The opposition National Patriotic Front (NPF) which was linked to the late former president Robert Mugabe will not be contesting the Kwekwe Central seat in the 26 March by-election.
NPF candidate, the late Masango “Blackman” Matambanadzo, who died in 2020, won the Kwekwe Central seat in the 2018 general election, the only seat won by the opposition party.
In Kwekwe, some former NFP members have rejoined ZANU PF while others have gone into hibernation.
Matambanadzo’s former secretary Angela Nyathi and director in his office Aggrity Dube have defected to ZANU PF.
Speaking at a campaign launch for ZANU PF’s Kwekwe Central parliamentary aspirant John Mapurazi last week, Nyathi said:
We have decided to retrace our footsteps back to ZANU PF after we realised we were lost.
ZANU PF is the only revolutionary party; the only party with the interests of Zimbabweans at heart.
Take it from us who have once been in ZANU PF and decided to leave the party. It is cold out there.
We beg for your forgiveness because we were lost. We have been ZANU PF members and at some point, we left the party for some reason during that time.
We had to retrace our steps back to the party.
And for some of us who have been outside, we know what it is like. So be warned, don’t make the mistake of leaving the party.
NPF was formed by Mugabe’s loyalists after the November 2017 military coup and fielded retired Brigadier Ambrose Mutinhiri as its presidential candidate in 2018.
The Kwekwe Central National Assembly seat fell vacant following Matambanadzo’s death due to suspected poisoning.
Mapurazi takes on Citizens’ Coalition for Change candidate Judith Tobaiwa and the MDC-Alliance’s Mbekezeli Ndlovu in the race to win the seat.