Violence rocks MDC again

BULAWAYO - MDC vice president Thokozani Khupe’s vehicle was yesterday attacked while her personal assistant Witness Dube was badly injured after violent scenes broke out at the party’s provincial offices.

According to insiders, Khupe had called the meeting — which  was attended by suspended party national spokesperson Obert Gutu and national organising secretary Abednico Bhebhe — to endorse her as the acting MDC president.

Violence broke out immediately after the meeting began as youths allegedly aligned to acting president Nelson Chamisa violently disrupted the event resulting in the skirmishes that left almost a dozen injured.

Dube, who was driving the Khupe’s Discovery vehicle, tried to escape from the scenes during the clashes, but it was a little too late as the youths smashed its front, rear and side window screens.

He suffered a deep cut to his head in the process.

This was after the youths had thrown stones on top of the office roof, in a move that left window panes broken.

The Daily News witnessed about three party members who had been injured. A pool of blood and shattered pieces of glasses covered the floor. Outside the yard, the road had to be blocked as stones barricaded the way.

Police, who arrived a little bit late, had to cordon off the area to avoid further clashes.

A seething Khupe, who could not stand sight of her damaged vehicle and the ruthless attack on her personal assistant, said: “How do you attack people who are just gathered to organise themselves and campaign.

“Why do you have to beat up people, why do you have to injure people, why do you have to vandalise offices? Why do you have to do that for goodness sake?” Khupe asked.

“We were beaten in Buhera by the same people.  I have never seen such barbarism in my life.”

She also rubbished the seven-day ultimatum that was issued to her by the party, to repent or face dismissal.

“That is what I call absolute nonsense. I am an elected president of MDC. No one gives me an ultimatum except for congress. Congress is the only body that can gives me the ultimatum not any other person.”

Gutu also had no kind words for the hooligans.

“This is deplorable, we had a peaceful political gathering, very lawful,” Gutu said.

“A bunch of thugs armed with stones, iron bars just came from nowhere and started attacking people. Stones were thrown on top of the roof, the window panes were broken, blood is strewn all over the floor. It’s just total mayhem. These are the people who think they can take Zimbabwe to the next step, my foot.”

He, however, declared that he was not on suspension.

“I have not been suspended I am still the national spokesperson of MDC. That bogus national council has absolutely no power to suspend me. I have not received a letter of suspension and no one has a capacity to write me a letter of suspension.”

It is the second time in weeks that Khupe has encountered intra party violence after she was attacked during the burial of MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangirai at his rural home in Buhera last month.

She was also assaulted last year at the provincial offices for openly expressing her disquiet over the structure of the MDC Alliance.

Khupe has since last year not been attending MDC and MDC Alliance meetings.

Youths who spoke to this paper fingered youth chair Mulandu Ncube for allegedly leading the thugs.

Some also accused provincial chair Gift Banda for sponsoring the act.

Banda yesterday condemned the violence but said the meeting was unsanctioned.

“As a province we did not know there was a meeting at our party offices. If we knew, we were going to put measures to ensure that the meeting proceeds undisrupted, that there is no violence or anything of that nature,” Banda said.

Before yesterday’s skirmishes Khupe had been having running meetings over the past few days with  her close cabal and senior members from the Joice Mujuru led People’s Rainbow Coalition (PRC) in the city. On top of that Khupe had also been meeting people in the wards in what was seen a preparation for yesterday’s meeting.

In a twist of events, party chairperson Lovemore Moyo who recently indicated that he was not part of the camp has not been attending the meetings lately, a sign that he was pulling out of the cabal and eventually from the party.

This has however, weakened the Khupe faction as a number of influential party cadres continue to desert her.

Comments (3)

Many people will be put off voting for MDC-T or its alliance because there seem to be no difference between them & zanu pf, they all use violence to settle disputes. It's a shame that MDC now appears to employ zanu pf tactics of intimidation and force

Observer - 6 March 2018

You will never know who is sponsoring these people. Don't be shocked, this is politics guys.

EMaran - 6 March 2018

Observer ,you are not level headed and i think you don't even know why you vote.When you vote you don't vote for those hooligans that are causing mayhem in the party,you vote for the one contesting for presidency.Don't you think that all this violence is being sponsored by an outside hand or it is being done by hodlums who are not even MDC supporters ?Why i say so is because when ever MDC supporters are allegedly involved in violence they are nabbed before you can even say Bob is my uncle.All thi so called violence is stage managed to give an ugly picture of the party.Svinuraiwo mhani.Sies!

Janana Luke Munya Bikaldo - 6 March 2018

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