By William Milasi
PEOPLE’S Democratic Party (PDP) secretary general, Settlement Chikwinya has admitted he blundered when he joined a group of MDC-T dissenters who ditched the main opposition 2014 to form a breakaway band now led by Tendai Biti.
Chikwinya was elected legislator for Mbizo constituency 2013 under a united MDC-T ticket.
A year later, he was among party politicians who split from the main opposition citing then leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s resistance to leadership renewal.
They accused the now late but popular opposition leader of presiding over a barren leadership which had failed to dislodge then President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF in three successive election attempts since formation.
For MPs who were in the Biti led group, they did not live to enjoy their full mandate as they were summarily recalled from parliament under the behest of the main party.
Their seats were subsequently snatched by Zanu PF candidates in bye-elections which were boycotted by MDC-T, its breakaway faction and other mainstream political parties.
The MDC-T breakaway group later reconciled with the main party but under a loose coalition agreement that has seen the former allies firm up to contest the 2018 elections under the umbrella MDC Alliance.
Chikwinya has since been named alliance candidate for the constituency although he faced strong resistance from MDC-T structures who felt he was nolonger best to represent the party’s aspirations in the MDC stronghold.
But in a typical prodigal son plea to MDC Alliance followers at a recent rally in Mbizo, Chikwinya swallowed his pride, telling a predominantly MDC-T crowd he has learnt his lessons.
“What happened in 2014 was a big mistake and I have to apologise before you for what I did,” Chikwinya said.
“I am sorry. I stand in front of you here asking for forgiveness because I know I did the wrong thing in 2014; but I want you to find it in your heart to forgive me.
“I humble myself before you; I made a terrible decision that cost me a lot but I have returned home to you the people who made me who I am today.”
He added: “After all that happened, I learnt a lot. It was a learning process. That is why I have come back to the people so that we fight a common cause.
“Our common enemy is Zanu PF. We have seen how Mbizo has been under represented with a Zanu PF MP at the helm.”