AT LEAST 200 Bulawayo MDC Alliance supporters are reported to have reversed their recent decision to defect to the Douglas Mwonzora-led MDC-T and retraced their footsteps to the Nelson Chamisa-led outfit.
The MDC Alliance claims the defections took place last Sunday and the returnees accused Mwonzora of indirectly forcing them to join the ruling Zanu PF.
In Bulawayo, a number of MDC Alliance legislators and councillors have reportedly survived recalls from Parliament and the city council by either cutting deals with Chamisa’s MDC or crossing the floor and joining the rival faction.
However, the MDC Alliance Bulawayo province said over 200 former party members had trooped back to Chamisa Sunday as they were angered that Mwonzora was now dining with Zanu PF.
They were welcomed back into the party at a reception attended by Chamisa and other senior MDC Alliance officials.
“There were about 200 people from the (Thokozani) Khupe-Mwonzora faction who were received at Gertrude Mthombeni House. It was a welcome reception,” MDC Alliance Bulawayo spokesperson Swithern Chirowodza told NewZimbabwe.
Khupe is the MDC-T vice president.
Gertrude Mthombeni House is the rechristened name of the MDC Alliance Bulawayo provincial offices in honour of the founding member and trade unionist who died in 2008.
“The returnees said they did not know that Mwonzora was indirectly pushing them to join Zanu PF. The returnees complained of being tricked into joining Zanu PF.”
After winning the presidency of the MDC-T last December, Mwonzora is now the leader of the opposition in Parliament and has attended several events where President Emmerson Mnangagwa has been guest of honour.
However, Mwonzora denies reports the MDC-T has turned into an appendage of Zanu PF.
Contacted for comment, MDC-T spokesperson Witness Dube, however, dismissed the defections as a non-event.
“The MDC-T has its hands full with important national issues to be involved in a drama by a group that has arrogated itself the role of being an opposition to another opposition political party. They really have a right to believe in their own lies,” he said.