MDC-T secretary general Mr Douglas Mwonzora has made sensational claims that there were three attempts to kill him and the party’s co-vice president Dr Thokozani Khupe through arson at the burial of party leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai in Buhera last week.
He said the life of the party’s organising secretary Mr Abednico Bhebhe was also in danger at the highly charged funeral.
Although it was reported earlier that rowdy MDC youths attempted to torch a hut in which Dr Khupe and Messrs Mwonzora and Bhebhe had sought refuge at Mr Tsvangirai’s funeral, Mr Mwonzora revealed for the first time that the intention was to kill them.
His remarks followed a revelation by Dr Khupe last week that she was thoroughly bashed at the same funeral by people who were praising her rival, co-vice president Nelson Chamisa.
Mr Mwonzora said the mastermind of the unfortunate incident must be brought to book.
He also scoffed at claims by Mr Chamisa that he was the party’s presidential candidate in the forthcoming elections saying the position was still up for grabs.
Commenting on the failed arson yesterday, Mr Mwonzora said:
“If a person attempts three times to burn a hut occupied by human beings who they were violently pursuing, that is hardly an attempt to spare their lives.
They attempted three times to burn a hut in which vice president Khupe, myself and Honourable Bhebhe had sought refuge.
“A team led by the party’s secretary for security Mr Giles Mutsekwa has been set up to investigate the matter. We are told we are going to be interviewed and I will give evidence of what I know transpired. Whoever is the mastermind must be brought to book. I am told the police is also investigating the matter and this matter should be pursued with the seriousness it deserves.”
Asked who was going to represent the party in the forthcoming elections, Mr Mwonzora said:
“We are going to have a candidate soon. There were proposals made at a consultative held last Friday but they were subject to endorsement by the national council or congress.
“The congress or council can select anyone and the law is very clear on what should be done. I haven’t changed my position regarding what the MDC constitution says in the event of the death of the president, especially clause 9:2.1.1.”
Clause 9:2.1.1 of the MDC-T constitution provides that in the event of the death of the president, the deputy president assumes the role of acting president pending the holding an extraordinary congress within a year.
MDC-T deputy spokeswoman Ms Thabitha Khumalo rubbished Mr Mwonzora’s arson claims and that the party had no presidential candidate.
“There is nothing like that. Why didn’t they go and report to the police and why are they making those claims now? These people are just trying to gain political mileage.
“With regards to presidential candidate, we have (Mr) Chamisa who was endorsed by the national council to act for the next 12 months, a period which also covers election time.”