People First Claims Zanu PF Sitting MP Has Joined Them

By Kenneth Matimaire

Mutare, March 12, 2016 – JOICE Mujuru’s Zimbabwe People First (ZPF) party has claimed that suspended Zanu PF legislator for Chimanimani West, Munacho Mutezo is part of its membership after the latter attended a Manicaland inaugural interconstituency meeting held by the newly launched opposition last weekend.

Mutezo’s appearance at the meeting raised eyebrows in the country’s volatile political corridors as questions have been asked whether he has defected to the People First or not.

This comes as the estranged Chimanimani West legislator has over the past few months been linked to the opposition movement made up of disgruntled former Zanu PF stalwarts and upstarts purged during and after the stormy December 2014 congress.

Mutezo, who has been media shy since his suspension from Zanu PF, has been ignoring both calls and text messages sent to him over his political membership status.

However, ZPF interim spokesperson Rugare Gumbo claimed that Mutezo is already working with the opposition movement though he is still an MP under a Zanu PF.

“We know that he is still an (Zanu PF) MP but he supports People First. He has indicated that he supports us, he supports People First. We have already welcomed him and he is working with us,” said Gumbo in a telephone interview this week.

ZPF founding member Didymus Mutasa also confirmed the development in a WhatsApp message sent to him on Thursday.

“He (Mutezo) has been a member of People First right from the beginning,” quipped Mutasa in his short response.

However, Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo on Thursday said Mutezo was still a card carrying member after confirming with the ruling party’s national administration.

“I have checked with the administration and they confirmed that he is on suspension but still a National Assembly member for Chimanimani West.

“But check with the (Manicaland) provincial executive office. The chairperson (Samuel Undenge) must be in a position to give you Mutezo’s current membership status,” said Ambassador Khaya Moyo.

Subsequent attempts to get a position from Undenge went in vain as he continuously indicated that he was stuck in a series of meetings.

Moreover, the Manicaland Provincial Coordinating Committee recently resolved to have Mutezo recalled from Parliament citing his involvement with former vice President Joice Mujuru’s outfit.

Mutezo’s tenure as MP for Chimanimani West has been marred by several attempts to dislodge him from his constituency and party.

Last year, youths in Chimanimani West constituency signed a petition to have the former Cabinet minister recalled from Parliament.

The purge is set to cut short Mutezo’s Parliamentary seat, which was hard to come by.

It should be noted that Mutezo has been harbouring ambitions to become an MP as far back as the late 90s with little success.

He lost the 2000 and 2008 elections before amassing majority votes in the last polls.