79 ditch Zanu PF, Ncube's MDC for Tsvangirai

BULAWAYO - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC on Sunday unveiled scores of Zanu PF and smaller MDC faction card-carrying members who dumped their parties in Bulawayo, in a move the party says confirms the first yields of the door-to-door (D2D) campaign.

The campaign was launched recently by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai at the Large City Hall.

A total of 79 members from Cowdray Park’s Luveve Constituency abandoned their political parties citing insincerity and uncertainty among other issues.

The Daily News witnessed 16 members from Welshman Ncube’s MDC Cowdray Park party structures led by ward chairperson Joel Jambwa surrendering their cards and green T-shits bearing Ncube’s face and symbol to the MDC provincial organising secretary Albert Mhlanga at a brief gathering held at the party’s Bulawayo offices.

On the other hand, at least 63 Zanu PF members mostly youths were also welcomed by MDC Ward 28 councillor Collet Ndlovu at a gathering held at his Cowdray Park house soon after welcoming the 16 MDC members.

The members led by district Zanu PF Youth League chairperson William Munatsi also handed over their party cards, T-shirts and bandanas bearing Mugabe’s face saying they were parting ways with the ex-majority party.

“I have been a chairperson for Zanu PF in this area for a very long time and tell you what, all these people have done to me and my comrades is to promise us things that have up to date not happened and today I say goodbye,” said Munatsi to a round of applause.

Speaking during the reception Mhlanga, who is also Member of Parliament for Pumula, extolled the move by the defectors which he described as a bold step.

“I would like to say you are most welcome; this is your home this is where you belong. The decision you have taken is a timeous, crucial gigantic step towards freeing Zimbabwe,” Mhlanga said.

Mhlanga said the party’s top executive led by Tsvangirai was due to give them a befitting welcome in less than a fortnight in the city.

“We have always had people joining us from other parties but it is not in our culture to parade people but considering how special you are and how each one of you mean to our president, he (Tsvangirai) has just informed us that you deserve a special reception which will take place in a week or two,” Mhlanga said.

Speaking at the same function Bulawayo East legislator Tabitha Khumalo described the move as the “return of the prodigal sons and daughters of the leading party in Zimbabwe.”

She also said the huge defection particularly from Zanu PF was a clear pointer that the D2D campaign was beginning to yield the desired results ahead of the watershed elections.

Efforts to get a comment from Zanu PF chairperson Calistus Ndlovu were fruitless, but the MDC Bulawayo spokesperson Edwin Ndlovu denied any defections from his party: “I have checked with our security and structures in Luveve district and ward 28, they all deny there is something like that but as we are in election season we will witness such dreams and hallucinations. In fact no one at this juncture can commit suicide by jumping to the fires, MDC-T is a burning house.”

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