Former Kwekwe MP Blessing Chebundo has come under fire from Zanu PF members in Kwekwe after he reportedly lied to them that he was going to give the party 5 000 votes for President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Zanu PF party in the by-elections held on the 26th of March.
The former MDC Alliance politician who defected to Zanu PF last year is well known for handing current Zimbabwe leader, President Emmerson Mnangagwa a humbling defeat in the 2000 parliamentary elections in Kwekwe when he participated as a little-known parliamentary aspirant.
Speaking during the unveiling of the ruling party’s parliamentary candidate for Kwekwe Central, John Mapurazi, at the Zanu PF Kwekwe district headquarters ahead of the recent by-elections, Chebundo assured party supporters of 5 000 votes for the Mnangagwa-led long-ruling political establishment, claiming that the people from the Midlands mining town were ‘sick and tired’ of Nelson Chamisa and his Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) party.
But, in diametric contrast to his earlier claims, Zanu PF ended up losing the seat to Judith Tobaiwa of the CCC with Mapurazi failing to garner at least 4 000 of the ballots cast in the election.
Prior to the by-election, the Kwekwe Central seat had fallen vacant following the death of Masango ‘Blackman’ Matambanadzo of the National Patriotic Front (NPF).
And, in the aftermath of the humiliating loss suffered by Zanu PF on March 26, well-placed ruling party sources said Chebundo was recently humiliated by a senior party member- a one Jirongo- who insisted on knowing where the 5 000 votes which the former Kwekwe MP had promised them.
“Jirongo openly told Chebundo that he was a liar and also insisted on knowing why the party failed to get the 5 000 votes that he had publicly promised. Chebundo thought that the terrain was going to be easy in the by-elections as he banked on the participation of Kandros Mugabe, a popular figure whose CV was later rejected by the ruling party at the eleventh hour of the elections,” said the source.
Mugabe’s CV, together with that of Energy ‘Dhala’ Ncube were dramatically rejected by the ruling party, a few days before the by-elections were held.
The source further quipped saying:
“So, during that meeting, Jirongo also took a jab at former NPF members who included late MP Blackman’s aide, Angela Nyathi whom he accused for lying that they had the support of the people. He attacked Zanu PF leaders in Kwekwe for giving MaNyathi and other NPF renegades front seats at ruling party meetings when loyal members of the party were hardly recognised”.
“He (Jirongo) openly said it was Blackman who really had the support of the people, and openly told MaNyathi that she was merely an aide for Matambanadzo who had absolutely no support of the electorate, whatsoever,” said the ruling party insider.
At the time of publishing, Zanu PF Kwekwe DCC leadership could not immediately respond to questions from Zwnews.