Close sources say the Government of President Emmerson Mnangagwa has given Gutu an offer he could not resist.
The resignation of Obert Gutu from the fringe opposition MDC-T party where he was Vice President has set in motion talk about his next move, even as the rival MDC led by Nelson Chamisa dismissed Gutu’s resignation as a non-event.
The rival MDC splinter groups have several court cases between them which are still before the courts, but Chamisa’s party said it was not bothered by what happens in the other political parties, with speculation rife that Gutu is headed for a top government posting.
“To us, it’s a non-event. When nothing pulls out of nothing, the result is nothing. So it’s a non-event for some of us. We do not follow anything that is happening in the hall of nothing,” said MDC spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka, in a report carried by the Standard, a leading independent weekly.
Gutu refused to comment on his next step, but the publication reports that “he could be joining the government in a job that would offer him lucrative perks and benefits.”
A source within the MDC-T told Zimbabwe Voice that it was important to notice that Gutu had only resigned from the party, but not from politics.
“He said he was stepping down from the MDC-T, not from politics as such. That is where the crux of the whole matter is,” said the source.
“In actual fact, we in the MDC-T knew for a while that some senior members of our party had been made ‘offers that they could not resist’ by President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government, but we just didn’t have the exact names.
“The resignation of Gutu now gives some of us a clear appreciation of the extent to which ED is determined to go to lure some of our best brains and key officials into the government. Remember it’s not just us the MDC-T, even the MDC ‘lost’ James Maridadi after he was lured and offered an Ambassadorial posting by President Mnangagwa’s administration,” said the source.
Maridadi, the former MDC legislator for Mabvuku-Tafara, is now the country’s ambassador to Senegal.
Once a 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 of opposition parties.
In a statement that corroborates the report by the Standard, Zimbabwe Voice heard that Gutu is headed for a top post in the justice ministry.
“It’s not just Gutu that Mnangagwa is intent to fish from us, there are at least two others, but much will depend on how they respond to the Zanu-PF bait,” said the source.
Gutu has denied that he is joining Zanu-PF. When asked if he is joining the Government itself, he had not responded by the time of publishing.