By Makanaka Masenyama/Bulawayo Correspondent
OBERT Gutu, who resigned Saturday as Vice President of the MDC–T led by Thokozani Khupe, has dismissed as false, claims that he has ditched the MDC breakaway group to join Zanu PF.
Gutu made the shock announcement Saturday morning and social media was set ablaze with most Zimbabweans speculating that he was on his way to joining Zanu PF or was lined up for a top government job.
The politician and lawyer had announced he was resigning for “personal and private reasons.”
Once fierce critic of the ruling party, Gutu seems to have abandoned his anti-Zanu PF rhetoric and was a strong defender of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s dialogue platform with a handful opposition parties.
This has invited strong rebuke by some MDC-T supporters and ordinary Zimbabweans.
However, the former Deputy Justice Minister in the now defunct inclusive government denied plans to join Zanu PF.
“Makuhwa (That is mere gossip),” Gutu told NewZimbabwe.com Saturday, accompanying his denial with a derisive laugh.
Meanwhile, Khupe says she has received with “shock and sadness” the resignation of her ally.
The MDC-T is one of the fringe political parties in the Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD) together with the ruling party, Zanu PF.
In an interview with NewZimbabwe.com, the party’s spokesperson, Khaliphani Phugeni said Khupe will miss Gutu.
“I received with shock and sadness the resignation of my Vice President. Over the years, he has been my greatest support both personally and politically. I will surely miss him,” she said through her spokesperson.
“I do appreciate that he needs to concentrate on his personal and business interests. I do hope, however, that l and the party can continue to rely on his political and strategic advice. I wish him well in his future endeavours.”
The MDC-T is a break-away faction of the main MDC now led by Nelson Chamisa.
Khupe and Gutu were expelled from the party in 2018 following a fierce fall-out with Chamisa over who should succeed late MDC founding leader, Morgan Tsvangirai.
The party is represented in Parliament by outspoken MP, Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga, a proportional representative MP in Bulawayo Metropolitan Province and Bulawayo Senator Mildred Dube.