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Chamisa's militia out of control

by Staff reporter
06 Mar 2018 at 05:18hrs | Views
THE MDC-T Chamisa camp has admitted intra-party violence is spiralling out of control after senior officials were brutally battered by thugs at the party's Bulawayo offices on Sunday just weeks after they tried to torch a thatched hut party deputy president Dr Thokozani Khupe had taken refuge in at Mr Morgan Tsvangirai's burial in Buhera.

All the three vice presidents: Mr Chamisa, Dr Khupe and Engineer Elias Mudzuri claim that they were acting presidents of the party with Dr Khupe saying Mr Tsvangirai had told her counterparts that she should act as party leader at all times in his absence.

The fights manifested at the burial of Mr Tsvangirai, where Dr Khupe, secretary-general Mr Douglas Mwonzora and organising secretary Mr Abednigo Bhebhe were assaulted by party youths who then tried to torch the thatched hut they had taken refuge in.

The trio had the wet thatch to thank as the grass failed to catch fire before the hoodlums were called to order.

In a statement yesterday, the opposition party's disputed acting spokesperson Ms Thabita Khumalo, said the MDC-T dispatched its Arbiter and the head of security and Intelligence Mr Giles Mutsekwa to Bulawayo "to normalise the situation".

"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," said Ms Khumalo.

There has been an ugly fight in the MDC-T over who succeeds Mr Tsvangirai after he succumbed to cancer of the colon in a South African hospital last month and was buried at his rural home in Buhera.

Ms Khumalo said the MDC-T had also ordered its chairperson for Bulawayo province, Mr Gift Banda, to submit a detailed report to disputed president Nelson Chamisa by end of day today.

The MDC-T national council last week controversially elevated Mr Chamisa to replace Mr Tsvangirai as president, a move fiercely contested by its vice president Dr Khupe.

The Bulawayo violence at the weekend left several people including Dr Khupe's personal assistant, Mr Witness Dube, injured and her Land Rover Discovery vehicle extensively damaged as infighting continued in the troubled party.

The opposition party's youth militia called the "vanguard", which staged a guard of owner for Mr Chamisa in Chinhoyi over the weekend, has been fingered in the several violent incidents that have occurred in the party.

Last week, Dr Khupe appealed to the party's governing council of elders to disband the so-called "vanguard" saying it was responsible for the violence that occurred in Buhera during Mr Tsvangirai's burial. Several people including journalists have raised concern over the militia as they had been subjected to harassment.

Ms Khumalo defended the militia saying it was a youth wing charged with looking after the party.

"It is a youth wing that looks after the party. It's role is to safeguard the party and its constitution from rogue elements. Every party has the youth wing which is its vanguard, what it does is to merely safeguard the party's interests," said Ms Khumalo.

MDC-T violence timeline 2018
February 12, 2018: Party vice president Engineer Elias Mudzuri is barred from entering Harvest House, by youths aligned to his counterpart Nelson Chamisa
February 20: At Humanikwa Village, in Buhera as MDC-T youths go on a rampage attacking party vice-president Thokozani Khupe and secretary general Douglas Mwonzora. They threaten to burn the house that Khupe and Mwonzora seek shelter in. Mwonzora says it is a murder attempt. Police rescue the two from harm.
February 26: Spokesperson Obert Gutu in a radio interview reveals that he had received death threats from party youths he knows by name.
March 4: Violent skirmishes rock MDC offices in Bulawayo as vice president Khupe is attacked by thugs linked to Chamisa. Khupe says the party has effectively split.
March 5: MDC dispatches a team to "normalise" the situation after the violence at Bulawayo provinces. However, in a statement, acting spokesperson Tabitha Khumalo appears to blame the victims and claims an external hand.

Source - the herald