In a stunning political move that could jeopardise prospects of the Nelson Chamisa-led opposition MDC Alliance from bagging the Kwekwe Central seat in the forthcoming by-elections, former MP Blessing Chebundo has sensationally dumped the MDC-A to join the rival MDC-T under the presidency of Thokozani Khupe.

It has since emerged that Khupe was recently in the small Midlands town where she held ‘secret’ meetings with a camp believed to be sympathetic to ex-Kwekwe parliamentarian Chebundo and other senior members of the party’s Midlands Province.

Famed for out-balloting current Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa while virtually unknown and politically underrated in the historic 2000 parliamentary elections, Chebundo is understood of having decided to defect to the Khupe camp after he was not happy with the manner through which Judith Tobaiwa, the MDC-A official candidate in the impending by-elections, triumphed against him in the recently conducted intra-party polls.

Judith, who is also daughter to Kwekwe deputy mayor Shadreck Tobaiwa surprisingly emerged victorious in tension-filled MDC-A primary elections held a couple of weeks ago.

She defied all the odds stacked against her to be declared the official party candidate despite facing veterans who included Chebundo and former Health Minister Dr Henry Madzorera.

The surprise development is certainly good news for the long-ruling Zanu PF- a party whose fair share of pre-election troubles was on public display when chaotic scenes resulted in the abandonment of chaotic primary elections involving bitter rivals Kandros Mugabe and Energy Ncube.

To this day, President Mnangagwa’s Zanu PF has continued to expressly dither on the way forward in relation to how the party was going to handle the matter.

But, away from the hullabaloo of the spine-chilling Zanu PF in-house fights, their opponents seem to have also fallen into the same trap as Chamisa is now faced with an insurmountable task of dealing with the containment of rebellious officials and some renegade pro-Chebundo councillors in the mining town.

Regional publication, the Midlands Observer revealed that Khupe recently came to Kwekwe at the invitation of Chebundo who suggestively booked the controversial political figure at Khayalethu Gardens- a property under the control and ownership of Kwekwe Mayor Angeline Kasipo.

The history-making Kasipo who broke records by becoming the first female mayor for Kwekwe has denied reports linking her to the Khupe camp.
A couple of months ago, Kasipo dismissed as false a Zwnews report insinuating that she had reportedly jumped ship to join at least four other renegade councillors from the predominantly MDC Alliance-controlled KCC to join Khupe. She boldly declared that there was absolutely nothing that was going to separate her from Chamisa.

Chebundo also denied ever inviting Khupe to Kwekwe but ended up being exposed after pictures of the said meeting started finding their way on social media.

Apart from Chebundo, the infamous meeting was also attended by four MDC-A councilors who include the former MP’s ex-driver and close confidante Eric Rukavhairo, Silas Mukaro, Betty Ndlovu and Melody Chingarande among others .

Sedwell Bhebhe, the former provincial chairperson for the then MDC-T Midlands North unpacked details of the meeting in a statement.

“MDC-T Midlands North Province 2014 Chairman met with MDC-T acting president madam Khupe 25 October 2020 in Kwekwe.

The meeting followed the first Midnorth 2014 Structures/EOC delegates held at the Kwekwe party offices on 17 October 2020, where structures were informed and resolved that the province will abide and participate in the SC judgement,” he said.

While he could neither deny nor confirm the said Khupe meeting, MDC Alliance Midlands provincial spokesperson Takavafira Zhou said their members had been duped into believing that they were also sanctioned to attend the meeting in preparation of an extraordinary congress to elect the substantive replacement of the late founding MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

He latter claimed that the issue had been resolved.


additional reporting: Zwnews