Rival MDC camps in bloody clashes

BY OBEY MANAYITI

POWER struggles in the MDC turned violent at the weekend after party leader Nelson Chamisa’s supporters allegedly physically assaulted secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora’s sympathisers, ahead of the opposition party’s elective congress, next month.

Mwonzora has, over the past few weeks, earned himself the wrath of Chamisa supporters’ anger following reports that he was eyeing the party presidency.

Supporters from the two rival camps fought running battles in Chitungwiza on Saturday in the skirmishes which left Chitungwiza former deputy mayor Jabulani Mtunzi and several other party activists seriously injured.

Party sources told NewsDay that Mtunzi, who is believed to be sympathetic to Mwonzora, was admitted at Chitungwiza Central Hospital.

The clashes occurred during selection of candidates for the party’s district organs.

Mwonzora confirmed the incident yesterday, and called for the perpetrators’ arrest and disqualification of candidates fomenting violence.

“The violence that is taking place is extremely disconcerting,” he said.

“We will disqualify the violent elements from the congress race, but this violence has to be nipped in the bud. These people who perpetrate violence are criminals who belong in jail. The leaders in whose name these goons operate must publicly denounce violence, failure which they will be held responsible for the violence and disqualified, whoever they are.”

He confirmed that most of the victims were his supporters, but could not confirm allegations that the perpetrators were acting on Chamisa’s orders.

Mwonzora said he had not yet officially made up his mind which post to contest at the congress, although sources close to him said he was eyeing Chamisa’s presidency.

Both Mwonzora and Chamisa squared off in the 2014 elective congress where they contesting for the secretary-general’s position.

Chamisa lost the race, but was later handpicked for the party’s vice-presidency by the now late MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

Although both Chamisa and his spokesperson Nkululeko Sibanda could not be reached for comment yesterday, party spokesperson Jacob Mafume said congress preparations were going on well despite the “isolated cases of indiscipline that will be thoroughly investigated”.

“We are still to get reports, but as you know, our district meetings have been going on from Saturday and Sunday and we will get the feedback,” Mafume said.

“We deployed provincial and national members to monitor and supervise the process and they will give full reports. We have hundreds of district meetings going on, the bulk of them going on without any incident.

“Where there has been incident and caused internally, the appropriate action will be taken after a thorough investigation. We are, by and large, satisfied with the progress, although there have been few reports here and there. We will investigate anything that comes out of the Chitungwiza processes, including any injury to person and damage to property to find out who caused it and where it came from and we will take appropriate action.”

Mafume said the opposition party had a clear and detailed complaints filing mechanism, adding that those aggrieved must utilise the facility.

MDC national organising secretary Amos Chibaya described the Chitungwiza violence as unfortunate.

“We don’t have room for violence in our party. Those people causing violence belong to Zanu PF, they have Zanu PF demons and by so doing they have fired themselves from the party. Our template is very clear, we don’t tolerate violence,” Chibaya said.

He, however, denied reports that the instigators were working on Chamisa’s behalf.

“The violence has nothing to do with the senior leadership. People want positions because the MDC is a democratic party and it is a freedom train. No one wants to be left aside. The violence has nothing to do with anyone in the leadership,” he added.

violence are criminals who belong in jail. The leaders in whose name these goons operate must publicly denounce violence, failure which they will be held responsible for the violence and disqualified, whoever they are.”

He confirmed that most of the victims were his supporters, but could not confirm allegations that the perpetrators were acting on Chamisa’s orders.

Mwonzora said he had not yet officially made up his mind which post to contest at the congress, although sources close to him said he was eyeing Chamisa’s presidency.

Both Mwonzora and Chamisa squared off in the 2014 elective congress where they contesting for the secretary-general’s position.

Chamisa lost the race, but was later handpicked for the party’s vice-presidency by the now late MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

Although both Chamisa and his spokesperson Nkululeko Sibanda could not be reached for comment yesterday, party spokesperson Jacob Mafume said congress preparations were going on well despite the “isolated cases of indiscipline that will be thoroughly investigated”.

“We are still to get reports, but as you know, our district meetings have been going on from Saturday and Sunday and we will get the feedback,” Mafume said.

“We deployed provincial and national members to monitor and supervise the process and they will give full reports. We have hundreds of district meetings going on, the bulk of them going on without any incident.

“Where there has been incident and caused internally, the appropriate action will be taken after a thorough investigation. We are, by and large, satisfied with the progress, although there have been few reports here and there. We will investigate anything that comes out of the Chitungwiza processes, including any injury to person and damage to property to find out who caused it and where it came from and we will take appropriate action.”

Mafume said the opposition party had a clear and detailed complaints filing mechanism, adding that those aggrieved must utilise the facility.

MDC national organising secretary Amos Chibaya described the Chitungwiza violence as unfortunate.

“We don’t have room for violence in our party. Those people causing violence belong to Zanu PF, they have Zanu PF demons and by so doing they have fired themselves from the party. Our template is very clear, we don’t tolerate violence,” Chibaya said.

He, however, denied reports that the instigators were working on Chamisa’s behalf.

“The violence has nothing to do with the senior leadership. People want positions because the MDC is a democratic party and it is a freedom train. No one wants to be left aside. The violence has nothing to do with anyone in the leadership,” he added.

7 Comments

  1. The beautiful ones are not yet born

    People like Chibaya and their kind of thinking are a problem in the opposition. Violence has taken place within the party, you need to just own up and take action against whoever it is. Don’t be defensive and start blaming Zanu PF without a shred of evidence. You dilute the message of no violence completely when you do that.

  2. So the the MDC Alliance is an offshoot of Zanu P.F Mr Chibaya kkkkkkkkkk

  3. Chibaya, you openly hit your wife and foolishly blame your neighbour. The MDC is a violent party and no amount of blaming ZANU (PF) will remove the hooligans in the MDC. It is very unfortunate that people tend to blame others for their own shortcomings. Blaming someone will never change the misfit within someone. The MDC is good at blaming ZANU (PF) for its misdeeds and yet 20 years down the line, nothing has changed, in fact things are getting worse because instead of acknowledging its shortcomings, it accuses others not even related to the issues on hand. This is like drinking poison and expecting your enemy to die. Grow up Chibaya.

  4. Once a violent political party fight against itself, it is obvious these is evidence that there is no democracy in the democratic party. Where is the violence coming from?

  5. Elijah Chihota

    The violence witnessed at MDC District meetings is a tip of the iceburg. The party has been formed on the violence powder keg so each time they see anyone with a different view, their violence adrenaline starts to rise and the result is that they beat those whom they perceive want to block Chamis’s ascension. If the MDC wants to be seen as the democratic party that it claims to be, then it must let it’s members elect one another freely. From the look of things, Chamisa’s camp is fast losing ground, hence, the violence. This kind of violence has no room in a country like ours.

  6. The perpetrators of violence are at it again; but they chose to blame ZANU P.F instead of nipping the problem in the bud. Can you imagine your fellow party cadre attacking you for holding a divergent political view? And, the leadership condones it subtly!

    It is recorded that Madame Khupe was violently chased out of the MDC T when N. Chamisa rail-road or ring fenced the Presidential post for himself….
    Now his face is written fear all over in fear to contest against Mr Mwonzora for the presidency at the congress.

  7. Lizwi Alpha Ntuli

    This mentality of saying that everything bad comes from ZANU PF is misplaced. A violent person is a violent person. He/she may come from any party. Remember, all those who claim to be MDC were once in ZANU PF….

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