ruled that Dr Thokozani Khupe was the legitimate leader of the MDC-T founded by the late Mr Morgan Tsvangirai.
This meant Mr Chamisa was no longer in control after he was found to have assumed office without following the dictates of the party’s constitution.
Mr Zivenge contested against and lost to Zanu PF candidate Cde Ophias Murambiwa in Zaka West.
Mr Zivenge and the other MDC Alliance members surrendered their party regalia during a recent Zanu PF inter-district party meeting that was held at Jerera Growth Point.
Zanu PF provincial secretary for Finance Cde Robson Mavhenyengwa yesterday said Mr Zivenge’s defection with other opposition members to the ruling party was affirmation of the revolutionary party’s dominance in Masvingo and Zimbabwe at large.
“He (Mr Zivenge) first wrote a letter to the party’s leadership in Zaka indicating his intention to join Zanu PF together with other party members and we deliberated it with our provincial chair Cde Ezra Chadzamira, resulting in their admission into Zanu PF as ordinary card-carrying members,” he said.
“We made it clear to Mr Zivenge that he will have to start from the grassroots in the cell structure of our party and will have to rise up on merit over time.”
Cde Mavhenyengwa noted that the defection by Mr Zivenge and his team was testament of the full support for Zanu PF and its pro-people policies.
“The defection by these MDC Alliance members was not forced, but they voluntarily joined Zanu PF because we are a party that delivers and Zaka is an impenetrable fortress of the ruling party,” he said.
“They were very clear that yes there are hardships in the economy, but Zanu PF is better because there are tangible results on the grounds of programmes and projects that seek to change living standards of the people.
“Everyone acknowledges the impact of sanctions on the national economy, but there is something being done on the ground to improve the people’s welfare.”
In Zaka, the Government under President Mnangagwa has embarked on various projects in areas of health, education and transport through funding via the devolution programme aimed at improving people’s lives.
The Veza-Bangala Road is being rehabilitated using devolution funds, while several new clinics are sprouting across the district.
The Government, through the Rural Electrification Agency, recently connected power at 10 rural business centres and eight schools across Zaka East, Zaka West, Zaka North and Zaka Central constituencies in line with Vision 2030, which seeks to make Zimbabwe an upper middle income economy.
The opposition continues to lose traction on the local political landscape owing to lack of a clear ideological direction, a situation that has been execrated by serious infighting and splits.
In the 2018 harmonised polls, Zanu PF routed the MDC Alliance and other opposition parties after bagging 25 National House of Assembly seats out of 26 on offer in Masvingo province.
The MDC Alliance only won Masvingo Urban, a development blamed on its cosmopolitan population which has many different interests.