By Tererai Karimakwenda
HARARE – The former broadcaster and MDC-T Mbare candidate in the July 31st election, Eric Knight, has remained silent following media reports that he had jumped ship and joined ZANU PF.
Media outlets that tried reaching Knight, including SW Radio Africa, were unable to get the popular former radio personality to comment on the alleged move. The silence has further fuelled speculation that the defection to ZANU PF is true.
Online discussions were on Thursday full of rumours that Knight had been convinced to join ZANU PF by Leo Mugabe, President Robert Mugabe’s nephew. The shock development comes just three months after the harmonized elections in which Knight lost the Mbare ward election to ZANU PF’s Tendai Savanhu.
Obert Gutu, spokesperson for the MDC-T Harare Province, expressed no direct knowledge of the move, saying only that Knight should be given the chance to clarify the situation before making any further comment.
“We have only heard from media reports that Mr. Knight is about to join ZANU PF. How far true that is, nobody really knows so I do not really want to comment as if he is definitely going to join ZANU PF. It is only fair that Mr. Knight be given the opportunity to come out clearly on the reports,” Gutu told SW Radio Africa.
Gutu made it clear that the MDC-T had no reason to believe that Knight was not serious in his parliamentary bid for Mbare, on an MDC-T ticket. He said if true, the move would be taken as a “betrayal” by the residents of Mbare, who had put their trust and faith in him as a candidate for the area.
Knight recently blasted ZANU PF as a violent party, following the illegal evictions of MDC-T members from hostels in Mbare high-density suburb. He was one of the MDC-T officials that assisted victims of ZANU PF evictions after the election, making his alleged move more shocking.
The switch in political allegiance was reportedly confirmed by the ZANU PF spokesperson, Rugare Gumbo, who is quoted as 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.” SW Radio Africa