By A Correspondent- Former MDC-T Masvingo Urban MP Tongai Matutu shocked opposition leaders by joining Zanu-PF on Monday.
Matutu was welcomed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his deputies Constantino Chiwenga and Kembo Mohadi at State House in a move that stunned many analysts.
“This is unbelievable. My brother Tongai Matutu. Uuh Mwari musadero (God forbid),” MDC Alliance deputy national chairperson Job Sikhala wrote on Twitter.
Promise Mkwananzi of Tajamuka/Sesjikile pressure group said: “Devastating news that my brother Tongai Matutu has joined Zanu-PF. Totally shocked at this bizarre decision.”
Political analyst Rashweat Mukundu warned the opposition to be wary of opportunists.
“This indicates that the opposition has many opportunists within its ranks who do not share the founding ideals of the party. This fits well with Zanu-PF’s strategy of destroying the opposition by repression and co-option and Matutu is one such example of those who have forsaken principle for comfort,” Mukundu said.
“The MDC needs to reflect hard on where its leadership stands otherwise we will see more shocking political crossovers.”
Zanu-PF spokesman Patrick Chinamasa said Matutu would be required to attend ideological lessons at the Herbert Chitepo School of Ideology “so that he appreciates national interest, party ideology and value systems.”
“He has come to see us and he would like to come back to his original party. We welcome him back home.”
Matutu, who tried to run for MDC Alliance chairman at its congress and lost, said he was “taking this decision quite conscious of what I’m doing.”
“Since I left parliament, I’ve never slept on an empty stomach or begged anyone to give me food or money for school fees. I’m making this decision not out of an empty stomach, but out of a national calling. I’m by myself, I’m actually proud of what I’ve achieved after I left parliament.”