THE opposition National Partriotic Front (NPF) which was linked to former president Robert Mugabe and his backers has all but collapsed and will not be fighting to reclaim the Kwekwe Central seat in the 26 March by-election.
NPF, through the late Masango Matambanadzo (pictured) who died in 2020, won the Kwekwe Central seat in the 2018 general election. It was the only seat won by the party.
Party insiders revealed the party was now a shell as it had no structures hence the failure to contest in next month’s by-elections.
NPF spokesperson Jealous Mawarire did not respond to questions on the by-elections and the future of the party, but insiders say it had hit a dead end.
In Kwekwe, some former party members have rejoined Zanu PF while others have gone underground.
Matambanadzo’s former secretary Angela Nyathi and director in his office Aggrity Dube have pledged allegiance to Zanu PF. Nyathi said they they did so “after realising we were lost. And that it’s cold outside Zanu PF. “
“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,” Nyathi said at a campaign launch for Zanu PF’s Kwekwe Central parliamentary aspirant John Mapurazi last week.
Nyathi was also full of praise for Zanu PF.
“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 reasons during that time,” Nyathi said.
“We had to retrace our steps back to the party.
And for some of us who have been outside we know how it is like. So be warned, don’t make a mistake of leaving the party.”
Despite his limited education which saw him drop out of formal education at elementary level, Matambanadzo, who referred to himself as a “Grade Two dropout”, won the hearts of many in Kwekwe.
His death has created a vacancy in Kwekwe Central where Zanu PF has fielded former deputy mayor John Mapurazi following the disqualification of former State Security minister Owen Ncube’s nephew Energy Ncube and Zanu-PF’s losing parliamentary candidate Kandros Mugabe.
Mapurazi is going to square it off with Citizens’ Coalition for Change candidate Judith Tobaiwa and the MDC-Alliance’s Mbekezeli Ndlovu.
NPF was formed by Mugabe’s loyalists after the November 2017 military coup.
The party denounced the coup and contested the presidential election with retired Brigadier Ambrose Mutinhiri being its presidential candidate, despite two factions emerging.
NPF has not held programmes for a long time which insiders say is an indication of the party’s demise.