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MDC Congress: Internal party violence rears its ugly head

04 Apr 2019 at 14:07hrs | Views
The battle for the top leadership posts within the MDC Alliance ahead of the elective congress pencilled for 24 to 26 May has reached a crescendo with officials trying to outwit each other by unleashing all sorts of violence and dirty tactics against each other in ward and district congresses held recently country wide.

Since taking over the reins at the opposition party in February last year while the late Morgan Tsvangirai's body was still lying at a South African parlour, Nelson Chamisa's opposition party has never known peace. The political outfit rebranded to a ‘mafia organisation' and perfected the art of violence pitting rival camps within the party.

On 20 February 2018, internal party violence manifested itself when Chamisa unleashed the MDC Alliance youths commonly known as the Vanguard militia to detain and assault the former vice president Thokozani Khupe, legislator Lwazi Sibanda, its secretary general Douglas Mwonzora and several others at Tsvangirai's funeral service at Humanikwa village in Buhera, Manicaland province.

The marauding youths accused the trio of opposing moves by acting party president Chamisa to succeed the late MDC-T leader.

In March 2018, before Khupe walked away to lead her breakaway faction, another internal party violence erupted at the Bulawayo offices as angry Chamisa supporters viciously attacked Khupe and her supporters, assaulting and injuring Khupe's driver Witness Dube and scores of her followers.

In April 2018, ahead of the 31 July harmonised elections Mr Chamisa watched disinterestedly as his personal henchmen assaulted and then sprayed an unidentified chemical into the eyes of one of the opposition coalition's National Assembly candidates for Gutu Central constituency Mr Crispa Musoni who had sought audience with Mr Chamisa in a bid to get clarity as to why the opposition leader had allowed two people from the same camp to contest the seat.

Fast forward to last week, once more the party lived to its true colours, the same old and mastered tactic of using violence to coerce rival members within the party was at play. There was an orgy of violence targeting the rival camps within the political outfit as the party restructures ahead of its congress.

On Sunday, violence erupted at the provincial party office in Gweru where the district was holding the youths, women and main wing elections. Gweru Councillor, Doubt Ncube is allegedly to have ran away with data forms for the women's assembly claiming that the list had been doctored.

In Shurugwi South, the situation degenerated into violence as the losing parliamentary candidate Osherd Mutunami caused a storm when he tried to stop the elections saying some of his people had not attended.

A MDC member in Kadoma, Enock Muraga is battling for his life at Kadoma hospital after he was left for dead over the weekend by Chamisa's thugs as the battle for top posts turned bloody in the district.

Judging from the chaos and the violence that has ensued within that beleaguered party ahead of the congress, one can safely conclude that ‘violence runs in the MDC's DNA.'

What is left to be seen is whether Chamisa, a self-acclaimed merchant of violence will rein in on his fellow comrades to contain the internal party violence that has reared its ugly head in that party or he will use whatever means necessary including violence to reclaim the MDC Alliance top job like he did after Tsvangirai's death.

Source - Christine Lethokuhle Mabhena
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