HARARE – MDC founding member Pearson Mungofa, 65, has resigned from active politics, throwing the beleaguered opposition party into further turmoil.
The former Highfield legislator confirmed he was quitting politics to concentrate on his family and personal business.
Mungofa who was the MP for Highfield from 2000 to 2013, said he was quitting politics to concentrate on his diamond polishing and cutting business.
“I tendered my resignation verbally to our secretary General Tendai Biti yesterday on Monday,” Mungofa told the Daily News.
“The reason I have quit politics is because I want to concentrate on my business operations and also attend to my family, which I was not giving enough time and attention during the time I was an MP for the past 13 years.”
Since the July 31 elections, which the MDC lost, the opposition movement has been riddled with factional fights, with some senior officials calling for the party president Morgan Tsvangirai to step down.
However Mungofa said his resignation has nothing to do with the political fights within his party.
“I am one of the founding members of the party and I had a very close relationship with Tsvangirai, going back to the 80’s as we used to live in the same neighbourhood in Ashdown Park,” he said.
“I have never betrayed him in our political struggle against Zanu PF, but it is only that my family has asked me to step down.
“I am not part of some senior MDC members who are calling for the resignation of Tsvangirai.
“People of Highfield Constituency can acknowledge the work I did during my tenure as an MP, I never abused the Constituency Development Fund.”
He denied that he was quitting politics because of frustration after losing the MDC primary elections to new Highfield MP Eric Murai. “I lost the primary elections which were rigged in favour of Murai, but however I continued to help him in his campaign and the party managed to retain the seat, but I am tired of politics and I want to rest,” Mungofa said.
Mungofa and the late Tichaona Mudzingwa were in 2008 charged with treason for trying to engage top army generals including army commander Valerio Sibanda in talks.
He fled the country to Botswana together with Tsvangirai during the 2008 run-off elections when the political temperatures were heating up.