At the same time, the 78-year-old Zanu-PF leader also told his party that the recent resignation of Vice President Kembo Mohadi had been unexpected.
“Politburo will recall that in our previous meeting, I noted that our party policies, programmes and activities are attracting more members.
“Last week saw senior MDC officials and former legislators Lillian Timveous and Blessing Chebundo abandoning the opposition to join Zanu-PF.
“Other personalities from opposition formations in various parts of the country are also seeing the light and opting to join our winning team,” Mnangagwa said.
“We are indeed a party with a rich revolutionary history, a party with plans for the present times and a party with a vision for the future. Party structures should embrace these comrades who have come back home.
“The Chitepo School of Ideology must move with speed to re-orient and nurture these new cadres in line with the ideology of our party and the national development paradigm, which is under way.
“The leagues of the party must equally build on this ever growing popularity of the party and broaden their mobilisation programmes as we scale up preparations for the 2023 harmonised general elections,” Mnangagwa added.
Chebundo, a founding member of the MDC, has since said that the opposition is in a downward spiral due to tribalism, senseless infighting and a hatred for new ideas.
Speaking to the Daily News’s sister paper, the Daily News On Sunday, at the weekend, Chebundo said he had become increasingly disillusioned with the goings-on in the strife-torn MDC.
He also said that he had no regrets in crossing the floor to Zanu-PF to join hands with Mnangagwa, whom he had twice beaten in Parliamentary elections as an opposition stalwart.
“I respect the current leadership of the MDC (now led by Douglas Mwonzora) … for their efforts in approaching national issues of concern in a non-confrontational manner … That is being responsible.
“However, there is still a very long way to go for the party to recover the political formula and matrix of (the MDC’s much-loved but now late president Morgan) Tsvangirai’s leadership.
“The power dynamics, the intra and inter-factional denigrations, blame games, etc, are not healthy for the party,” Chebundo told the Daily News On Sunday.
“I got disturbed to see the leadership of current MDC groupings leading at different tangents to the ideas of the 12-member pioneer group, as led by the late (MDC co-founder and deputy president Gibson) Sibanda and Tsvangirai.
“I always got angry and frustrated … hence I began to monologue on how best for me to contribute, even in a small way towards the emancipation of the country and its citizens.
“Then, the big question for me was from which angle or platform (to do this), given the obtaining political environment of polarisation in the country, especially in the opposition.
“Bitter or sweet, I realised that I can only do that as a member of the party (Zanu-PF), driving the developmental agenda of the country,” Chebundo further told the Daily News On Sunday.
“Indeed, it was a difficult decision given my political background and experiences.
“But sometimes difficult decisions ought to be made, and made by people in high positions if good things for the country are to be realised … hence I moved,” he added.
The former Kwekwe Central legislator also said the MDC had been on a downward trajectory ever since the death of its much-loved leader Tsvangirai – who succumbed to cancer of the colon on Valentine’s Day three years ago.
He said this was primarily due to the lack of leadership in the main opposition party.
“It’s all about leadership failure, poor strategies, factionalism and the ‘I know-it-all’ attitude of the leadership.
“My honest assessment is that the opposition’s power graph has been sliding downwards significantly since the death of Tsvangirai and it worsened post the 2018 elections mainly due to a poor decision matrix by leadership, especially post the 2019 congress of the MDC Alliance faction.
“The Supreme Court judgment also fuelled the situation, although the graph is slightly promising to pick up on the MDC side (after the election of Douglas Mwonzora as its new leader),” Chebundo told the Daily News On Sunday.
“By the way, when we talk about serious opposition in Zimbabwe, we are mainly referring to the MDC. So, it’s all about effects of decision-making.
“Zvinhu zvacho hazvidi ‘ndini chete chete ndinoziva’. Dzimwe nhambo nyaudzo singwi haasi maresults (Some of these things do not need the ‘it’s only me who knows’ attitude, and oratory ability is not results).
“As they say, a roaring lion kills no one. You cannot achieve anything by just talking proverbs. So, opposition is not dead, but needs serious internal overhaul otherwise it will die,” Chebundo further let rip.
Meanwhile, Mnangagwa has praised Mohadi for the role he played when he was in government.
This comes as Mohadi, who occupied his usual seat at the high table during yesterday’s politburo meeting, will remain the party’s vice president and second secretary.
The former VP quit his job on Monday, a week after he accused his political rivals of targeting him following exposes over his alleged personal indiscretions.
Mohadi’s resignation from office marked the first time in the history of independent Zimbabwe that a sitting vice president has quit his or her job. Since 1980, vice presidents have either died in office or been fired.
The late Simon Muzenda, Joshua Nkomo, Joseph Msika and John Nkomo all died in office – while Joice Mujuru was sacked from her position by the late former president Robert Mugabe in December 2014, at the height of Zanu-PF’s tribal, factional and succession wars.
And in the twilight of Mugabe’s rule, Generation 40 (G40) kingpins coalesced around the nonagenarian’s erratic wife Grace – resulting in the group being involved in a hammer and tongs succession tussle with Mnangagwa’s Team Lacoste.
Mugabe subsequently fired Mnangagwa in early November 2017, before he came back to become the country’s new leader following a stunning and widely-supported military coup.