The Sunday News
Tinomuda Chakanyuka, Senior Reporter
ZANU-PF Bulawayo Province yesterday welcomed to the party 28 new members who defected from the Agrippa Mutambara-led Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF).
The members were presented before the party’s provincial leadership at Davies Hall. More ZimPF members have reportedly defected from the embattled opposition party but failed to make it to yesterday’s meeting due to transport logistics problems.
Politburo member and legislator for Makokoba Retired Colonel Tshinga Dube paid membership fees for the 28 new members who were immediately issued with membership cards.
Speaking to the new members, Zanu-PF Bulawayo provincial chairperson Professor Callistus Ndlovu described the development as the “biggest coup in Bulawayo.”
He urged the new members to be the party’s ambassadors and recruit more members ahead of this year’s elections.
“I want to welcome all of you. This is the biggest coup staged in Bulawayo. I understand there are more people that have defected from ZimPF and were meant to be with us today but failed to join us due to logistical challenges. Now that you have returned home, don’t allow other party members to take your lives and control you. Be yourselves and add value to the party. Go out there and mobilise others to join the party. Politics is a game of numbers and we need those numbers to win resoundingly in this year’s election,” he said.
Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association Bulawayo provincial chairperson Cde Cephas Ncube commended the new members for joining Zanu-PF. He said while people were free to join political parties of their choice, they should remember that Zanu-PF is the one that brought about such freedoms.
“You’ve taken the right decision because it’s Zanu-PF that fought for this country. You’ve come back home. Yes, there are opposition parties but it is important to realise that there are there because of the environment created by Zanu-PF, an environment of freedom of expression and freedom of association,” he said.
Rtd Col Dube encouraged the new members to be resolute and not be bullied out of the party by other party members.
“There are some who might want to chase you out of the party. Come and report such cases. Stand your ground because you are equal members of the party just like everyone else. This is a people’s party, it’s not mine or the chairman’s. It’s for all of us. I applaud your decision to join the party,” he said.
ZimPF, from which the 28 defected, was formed in 2015 by ex-Zanu-PF members led by former Vice-President Dr Joice Mujuru, Mr Rugare Gumbo and Mr Didymus Mutasa but split last [email protected]