Takunda Maodza, Harare Bureau
MDC-T deputy treasurer-general Mr Charlton Hwende yesterday justified the bashing of the opposition party’s deputy president Ms Thokozani Khupe, national chairman Mr Lovemore Moyo and organising secretary Mr Abednigo Bhebhe saying they deserved it for organising an illegal meeting.
A senior MDC-T official immediately branded Mr Hwende a buffoon.
“He is a buffoon that deserves some thorough beating,” the official told our Harare Bureau.
Following the attack on Ms Khupe, Messrs Moyo and Bhebhe, Mr Hwende tweeted: “Organising a caucus meeting which is against the spirit of the MDC constitution is very irresponsible you end up attracting unnecessary problems. The youths are angry and impatient anyone who will stand in the way of change will have no one to blame. We are tired. We want change.”
But while Mr Hwende condoned the assaults, MDC-T spokesperson Mr Obert Gutu was firefighting.
In a statement, Mr Gutu said: “The events that took place at the MDC provincial offices in Bulawayo on Sunday, August 6, 2017 are most regrettable and extremely unfortunate. The MDC would like to condemn, in the strongest terms, all forms of violence against anyone. We are a democratic and peace loving political party that is ready, willing and able to extricate Zimbabwe from decades of Zanu PF misrule, corruption and misgovernance.
“The violent incident that took place at our party offices in Bulawayo will be thoroughly investigated and indeed, the office of the Arbiter – General of the party, is already seized with this matter. We shall leave no stone unturned in ascertaining the exact cause of the unfortunate incident of senseless violence that led to the injury of several party members as well as destruction of party property. The perpetrators of this heinous act of wanton violence and thuggery will be identified and punished in accordance with the tenets of the party disciplinary code of conduct.”
Mr Gutu tried to exonerate the MDC-T from the barbaric acts.
“We also suspect that the culprits are not genuine members of the MDC but hired thugs and hooligans. We would like to assure all stakeholders that a thorough investigation shall be conducted and no stone will be left unturned in trying to get to the bottom of this matter.”
He then tried to blame it all on the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) unaware that Mr Bhebhe had already placed the blame on MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai for hiring the thugs to beat them up.
“The MDC is acutely aware of the fact that CIO agents and some other such detractors are having sleepless nights regarding the successful launch of the MDC Alliance at the Zimbabwe Grounds in Highfield, Harare, on Saturday, August 5,2017. As such… Zanu PF regime will do everything possible to try to collapse the grand political coalition.”
In 2006, then MDC legislator for Harare North constituency Mrs Trudy Stevenson was admitted in hospital after she, and four other high-ranking officials from her faction, were severely assaulted by youths aligned to a rival camp led by Mr Tsvangirai. In February 2014, then MDC-T deputy treasurer-general Mr Elton Mangoma and youth assembly national secretary general Mr Promise Mkwananzi, were assaulted outside Harvest House while Mr Tsvangirai watched.