BY MIRIAM MANGWAYA
OPPOSITION members who defect to Zanu PF will have to undergo re-orientation training at Zanu PF’s Chitepo School of Ideology for them to toe the party line.
This was disclosed yesterday by Zanu PF secretary for administration Obert Mpofu, who said the conditions also applied to party members.
“New members who join the party need training to be familiarised with Zanu PF structures, rules and other issues,” Mpofu said.
“It will be just like an orientation process where they would be taught of the party values so that they become full members who are aware of Zanu PF norms and values. It creates problems when members are not aware of their party’s guidelines,” he said.
Former top executive members of the opposition, among them Lillian Timveos (former MDC Alliance deputy treasurer-general), Obert Gutu (former MDC-T vice-president) and former senator James Makore (MDC Alliance) recently defected to Zanu PF.
Following their defection, Zanu PF claimed that hundreds of youths from opposition parties had joined the ruling party.
But MDC Alliance dismissed the claims, arguing that the ruling party was faking the defections to paint a picture of chaos in the opposition camp.
Mpofu told NewsDay that new members could not assume party leadership positions as they had to prove their competence and loyalty.
“The issue of party posts for new members is administrative. One just cannot get a post simply because they have joined a party, whether one had a top post from where they came from. We do not reward people for joining our party. New members need to work hard to convince other party members that they are competitive enough to hold a leadership post. Then they can be elevated after they have been appointed or voted for such posts.”
Political analyst Fidelis Duri said: “Zanu PF is using the defection issue to distract people’s focus from important business. People are worried about issues of deteriorating democracy and increased human rights abuses which have seen various people becoming victims of extra-judicial killings and arbitrary arrests. The ruling party should address such issues first and stop concentrating on the so-called defectors.”