MDC-T Byo admits divisions

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MDC-T youths say divisions in the party’s provincial structures have disrupted its initiatives including lobbying the Bulawayo council to give Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai the Freedom of the City.

The youths started lobbying for Tsvangirai to be given the status, which has also been bestowed upon President Robert Mugabe, in August last year.

But MDC-T provincial youth chairman Bekithemba Nyathi told NewsDay the party’s provincial youth assembly was “facing problems”.

He said the weekend police crackdown on party members who tried to protest against the continued incarceration of MDC-T youth chairman Solomon Madzore had worsened the situation.

“The youth assembly is currently faced with a lot of challenges. Over the weekend 50 of our members were arrested,” Nyathi said.

“We also have some problems in the party and because of that we have the provincial assembly disintegrating into small pieces and our current focus has been diverted to solving these problems.”

On Saturday police in Bulawayo arrested about 50 MDC-T youths and allegedly assaulted them.
The youths who were released without charge had planned a demonstration against Madzore’s continued incarceration.

Madzore was arrested alongside scores of MDC-T activists following the death of a police officer in Harare last year.

Nyathi said the youths approached councillors last year asking for Tsvangirai to be given the Freedom of the City, but nothing had materialised.
City Mayor Thaba Moyo yesterday said the request had not yet reached his office.

“We do not discuss things which have not officially come to my office,” he said.

“This has not yet been brought to my attention.”

Council has failed to hold the civic awards for the past two years after disagreements emerged over proposals to give the Freedom of the City to Vice-President John Nkomo in 2010.

Some senior MDC-T officials are reportedly against honouring Nkomo claiming his silence on the Gukurahundi atrocities in Matabeleland and Midlands disqualified him.