SEVEN opposition members were Sunday before senior Zanu PF officials after ditching their political outfits and joined the ruling party in Mutare.
The seven include Zanu Ndonga’s Wilson Khumbula, Crosswell Takawira Mugombi from the National Patriotic Front (NPF), former MDC Manicaland chairperson and senator Patrick Chitaka, (MDC), Simon Simango, the secretary for legal affairs in the National People`s Party (NPP), Nelson Chibhi, secretary for finance MDC Chipinge Central, and Samson Sithole.
They were welcomed by senior party officials who included Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa and finance secretary Patrick Chinamasa during a Provincial Coordinating Committee (PCC) at Beit Hall in Mutare.
“We welcome you with open arms to our party and you have made a good decision to retrace your roots. This country`s independence did not come through negotiations,” Chinamasa said.
“I always tell people that this country`s freedom was not won through negotiations. We know of other countries got independence through negotiations. It`s a different case for Zimbabwe.
“The party that brought independence in this country should fulfill what it fought for and we are going to be in power until we fulfill what we fought for.”
He said it was time for Zimbabweans to realise the opposition had nothing to offer serve to please their foreign handlers.
“In life, there is a time one should realise that their leadership (opposition) is leading them astray thus what happened today. Thus what Simango and Chitaka said today. They have realised their leadership was leading them astray it was now an opposition for the sake of opposing,” Chinamasa added.
Chinamasa said when President Emmerson Mnangagwa was sworn in as the country leader, he embraced everyone including MDC Alliance front-man Nelson Chamisa.
“The President stretched his hands to embrace everyone but Chamisa said he (Mnangagwa) was not legitimate yet he was voted by people. He (Chamisa) went to court but failed to produce even a single evidence of rigging.
“After losing the (Constitutional) Court case, he continues saying ED is illegitimate a clear evidence that some is behind him. It’s a project for enemies pursuing their own agenda,” said Chinamasa.
He told the defectors that Chamisa and his deputy Tendai Biti were now friends of the American Congress as the US government first consult them on any matters to do with Zimbabwe,
“If the Americans want to know what to do about Zimbabwe they first consult Chamisa and Biti. Even for them to remove sanctions they ask Chamisa and Biti.
“Chamisa will then tell them not to remove them saying Zimbabwe should suffer and revolt against Mnangagwa`s government and we take over power then you remove sanctions. That’s their language.
“I would like to thank you for understanding that for the country to develop it needs unity on important issues and our President has been preaching the gospel of unity and development.
“Let’s focus on the economy not dividing ourselves on too much politics. We know politics is there but let’s focus on development,” said Chinamasa.
He said development does take place overnight, adding that President Mnangagwa will not leave to see some of the projects he has initiated.
“There are programmes which are being initiated by President Mnangagwa which he may not leave to see but he has a vision beyond 2030,” he said.
Khumbula said he was happy to rejoin Zanu PF saying he feels at home.
Mugombi said he decided to rejoin the ruling party after realizing it was dark outside Zanu PF.
“It`s dark out there and that is why I have decided to rejoin my party,” he said.
Chitaka said he would use the expertise he gained while in the MDC to strengthen Zanu PF.
“In 2008, I was MDC provincial chairperson and we soundly defeated Zanu PF. I hope to use those talents to strengthen Zanu PF. I am not coming back to gunner for someone’s post. I came because of ED leadership qualities. There is Vision 2030 which I think is achievable if we work together,” he said
“I could have supported Zanu PF quietly but I felt as an opposition leader, I must lead by example to come out in the open so that we join hands to rebuild our country. I am available to assist you my fellow comrades to achieve your goals and meet your targets. We are also known because we were part of opposition leadership,” said Chitaka.
Chitaka served MDC-T as acting Manicaland provincial chairperson between 2007 and 2011 and was credited for managing to win 20 House of Assembly and four Senate seats in Manicaland province during his tenure.
Other defectors said the opposition had been hijacked by power hungry activists and lost its democratic compass.