Khupe claims Chamisa is out to derail her campaign

HARARE - A faction of the MDC led by Thokozani Khupe is accusing its colleagues-turned-rivals of embarking on a campaign to destabilise its outreach programmes ahead of the forthcoming elections.

Party’s spokesperson, Linda Masarira, on Tuesday claimed they were told in no uncertain terms that their campaign teams would face dire consequences if they campaigned in Harare Central as the seat had been reserved for MDC Alliance candidate, Murisi Zwizwai.

“One of my campaign team guys Tawanda (Mutisi) was beaten up by terrorists in Edwards Drive,” she said, while referring to militant youths under the main MDC’s so-called Order of the Vanguard, which is accused of unleashing violence on those opposed to Nelson Chamisa’s leadership of the mainstream MDC.

“We are at Braeside Police Station reporting an assault case after Tawanda Mutisi — a member of my campaign team —  was assaulted during our door-to-door campaigns at number 34 Edwards Drive in Braeside. He was told that no one else is supposed to campaign in Braeside except Murisi,” she said of the attack.

Douglas Mwonzora, secretary-general of the mainstream MDC, which is participating in next month’s harmonised polls as the MDC Alliance, distanced his party from the skirmishes in Harare Central.

“If that happened, then that is the work of criminals. We signed a peace pledge (on Tuesday) and we do not approve of anybody harassing anyone. And if that happened, I urge the party to involve the police. We definitely do not accept that kind of behaviour from our members and should anybody feel harassed by our members they should
approach us. We want fair competition,” he said.

Khupe is one of 23 presidential candidates in the July 30 election.

In Harare Central, her faction is canvassing votes for Masarira.

The latest reports of violence come as the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) alleged mid-week that aspiring Harare West candidate Elijah Zvimba, an ally of Khupe, almost had his vehicle overturned by youths affiliated to Chamisa’s MDC.

“Reports are that the vehicle was parked opposite Harvest House and six youths started hitting the vehicle threatening to overturn it,” ZPP said on Wednesday.

The two factions’ supporters have previously been embroiled in violent clashes before they eventually split in March.

There were ugly scenes in March when several people were seriously injured in clashes between them as factionalism worsened following the death of the party’s founding president Morgan Tsvangirai on February 14.

At the burial of Tsvangirai, some party youths detained and assaulted Khupe and several others, accusing them of opposing moves by then acting party president Chamisa to succeed the late MDC leader, who succumbed to cancer of the colon.

Comments (1)

Is MDC (T)hokozani the strongest party in Harare? What are their chances on the ground of landing parliamentary seats? What are her chances of landing the Presidency? I submit her job is to make noise and we shall treat is as such. Just noise!

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