MDC-T suspends five over Bulawayo violence…Tabitha takes the fall

A topless Tabitha Khumalo leads a chaotic MDC-T protest in this file photo

A topless Tabitha Khumalo leads a chaotic MDC-T protest in this file photo

Takunda Maodza/Nqobile Tshili—
MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday suspended two senior party officials and three members of the youth assembly for their involvement in the violence and assault of party bigwigs in Bulawayo on Sunday. The suspended officials are deputy secretary for Information and Publicity Ms Tabitha Khumalo and deputy Treasurer-General Mr Charlton Hwende, while the three youths were identified as Tafadzwa Chimombe (Harare Youth Secretary for Security), Stephen Chatindo of Ward 22 in Hatfield and Gift Taibu of Budiriro (both in Harare).

Interestingly, Mr Tsvangirai had tried to implicate the State and Zanu-PF in the barbaric assaults, but the claim found no takers even within the MDC-T, whose officials and party members seemed to know what exactly transpired.

Addressing a press conference following the violence, Mr Tsvangirai alleged it was “the invisible hand of the State as it had a huge motive to douse the successful script of the Alliance on Saturday.”

The assaulted senior officials were the party’s vice president Ms Thokozani Khupe, national chairman Mr Lovemore Moyo and organising secretary Mr Abednico Bhebhe.

The party members from Matabeleland are said to be against Mr Tsvangirai’s decision to surrender seats in the region to his electoral alliance partners.

Mr Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Mr Luke Tamborinyoka yesterday confirmed the suspension of the senior members and the youths.

“The president (Mr Tsvangirai) has suspended the party’s Deputy Treasurer-General Mr Charlton Hwende and Deputy Secretary for Information and Publicity, Hon Tabitha Khumalo, pending full investigations, for suspected crimes of omission and commission before and during the disturbances,” he said.

“He has also suspended three members of the Youth Assembly over the same matter. President Tsvangirai has already dispatched a probe team to Bulawayo and a full comprehensive investigation will determine any further action to be taken.

“Violence is not part of the culture of the party and president Tsvangirai, a victim of violence himself countless times since the party was formed, has moved in to take decisive action over the matter.”

Our Harare Bureau has since established that the youths implicated so far are all from Harare and this was confirmed by MDC-T secretary-general Mr Douglas Mwonzora last night.

“The names of the three are Tafadzwa Chimombe (Harare Youth Secretary for Security), Stephen Chatindo of Ward 22 in Hatfield and Gift Taibu of Budiriro,” said Mr Mwonzora.

He denied that the deputy national youth chairman, Mr Shakespear Mukoyi, was involved in the Bulawayo fracas.

“The person in the video is not Shakespear Mukoyi,” he said. “He is wearing a uniform similar to that of Mukoyi. The list is not exhaustive. We are looking at people whose activities we have concrete evidence on, like engaging in violence and so on. So, for the three we now have irrefutable evidence.”

Ms Khumalo yesterday professed ignorance over her suspension when contacted by our Harare Bureau.

“I am not aware of it,” she said. “I am out of the country and I will be jetting in tomorrow.”

Our Harare Bureau is reliably informed that it has become a tradition that Ms Khumalo is the first suspect whenever there is violence against Ms Khupe in Bulawayo, as the two belong to different factions.

“Whenever there is violence against Ms Khupe, naturally the first suspect is Tabitha Khumalo by virtue of her belonging to a rival faction which is against Khupe,” said a source.

“Equally, when there is violence against Ms Khumalo, the first suspect is the Khupe camp and it is an open secret in the MDC.”

An attempt by Mr Tsvangirai to blame the State and Zanu-PF for the intra party violence found no takers.

His former legal advisor during the inclusive Government, Dr Alex Magaisa, on Tuesday shot down the allegations.

Dr Magaisa said: “Whatever statement is made today, please avoid the ‘it’s ZANU PF/CIO line’. People know it’s cheap & expected. Surprise your critics.”

Another party official Mr Job Sikhala took to Facebook to state: “Do you want to tell me that Thokozani Khupe and Tsvangirai are now enemies to the extent that you think you are the protector of Tsvangirai from the evil Khupe?

“Come on manhi. Don’t be delusional… Anyone who is sent to beat (up) other party cadres thinking that you are protecting someone, you are wasting your time.”

The Women Electoral Convergence (WEC2018) also condemned the MDC-T violence.

WEC2018 convener Mrs Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga said the aggression on Ms Khupe and Messrs Moyo and Bhebhe was barbaric and hindered progress on WEC’s objectives to promote women involvement in next year’s harmonised elections.

“The founding members of the WEC2018 would like to register their disquiet over the barbaric attacks on the MDC-T vice president and other senior members of the party at a meeting in Bulawayo,” she said.

“The attack flies in the face of our attempts to promote women participation in the forthcoming harmonised election and are an anti-thesis to the promises the MDC-T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, and his party made at the launch of the WEC.

“Tsvangirai is on record at the launch, promising women from different political formations that his party believes in creating a conducive environment for women participation in electoral politics in our country.

“As a grouping that is working towards enhancing women participation in the governance of our country and in view of the importance of women participation in the elections next year, we call upon Tsvangirai to condemn unreservedly the savage attack perpetrated by youths from his party against his deputy and colleagues, who like him are waging a struggle for the democratisation of our country.”

Mrs Misihairabwi-Mushonga added: “WEC2018 equally expected the international community, starting with their diplomatic missions accredited to Zimbabwe, to condemn in the strongest terms the dastard and violent acts witnessed at the MDC-T party offices with the same vigour and guile that is normally seen when such inhuman attacks are perpetrated by other political formations in the country.” “We want change,” posted Mr Hwende on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) has condemned intra-party fighting in the opposition movement saying the MDC-T should resolve political differences peacefully.

In a statement, the human rights defenders expressed concern over the undemocratic practices in the party.

“ZLHR deplores acts of political violence or calls to use violence to settle political scores by some members of political parties. Of concern is an unfortunate incident of intra-party violence within the MDC-T that occurred at the provincial party offices in Bulawayo on Sunday, 6 August 2017,” reads the statement.

“ZLHR condemns such acts of violence and urges the MDC-T party supporters and other political parties to refrain from resorting to violence as means of resolving differences.”

ZLHR urged MDC-T leaders and supporters to respect the principle of democracy which is premised on tolerance.

“Tolerance of differing opinions is a crucial aspect of democracy and these violent actions will further limit the right of people to exercise their constitutionally protected freedoms of peaceful assembly, expression and association, which are guaranteed under the Constitution and Zimbabwe’s international human rights obligations and are core values of any democracy,” read ZLHR’s statement.

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  • MakhosiXamu

    Vusumuzi denied the the existence of violent behaviour within MDC-T and the facts are now speaking for themselves. Mangoma, Biti , Stevenson and many others were brutal beaten and this Tamborinyoka claims – it is not the MDC-T culture. Many commentators especial MDC-T youths claimed it was Govt. propaganda……. some people are mere empty heads, shame.

    • Cetshwayo

      IZanu kababakho Umatibili has degrees in violence, ungayikhohlwa leyonto Mr Mrambinda

      • Shona

        Yes you’re right but it has made o Obert Mpofu rich, and ma behamba ko Bulawayo liyabahlupha licela imisebenzi.

        • zibulo

          and wena uyababuka for that !!!, whilst at the same time scorning the poor masses . uzama ukuthini kanti?

          • Shona

            Ngizama ukuthi everyone let’s join hands and join Zanu Pf lathi sidle. That’s the onl;y party that can help us out of this situation, umuntu wonke ku Dr Amai.

    • zibulo

      is this comparable to ‘The Moment Of Madness” of killing 20 000 unarmed civillians using the National Army??? Every house has its own share of violence but unleashing an army .Never ever will the Zim Army and Thieving ZRP be ever ever respected by the Citizens, never !!!! Not until there is CHANGE in leadership, be it within or outside ZANU. Your comments sell you about your intentions on this platform. How much is ZANU related to violent incidents in this country since 1980?i will never insult or laugh at my fellow country men, like you are hired to do, a pathetic job

      • MakhosiXamu

        Your comparison is misplaced ngoba izinto zobudlova zivele ziphila ku MDC-T. You are justifying the barbaric nature of the MDC-T. The beating up of Khuphe , L Moyo etc has nothing to do with the Dissident/ Gukurahundi era … your brain is just useless.

  • Essexvale

    Despite recent revelations concerning this case, I still am of the opinion that state spooks have a hand in the matter. The spooks are persistently watchful for every opportunity by which they will be able to cause disorder within the opposition. The prevailing disputes present just such opportunity. It is possible that in this particular instance, the spooks have infiltrated the MDC by using these suspended person and others as entry points. In order that investigations concerning the matter are rendered meaningful, it’s necessary for every avenue to be explored that will lead to exposure of all underlying factors concerning the current disorder at MDC. This has to be done with urgency in order that the party is free of compromising elements when it goes into the approaching general elections

    • MakhosiXamu

      ……….state spooks have a hand inthe matter?. Wena uluhlanya kkkkkkkkk

  • Brutal Truth

    Tabitha Khumalo looks like a shebeen queen

    • Butho Vilakazi

      very true, she’s a
      THOROUGH BRED MTHWAKAZI SHEBEEN QUEEN.

    • zibulo

      and not a thief . good she works for her dollar !!!. which is better -to be a sheeben King/Queen or to be a ZANU Looter ?????? Ever said the same about the looters ???

  • Mhlakazanhlansi

    forget iphuza face for the moment … kanti vele yenalo nguKhumalo wangaphi ongabekekanga kangaka? NguKhumalo ‘ngokwenda’ kumbe nguKhumalo sibili?

    ngumntakabani bantu …. wangaphi? ngiyabahlulukela labo bazali, ukukhohlakala okunje, okwezizwe esingazaziyo!!!!

    yargghhhhh!!! mpthu!!!

    • Shona rekwa Murewa

      What’s wrong isn’t it what your people have always been good at, now you want to disown her why. When Bulawayo came to a standstill when Zodwa touched down at the Airport didn’t you understand the impression it gave about you people.

      • NDLANGAMANDLA

        ingubhane ikubulele jaha hamba uyegabha

        • Shona rekwa Murewa

          Bulawayo came to a stand still, business stopped on the day u Zodwa touched down at the Airport. Half of Bulawayo went to the Airport to welcome their hero Zodwa Wabantu. I guess people were bused to the Airport. After that she was accompanied on a sight seeing tour of the dirty and dilapidated locations of Bulawayo. Again one wouldn’t drive along that Tshabalala Nkulumane road as it was awash with cars and people on feet. Some shedding tears of joy, in disbelief that they were seeing their revered Hero and there she was in Bulawayo, in their backyards,WITH NO KNICKERS, PANTYLESS!!

          • mtshayazabhotshe

            there re no words that can express your insanity …..ulishona leqiniso !hamb’ogeza bese uthenga iroll-on uyifake emakhwapheni akho anukayo then come meet me at the CITY OF KINGS….try and tell that kak in my face then you will never be the same!

          • Shona rekwa Nurewa

            I’m in Bulawayo, where can we meet. I want to shove a finger in between your eyes in front of your wife, 1st, 2nd and 3rd born and see what you can do to me. I’m at Revenue Hall as we speak, in a queue to pay for bills. Browsing from my phone.

          • Shona rekwa Murewa

            Please when you come tell your wife to put on some panties, I know Zodwa Wabantu is a true Hero in your household and your daughters look up to her. But if your wife dares me with no pants, I’ll fuq her. I don’t want to lie to you, be warned.

          • mtshayazabhotshe

            as if you knew your mother was not wearing any last week when i fucked her …how did you know?

          • ROYAL MTHWAKAZI

            …always funny to hear Shona double talk. In one instance you will be told Bulawayo is now Shona territory – Ndebeles have all gone to eGoli. Shonas dominate. So if that is so, would it not be logical to conclude that, those people gunning for Zodwa Wabantu could have been Shonas or in the majority could have been Shonas? In fact, that Club Connect is owned by a Shona – so, uthetha ntoni wena sitabane? Most Shona tribal insults simply dont make sense. Maybe its because you are a dunderhead people, who knows?

          • ROYAL MTHWAKAZI

            P/S and by the way, that same Zodwa Wabantu will soon be heading for Harare after Shona men there got hard-ons from simply reading about her in Bulawayo!!

          • Shona rekwa Murewa

            kikkiki, that’s a major comment from there, the genius-ism in this comment makes me doubt it came from a dunderhead like you. Anyway excellent work right there.

          • Shona rekwa Murewa

            kikikiki, ndoda are you out for blood???
            Why throw in such heavy punches infact those are not punches, why usukhuphe i Okapi ndoda thina sisaxoxa.

      • ROYAL MTHWAKAZI

        Wena, you are taking a rest from your Zezuru daily fights with Karangas for the Presidency neeh? We will not give you that chance. Go back to your tribal wars and leave us alone!!

  • Eye witness

    kanti nxa omama begida amantshomani bavunulani ngaphezulu? Lingazenzi abantwana abancane madoda. Liya qala na ukubona umama ogqoke ibra kuphela??

    • Eye witness

      Lawe ongazosuza nje lapha!!

  • zibulo

    thathekile ndini !!! Chronicle deliberately used an old photo from a previous incident ! why waste time writing unsubstantiated things , hawu. ever noticewd the photo they use when writing about Tswangirayi ?? same one which potrays to the public , a troubled man

  • Big boss

    This is madness