They were told to attend an event organized by this political party only to be paraded as people who defected from the opposition party. Here’s what happened.
Reports have it that the Zanu-PF party in Zimbabwe last Saturday allegedly invited students from various tertiary institutions to attend a party event held at Marymount Teachers College in Mutare, a city in the province of Manicaland, and later paraded them as opposition party MDC Alliance defectors.
The event, which was attended by Zanu-PF acting national political commissar Patrick Chinamasa and acting party spokesperson Mike Bimha, was meant to welcome defectors from the MDC Alliance, reports Bulawayo24 News.
The ruling party claimed at the event that 400 MDC Alliance members had defected from the opposition party. Marymount Teachers College students led by their lecturer Joshua Matume were presented as defectors during the event.
The students were transported to the institution by the college bus.
“We were just told that we should attend a Zanu-PF meeting and that is what we are just doing and there is no way you can refuse your bosses’ order,” one student, who was bussed to the event, said.
“I just attended the meeting after I was told to do so by my lecturers.”
Zanu-PF Mutare district co-ordinating committee chairperson Binali Yard told NewsDay that there was nothing wrong with bussing the students to a ruling party event.
“We had a false start because of some logistical challenges which we later addressed. On the issue of students, they have been part of programmes of late, if you are not aware,” he said.
Meanwhile, Zanu-PF Mashonaland East province has claimed that about 78 opposition party members drawn from Marondera, Murewa and Goromonzi defected to the ruling party on Sunday.
They were paraded at Zanu-PF provincial headquarters in Marondera, reports Bulawayo24 News.
The group was mobilised by former MDC Marondera mayor Farai Nyandoro and former Harare deputy mayor Emmanuel Chiroto who recently joined Zanu-PF.
Chiroto and Nyandoro left the Nelson Chamisa-led opposition party and joined Douglas Mwonzora’s MDC-T before defecting to Zanu-PF.
“We are here to build a formidable force of Zanu-PF within urban authorities. Moreover, people are now appreciating the works of the second republic, for example the massive infrastructural projects being implemented across Zimbabwe,” Nyandoro told NewsDay.
MDC Alliance Mashonaland East provincial spokesperson Chengetai said the defectors did not belong to the party.
“Those who defected are not our members, they joined Mwonzora’s MDC-T some time back and they are now joining Zanu-PF,” he said.