Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Pro Senate MP Defects to Tsvangirai Faction

After performing dismally in their rallies to drum up support for their cause and losing a court case against the anti-senate faction, Arthur Mutambara's faction of the MDC seems all but doomed. A prominent member of the of the side, Blessing Chebundo has quit the faction. From Zimdaily,
The Arthur Mutambara pro-senate faction of the MDC has suffered a major setback following the defection of Blessing Chebundo, their parliamentary chief whip and director of elections. The Opposition Member of Parliament for Kwekwe, has also resigned from the positions of director of elections and from being the MDC’s parliamentary chief whip respectively.

Chebundo cheated death in the run-up to the 2000 parliamentary election when he stood against Zanu PF's Emmerson Mnangagwa in the watershed poll. While Mnangagwa came back into Parliament as Speaker, Chebundo came in as the new representative of Kwekwe and became the opposition’s shadow Health minister.
Zimonline, who broke the story yesterday had more juice,
"It is with deep regret that I have to advise that, due to very personal reasons, I am no longer able to continue as the 'Director of Elections, and as Chief Whip' of the MDC side led by Prof A Mutambara.

"My resignation from the above two positions is with immediate effect. I trust, and wish the 'side' all the best," said Chebundo in his terse resignation letter which was also copied to Mutambara and the faction's deputy president Gibson Sibanda.

Chebundo's resignation appears to deal a serious body-blow to the Mutambara faction of the MDC which has been struggling to attract huge crowds to its rallies around the country.

Chebundo told ZimOnline last night that he had been "pressurised by his constituency" to rejoin the Tsvangirai faction.
Spurned by the move, members of the faction immediately blamed Tsvangirai of employing "ZANU-PF tactics." Said Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga,
"The Tsvangirai faction has used the same tactics that ZANU PF has been using over the years. It is not that Mavhaire (Dzikamai) wanted to come back to ZANU PF but was put under intense pressure just like Chebundo. You cannot blame him."
Because Tsvangirai has shown been better, I am not going to rush to speculate that time is up for the pro-senate faction evan though it sure seems like that. They might well find a creative way to revamp themselves.

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