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Once Zanu PF, forever Zanu PF

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Former Zanu PF Masvingo provincial Information and publicity secretary Retired Army Major Savious Kudzai Mbudzi has rejoined the party after a brief flirtation with Simba Makoni’s political project, Mavambo/Dawn/Khusile Movement.

The outspoken and controversial Mbudzi joins a list of Zanu PF “returnees” like Jonathan Moyo and Daniel Shumba who made dramatic and noisy departures before they returned under similar circumstances.

Mbudzi’s return to Zanu PF comes barely a month after former UPP president Shumba, who had also defected, bounced back into the party.

So strong appears the Zanu PF umbilical cord that many others that were either fired or suspended in humiliating fashion have swallowed their pride and patiently waited to be forgiven and recalled.

Dzikamai Mavhaire, Jabulani Sibanda, Jacob Mudenda, Mike Madiro and July Moyo are cases in point of some of the party’s once fallen bigwigs that could just not do outside the Zanu PF ship — sinking or afloat.

Mbudzi was suspended from Zanu PF in 2007 after sharply criticising President Robert Mugabe and his old guard over failure to institute leadership renewal in the revolutionary party.

The retired soldier said on Monday that he had in fact never defected from Zanu PF, but was “just on leave.”

“I never left the party per se,” Mbudzi said. “I just protested over lack of leadership renewal and organisational transformation in the party. It is not new in Zanu PF for members to stand as an independent and then be re-admitted back into the party.

“Our strategy was that if we could win as independents, we could then re-group as Zanu PF youngsters and latter rejoin the party,” Mbudzi said.

Zanu PF Masvingo politburo member Dzikamai Mavhaire who has also tasted the party’s disciplinary lashing for his “Mugabe must go” mantra, confirmed Mbudzi’s re-admission.

“Yes, it is true, the prodigal son is now back and we welcome him with both hands,” Mavhaire said.

“Mbudzi is an ex-combatant and to us we say he was on leave. As a party, we do not block people who were disillusioned from coming back.”

He called upon former Zanu PF members who had defected from the party to come back, saying the party would entertain them.

“We are calling all those who were lost to come back home. People are now leaving other parties because they have realised that they are bankrupt in terms of ideology,” Mavhaire said.

Mbudzi said he decided to return to Zanu PF because he had realised “the maturity of confusion of opposition parties in Zimbabwe”.

“It is important to realise the reasons why I left in the first place,” he said. “I was agitating for leadership renewal, organizational transformation and regeneration in the party.

“Ultimately, I saw that in spite of my own thinking as an individual, that same thinking must be subordinated to majority thinking.

“The party is now making up on the same reasons which had caused me to leave. Organisational transformation and renewal in Zanu PF is now a fact, so I decided to come back.

“Zanu PF cannot be transformed while we are outside,” he said.

Mbudzi’s homecoming has been viewed by observers in Masvingo as a means to protect his business interests. Mbudzi, a business consultant, has a multi million housing project in Masvingo which had recently stalled.

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