When MDC founding president Morgan Tsvangirai died in 2018, a mass exodus of senior officials became inevitable, a political commentator has said.
Stephen Chan, a professor of World Politics at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies told the Daily News that the only surprise was that the high profile defections are only taking place now. He said:
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In a way, it’s only surprising that defections of this sort haven’t happened earlier.
As the opposition feuds within itself, and as Zanu PF conducts behind-the-scenes defection diplomacy, it is likely more will defect in the future.
There is prestige and funding available in politics. In opposition politics, however, foreign funders are increasingly disillusioned by the unending bitterness that the splits have engendered.
Chan’s remarks come after MDC-A top official Lilian Timveos and Blessing Chebundo joined ZANU PF a few weeks after leaving the Nelson Chamisa-led MDC Alliance for the MDC-T led by Douglas Mwonzora, respectively.
Chebundo and Timveos were on Wednesday welcomed by ZANU PF First Secretary and President Emmerson Mnangagwa at State House.
Chan further argued that even though Chamisa may be Mnangagwa’s biggest challenger in the presidential race, both MDCs will lose more ground in the legislature. Said Chan:
It may be that Chamisa retains some viability as a presidential candidate, more so than Douglas Mwonzora, but I foresee both MDCs having a reduced place in Parliament after the next elections.