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Chebundo loses respect in Zanu PF after ruling party got bashed by CCC in Mnangagwa’s home province

Cde Blessing Chebundo

FORMER MDC-T legislator Blessing Chebundo’s Zanu PF promise to win back two Kwekwe seats for President Emmerson Mnangagwa spectacularly collapsed, denting his capacity to deliver, amid high expectations after the Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC) romped to victory in Kwekwe and Mbizo constituencies.

Chebundo had found his way into the Zanu PF system by promising to use his influence in the Midlands city to wrest the seats.

By promising big, he was beginning to find accommodation in the ruling party, but the dismal show in the 26 March by-elections has seen him losing respect among Mnangagwa faithfuls.

The former member of Parliament recently told a Zanu PF rally that a team of defectors was burning the midnight oil and registering an average of 60 000 people a day into Zanu PF structures, but ruling party insiders said it was confirmed Chebundo is not an asset for them, especially in Kwekwe district.

Zanu PF lost to Settlement Chikwinya (Mbizo) and Judith Tobaiwa (Kwekwe Central) despite Chebundo’s promises of turning things around as he was influential in the district he served for two terms as MP after successively defeating Mnangagwa.

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Chebundo, whose political fortunes have been waning since he lost to Tobaiwa in the internal MDC-Alliance primaries in 2018, has been desperately trying to find a home in Zanu PF. To win the hearts of ruling party bigwigs, he promised big but delivered nothing.

“Over 1 000 people defected from the opposition to join Zanu PF in Kwekwe. It is because these people had seen that Zanu PF is the only party which is going to take us to Canaan. There is no way the opposition is going to win Mbizo and Kwekwe, I declare that I am taking Kwekwe Central to its rightful owners, which is Zanu PF,” Chebundo said in a pre-election interview.

Chebundo added that the candidates fielded by the CCC did not have the political pedigree to defeat Zanu PF’s John Mapurazi (Kwekwe Central) and Vongai Mupereri (Mbizo).

“I have no doubt that Zanu PF has what it takes and has a chance to win both Kwekwe Central and Mbizo. I am going to work and make sure that we achieve what we target, to have those two seats going back to Zanu PF.

“It’s confidence that is making me say that and also looking at the kind of individuals fielded by the opposition and when I assess them l don’t see that they have the stamina to defeat Zanu PF,” he said.

When approached for comment, Chebundo has been ducking and diving since the by-elections were held. On 27 March he said he was attending a funeral and was yet to assess the results. On 29 March, he said he would create time to meet our reporter, but is yet to do so.

On some occasions he has been saying he is in meetings and would call back, but he has not kept his word.

Mbizo MP Settlement Chikwinya said Chebundo has no influence in the opposition party and alleged the former legislator was seeking protection from Zanu PF officials after falling foul of the law.

— NewsHawks

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