MDC-T factional fights – 5 critically injured
AT least five MDC-T supporters were critically injured following bloody clashes between members of two different factions at a party restructuring meeting that was held at Madzivadondo Business Centre in Chivi North last weekend.
There were running battles between youths aligned to two rival factions battling to control Masvingo province in the MDC-T with the warring parties using stones, knobkerries and catapults to attack each other.
The five youths who were injured in the skirmishes were taken to Chivi District Hospital for treatment. The MDC-T is divided into two camps in Masvingo with one believed to be led by businessman and former provincial chairman Mr Bernard Chiondegwa and the other one is led by current provincial chair and trade unionist Mr James Gumbi.
Mr Chiondegwa and Mr Gumbi’s rivalry allegedly stemmed from a bitter election tussle for the provincial chairmanship a few years ago that was won by the latter, sparking factionalism within the beleaguered opposition party in Masvingo. Sources said trouble at the restructuring meeting at Madzivadondo started after some youths believed to be loyal to Mr Chiondegwa tried to disrupt elections that were being held to choose the party’s new chair for Chivi North district.
The post had been left vacant by Mr Noah Mutisi, who is now the party’s vice provincial chair. Youths allegedly aligned to Mr Chiondegwa used stones, knobkerries and catapults to attack party members who had gathered for the elections. This allegedly resulted in bloody clashes that left several youths from both camps with various injuries. The restructuring exercise finally proceeded under heavy guard from the party’s internal security officials who were reportedly called to restore order.
Mr Gumbi yesterday confirmed the clashes, but said he was still waiting for a full report on what actually caused the skirmishes.
“There was violence that was caused by a group of our party youths who were armed with stones, catapults and knobkerries. Preliminary investigations show that the youths who caused trouble are loyal to him (Mr Chiondegwa), but we do not have full information because we are still waiting for a report that is being compiled,” he said.
Mr Chiondegwa’s phone was not reachable for comment.
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