MDC Byo violence hugely condemned

BULAWAYO - The violence that rocked the MDC here over the weekend has been roundly condemned, even from within the opposition party itself, with officials accusing a South African-based senior official of instigating the skirmishes.

This comes as the party has deployed its security and intelligence head and arbiter-general, Giles Mutsekwa, to the second city to probe the disturbances.

Acting party spokesperson Thabitha Khumalo said the party chairperson for Bulawayo province Gift Banda had also been ordered to submit a detailed report on the incident to president Nelson Chamisa by end of day yesterday, adding the MDC national council would take stern action against instigators of the disturbing incidences of violence.

“The party’s national council, the supreme decision-making body between congresses, last week decisively pronounced itself on the matter and said violence was not part of the culture and the DNA of the MDC,” said Khumalo, who condemned the violence.

“The party is concerned with the trend that started with the incident in Buhera and now the similar incident in Bulawayo. Of particular concern to the party is the convening of unsanctioned meetings by senior leaders in Bulawayo, the dereliction of duty by some senior officials as well as the possibility of an external hand in the disturbances.”

Provincial party spokesperson Felix Mafa Sibanda yesterday said he had it on good authority that a named MDC official based in South Africa, who could not be reached for comment yesterday, was the one behind the chaos here.

“Bulawayo community is highly-shocked by despicable violence against innocent citizens and wanton destruction of property by highly charged hired South African thugs by some erstwhile party members,” Sibanda said.

“Most of the violence instigators or agitators were strangers from South Africa under the leadership of... one of the MDC-T officials,” he said.

“I personally went to the venue in the morning but lucky enough I had some youngsters who tipped me that there was a gang that had been hired by (name supplied) to cause violence. I even called the provincial chair ... Banda and others notifying them,” Sibanda told Daily News.

Sibanda said the MDC was still consolidating evidence, part of which will be revealed at a press conference scheduled for Thursday.

He said they had gotten wind of the violent actions before it took place on Sunday.

“Information to that effect, the violence on March 3, 2018 was already captured by party intelligence last Wednesday but we thought our erstwhile colleagues would abandon their retrogressive and self-destruction manoeuvre since they had been given seven days to repent and subsequently revert to their positions and responsibilities therein,” he said.

“It has to be made very clearly that the MDC-T provincial executive and its subsidiary structures are not surprised by this dangerous adventure by the anti-MDC Alliance cabal under the directorship of some by high ranking members of the party who have technically resigned from the party by their absenteeism in strategic programmes, meeting or anything to do with the party at whatever level,” he said.

Sibanda said violence was not acceptable by any standard hence his party did not subscribe to such heinous acts.

“We as peaceful loving party are calling for police to arrest the culprits without fear or favour so that, the nation and international community know who the real culprits are. We are saddened by this dangerous and uncalled for behaviour,” he said.

The MDC provincial youth assembly yesterday also issued a statement condemning the violence.

“As the youth assembly, we are so disturbed to note that there was violence at the provincial party offices,” said provincial spokesperson Benny Hlatywayo.

“It is very clear that the violence was perpetrated by some members who were hired from outside our province and these thugs had a planned agenda to disturb our province.

“We were shocked to see one Mthokozisi taking part in this violence yet he left the party long way back, furthermore, it was a shock to us to see provincial youth chairperson Mlandu Ncube being denied  to enter the party offices which is a clear sign to show that the agenda was not for MDC-T,” he said.

Contacted for comment provincial police spokesperson Precious Simango said she was not yet in a position to comment on whether there were any arrests as she was yet to get the finer details on the matter.

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