By Jeffrey Muvundusi
The ruling Zanu PF has been dealt a major a blow after about 200 former Zanu PF members and National Youth Service (NYS) graduates defected to the breakaway National Patriotic Front (NPF), citing a number of reasons, including how their leadership was hounded out of the revolutionary party.
The Zanu PF defectors, led by former ruling party Bulawayo district chairperson Andifasi Banda, said they have since formed an NPF youth brigade called the Zimbabwe National Youth Service Graduates Association that they said will coordinate the opposition party’s campaigns.
Zanu PF was, however, quick to dismiss the defections as a misleading political charade.
Speaking during a welcome ceremony over the weekend in Makokoba high density suburbs, Banda confirmed kissing goodbye to the party that had been their home for years.
“As national youth service graduates, we realised that we were not being well taken care of in the ruling party,” Banda said.
“We realised we were only being used and that is why we said enough is enough and cut ties with the ruling party. And so, what we have done is to form a new organisation of NYS graduates called Zimbabwe National Youth Service Graduates Association. We currently have a membership of plus or minus 3 000 who have said they are prepared to jump ship and work with NPF. We have covered a lot of ground, and we are ready to hit the campaign trail,” Banda, who used to be a menace to opposition parties in the city during his time as the Green Bombers leader, said.
The defectors were welcomed by Butholezwe Ngwenya, an NPF executive member who also indicated that a number of disgruntled Zanu PF members were still in the process of joining the Ambrose Mutinhiri-led party.
“We are in Makokoba welcoming Zanu PF members who have defected from the ruling party to join NPF. We have teams in other constituencies, canvassing and we will be going to other constituencies to welcome other members from Zanu PF into NPF.”
Zanu PF youth league provincial chair Khumbulani Mpofu, while acknowledging the names of some of the defectors, dismissed the defections as malice.
“That’s nothing but malice. Zanu PF is a revolutionary party and its growing you can’t have such a big number like 200 people moving en masse to join a non-existent party like NPF, that’s impossible and that will never happen in our lifetime. Let them wallow in their fake defections and they will see the real defections from the election results,” Mpofu said.
The defections come a fortnight after NPF’s Eunice Sandi Moyo, hosted about 600 party supporters in the city as they prepare for the forthcoming elections. DailyNews