Violent clashes erupt at MDC meeting in Bulawayo; day after coalition agreement




Thokosan Khuphe (picture), MDC T organising secretary, Abednico Bhebhe and chairperson Lovemore Moyo were some of the top officials who boycotted the launch of the grand coalition

BULAWAYO – After a dozen of party youths stromed the meeting that was been addressed by deputy president, Thokozani Khuphe.

The incide and other senior officials were stoned for failing to attend the launch of a grand coalition in Harare on Thursday.

Khuphe, MDC T organising secretary, Abednico Bhebhe and chairperson Lovemore Moyo were some of the top officials who boycotted the launch of the grand coalition in the capital.

MDC T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai signed a unity alliance with MDC’s Welshman Ncube, People’s Democratic Party (PDP) led by Tendai Biiti, Jacob Ngarivhume (Transform Zimbabwe) and Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF’s Agrippa Mutambara), angering opponents of the coalition deal in the process.

Khuphe has been open she frowned against any umbrella coalition with other opposition parties, saying the MDC T only needed a unity deal in Mashonaland where the party has fared badly in elections. She said the MDC T does not need a coalition in Matabeleland as seen by the MDC’s consistent victory in elections in the province since the party was formed in 1999.

A meeting to discuss the coalition agreement signed Saturday sanctioned by Moyo, Bhebhe and Khuphe at the party’s Bulawayo offices however turned violent yesterday, amid claims Tsvangirai had sent ‘some thugs to discipline us”.

The “thugs” stoned and destroyed windows at the party’s offices, while one member from Bulawayo was reportedly injured during the skirmishes and admitted to hospital nursing injuries.

Khuphe and Bhebhe yesterday condemned the violence, with Tsvangirai’s deputy saying the MDC T is nothing without the “Matabeleland vote”.

“We are a democratic party and democracy should prevail. We are all shocked somebody sent a team from Harare to come and beat us up. That team came in the name of the President. We are going to confront the President why he will send a team to beat us up. We want to find out,” Bhebhe said in an interview.

According to memo sent to the national executive, yesterday’s meeting was supposed to be attended by national and provincial executive committee members from Bulawayo, Matabeleland South and Matabeleland North to discuss “discuss the coalition agreement and way forward.”

Reporters were not allowed to attend the meeting after the skirmishes but Khuphe was overheard condemning the violence, adding “Tsvangirai is nothing without us”.

“It’s clear we are nothing in the MDC T. We are in this party at their benevolence. The MDC T is what it is today because of the Matabeleland vote but this is how they treat us. This meeting was authorised by Bhebhe and Moyo and who are they to then question why we are holding this meeting, and disrupting it. My heart bleeds over this incident, especially noting all our sacrifices that have made Tsvangirai to what he is today,” Khuphe said.