JOHANNES Chiwaya, brother to the late MDC Alliance chairperson for Hurungwe Central district, Lavender Chiwaya has joined Zanu PF, declaring that he had not “sold out”.
The late Lavender passed on under mysterious circumstances on August 22, 2020 amid allegations that he was murdered.
He was a popular ward 4 councillor under the opposition who had been in office for 13 consecutive years.
At the weekend, his brother Johannes joined the ruling party, claiming it was his constitutional right to do so.
Johannes was among eight opposition members paraded at a rally addressed by the Zanu PF national chairperson Oppah Muchinguri at Chikangwe Stadium in Karoi at the weekend under operation Tadzoka Kumusha.
Attendees at the rally were given bags of maize meal.
Chiwaya said he endured public scorn over abandoning the opposition for the ruling party.
“Everyone has his or her constitutional right. In our Constitution, there is a Bill of Rights that says everyone has a right to freedom of association that must be respected. I am not a sellout. This is my personal consideration and conviction to be part of Zanu PF. I am warning those that have labelled me a sellout that I will not accept it any longer. I will take legal action,” he said.
Ironically, Johannes was among the top youth leaders under the late MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
After the opposition split, Johannes remained on the fence while his late brother Lavender aligned himself with the then MDC Alliance which was led by Nelson Chamisa.
Their brother Solomon, however, joined the MDC-T formation led by Thokozani Khupe.
At the Karoi rally, Johannes appealed to the government to help him acquire a plot.
“I am appealing to the minister (Mashonaland West Provincial Affairs) Mary Mliswa-Chikoka to help me get a plot. I want to stand on my own as a productive farmer,” he said.
Mliswa-Chikoka said the party would win all 17 local authority by-elections in the province on March 26.
Candidates that will contest the Karoi local authority seat include Rhoda Jaji, wife to the late Lavender Chiwaya. She will contest a Citizens Coaliton for Change candidate, while Zanu PF will be represented by Solomon Chikwerengwe. Stephen Mumiriki is contesting as an independent.