MDC-T faction leader Mr Nelson Chamisa’s close security yesterday assaulted supporters who had gathered at the opposition party’s headquarters, Harvest House, to express their grievances on the manner in which primary elections were conducted in Epworth District.
The supporters are said to have camped at Harvest House by 8am.
They demanded to meet Mr Chamisa to brief him on how Mr Earthrage Kureva had allegedly used violence and intimidation to win the primary elections to represent Epworth in the National Assembly.
Mr Chamisa reportedly told the supporters he was too busy to attend to them.
The supporters decided to wait for him outside Harvest House.
As Mr Chamisa was walking out of the building, the party supporters barricaded the exit and threatened to lock him in.
They demanded that he addresses the issues they had raised.
“Mr Amos Chibaya told the supporters to get into the boardroom, saying Mr Chamisa was going to address them there,” said one of the disgruntled MDC-T supporters at Harvest House.
“We refused to go into the boardroom as we knew this was a ploy to ensure safe passage for Mr Chamisa. We demanded that he addresses us where we were (outside) and insisted he solves the problem or else we lock him in.
“It was at that moment that Mr Chamisa’s security ordered us off Harvest House and accused us of lacking respect for the president. We refused. They started beating us with batons. We retaliated, but were overpowered. A number of people were injured. They do not have money to go to hospital for treatment. It is bad.”
Asked if they had reported the matter to police, another assaulted MDC-T member said: “How do you report the president to the police? It is impossible, but it is unfair.”
Mr Chamisa was whisked away as the violence erupted.
Businesses close to Harvest House like OK First Street briefly closed shop as the MDC-T supporters fought each other.
The violence spread to Africa Unity Square in the heart of Harare.
“It all started in Epworth when Mr Kureva reportedly beat up supporters of other candidates and when they had dispersed, conducted a shameful election presided over by Unashe Muchemwa,” said a party official.
“Muchemwa declared Kureva the winner even though he had chased away other candidates and supporters. The MDC-T Epworth district then wrote a letter to the party leadership pleading for its intervention.”
Added the official: “The leadership did not respond and the district hired buses which took people to Harvest House to see Mr Chamisa himself. Unfortunately, the president said he was busy and refused to meet us.
“The people were left with no option, but to wait from 8am to 5pm. He wanted to leave without resolving the problem, but the supporters would not let him leave.
“They threatened to lock him at Harvest House. His security and the Vanguard intervened, beating up people.”
Efforts to get a comment from Mr Chamisa’s spokesman Mr Luke Tamborinyoka were fruitless. – Herald