By Never Kadungure
HARARE – Veteran radio and TV broadcaster Eric Knight has reportedly joined Zanu PF. Knight was the MDC-T candidate for Mbare and lost to Zanu PF’s Tendai Savanhu in elections held this year.
Zanu PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo confirmed the development saying “We have always wanted people like Eric, people with experience in broadcasting and the media so we are naturally excited at having him back home if indeed he has eventually made the decision to join us,” Gumbo said.
“Young people like him are valuable to the party and as such we openly welcome him. We hope he will be an asset to the party so we wait as he undergoes the party procedure to officially become a member.”
Knight is yet to respond the reports but Nehanda Radio understands when the former DJ went back to Zimbabwe from his exile in the UK, he spent a considerable amount of time with Leo Mugabe (President Mugabe’s nephew) and it was him who persuaded Knight to ditch the MDC-T and join Zanu PF.
MDC-T Harare Province Spokesman Obert Gutu has meanwhile said “As MDC Harare province, we had no reason to believe that Eric Knight was not a genuine and dedicated party cadre. We are advised that he was an active MDC member in the UK where he is ordinarily based.
“The truth is some party cadres in Harare province were not entirely convinced about Eric Knight’s qualification to contest the Mbare constituency primary elections.
“Going forward as Harare Province, we have learnt a hard lesson, that is, it is better for the party to stick to genuine, long-standing cadres instead of accommodating chancers and opportunists,” Gutu told a local paper.
Political commentator Sanderson Makombe told Nehanda Radio “these guys have realised that their future in media or broadcasting is solely dependent on Zanu PF patronage. Given the announcement by Supa Mandiwanzira that they are inviting applicants for radio licences, Knight’s defection is not a surprise.”
“This should be read in the context of their previous failed application to operate a radio station which ironically saw Mandiwanzira, the current Deputy Minister of Information, getting a licence owing to his loyalty to Zanu PF. Mandiwanzira contested elections in Nyanga and is a now a Zanu PF MP,” Makombe said.
But would Knight have joined Zanu PF if he had won the elections in Mbare on an MDC-T ticket? That will be the question for our readers and listeners.