Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Opposition defections to Zanu PF inspired by money – Tsitsi Dangarembga

Opposition officials who are defecting to the ruling Zanu PF party are doing to so to secure their personal financial survival renowned novelist and filmmaker, Tsitsi Dangarembga has said.

Renowned novelist and filmmaker, Tsitsi Dangarembga (Photo-Illustration: Vulture, Aron Ufumeli/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock and Publishers)
Renowned novelist and filmmaker, Tsitsi Dangarembga (Photo-Illustration: Vulture, Aron Ufumeli/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock and Publishers)

Dangarembga was speaking to Zeinab Badawi on the BBC’s HardTalk programme. She accused President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government of delaying the release of MDC Alliance’s funding until it “restructured the opposition” into what it wanted, the MDC-T.

“The other side of it is that people have to earn a living. Generally, politicians in Zimbabwe are not people with qualifications to do anything but politics. They tend also to be business people,” said Dangarembga.

“In order to be able to flourish in the arena of politics they have to have a source of income. Now, if Zanu PF is in this hegemonical position where they control everything including the economy and business, it means that if you are in the opposition you have no chance of survival.

“Last year, they actually stopped money that Parliament was supposed to deposit into the opposition’s account until they could do some restructuring of the opposition themselves.

“They quote Marxist philosophy that the best opposition is an opposition that you create yourself so they have been doing that diligently.

“They make sure that resources cannot flow towards oppositional voices and I think this is one of the reasons that feeds the pressure to join Zanu PF.”

Dangarembga added: “Those opposition parties have very little wiggle room to operate in. The restrictions have been so great that it is very difficult for people to exert any political opposition that is effective.”

Recently, former MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu and former opposition MDC Alliance Senator for Chitungwiza James Makore formally joined Zanu PF and were paraded at State House by Mnangagwa and Vice President Constantino Chiwenga.

Former MDC-T official Blessing Chebundo who twice beat Emmerson Mnangagwa in successive parliamentary polls and MDC Alliance treasurer Lillian Timveos two months ago defected to the ruling party citing there was “nothing constructive with regards to democracy, good governance and the well-being of Zimbabweans in general, would ever come out of the MDC Alliance.”

Last year November, former MDC T legislator for Masvingo Central Tongai Matutu joined Zanu PF claiming the main opposition party “in its various forms” had lost direction wasting time bickering among themselves. Nehanda Radio