ZANU PF acting national political commissar Patrick Chinamasa has said the ruling party was monitoring all movements made by Nelson Chamisa’s MDC Alliance to make sure it does not receive foreign funding ahead of the 2022 by-elections and the 2023 harmonised elections.
Chinamasa made the remarks at the weekend at Marymount Teachers College in Mutare, where he was welcoming MDC Alliance members who defected to the ruling party.
Among opposition members who defected were former Zengeza legislator Simon Chidhakwa, former Mutare ward 2 councillor Pamela Mutare and former Chipinge district chairperson Chadamoyo Machingura.
“We are very aware that the MDC Alliance works closely with the CIA (United States’ Central Intelligence Agency) and M15 (United Kingdom’s secret service) to destroy our country, and we are very much aware of their dealings. They are under surveillance from us,” Chinamasa said.
“We know the money they are receiving and in this country, we have 50 000 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and these were formed by our enemies.
“The NGOs appear to be teachers of human rights, but this is not the case. Everyone is aware that in America and Britain, black people suffer the most because they are not wanted there, and so which human rights are they preaching?
The Zimbabwean government has gazetted the Private Voluntary Organisations Amendment Bill, which has been viewed as a ploy to silence NGOs against calling it out over human rights abuses. NGOs in the country are also viewed by government as regime change agents.
“We want to welcome you all who have defected to our party. I am happy that you saw light at the end of the day and with unity, we are going to work together,” Chinamasa said.
Zanu PF acting spokesperson Mike Bimha, who is also the party’s economic empowerment and indigenisation secretary, in his address to the defectors, promised that they would be supported with empowerment projects.
In response to the defections, MDC Alliance deputy chairperson and Zengeza West MP Job Sikhala tweeted saying Chidhakwa actually stood as an independent parliamentary candidate in 2018 contesting against him for the Zengeza West constituency seat.
“He had 901 votes (against) my 12 670 votes,” Sikhala tweeted.
MDC Alliance Manicaland provincial spokesperson David Panganayi said: “We have not had anyone defecting from the party in the past two years. If you are referring to what we saw on State media, it is a lie that qualifies for Hollywood movies. Most people that defected contested against us as independent candidates in the 2018 elections and suddenly, they now want to be paraded as MDC Alliance members.”
“They (Zanu PF) are doing surveillance on us because they are now feeling the heat. They know they are going to lose the elections in 2023, and even the upcoming by-elections,” he said.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa recently announced that by-elections would be held during the first quarter of the year.