Chamisa’s spokesperson, Fadzayi Mahere, quipped that despite the recall of its elected officials and ZANU-PF’s underhand dealings to divide the opposition, they will rise to the occasion.
“They’ve tried taking our elected representatives. They stole our funds. They violently invaded our building. The theft of our name is the latest stratagem to try to hoodwink the people,” she said.
But Chamisa’s outfit is on its knees. Numerous officials such as former senator James Makore, former party spokesperson Obert Gutu, legislator Tongai Matutu, former deputy treasurer Lilian Timveos and Blessing Chebundo, the ex-opposition legislator for Kwekwe Central who famously beat President Emmerson Mnangagwa during parliamentary elections in 2000, have all joined ZANU-PF.
Mnangagwa received the high profile-defectors at State House where they took turns to castigate their former leader Chamisa.
The secretary for security in the ZANU-PF politburo, Lovemore Matuke, said they would welcome everyone leaving Chamisa with open arms.
Alex Magaisa, former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s special adviser during the power sharing pact with Mugabe between 2009 and 2013, said by-elections would present Chamisa with a chance to rejuvenate his party’s political ambitions.
“For Chamisa and the MDC Alliance it’s an opportunity to demonstrate that they still have the support of the people, despite ZANU-PF’s attempts to destabilise them over the past year by backing surrogates and choreographing defections,” he said.
He added that a lot was at stake for ZANU-PF too.
“For ZANU-PF, it’s an opportunity to grab space from the opposition, since the majority of the seats are in opposition strongholds. Even getting one seat will be hailed as progress. The only loss they fear is that their surrogates will lose badly and the false opposition they are trying to create will have run its course.”
For the other MDC, led by Mwonzora, it’s an opportunity for them to show their clout, said Magaisa.
“The most important thing is that it will be a litmus test for the MDC led by Mwonzora, which so far has been riding on the political capital of the MDC Alliance which was led by Chamisa in the last election.
“So far, they have benefited from favourable decisions of the State and its institutions, but now they will have to face the people. It’s time for them to show that they are a serious political force with their own capital,” he said.- TimesLive