Mayhem as MDC official gets bashed after he tried to run away with ballot boxes during elections


VIOLENCE rocked MDC-Alliance’s Masvingo office on Saturday, prompting the party leadership to cancel elections to choose the new provincial chairperson.

The bloody clashes were sparked by Mr Munashe Bande who allegedly grabbed ballot boxes and tried to run away with them.

He was apprehended by members of the rival group who brutally assaulted him.

This sparked a fight that resulted in several party members being injured.

Incumbent district chair, Mr Muranganwa Chanyau, was slugging it out with Mr Gibson Murinye.

The two belong to rival camps, with Mr Chanyau allegedly having the sympathy of ousted MDC-Alliance provincial chair Mr James Gumbi, while Mr Murinye is aligned to former Masvingo Urban legislator Mr Tongai Matutu.

Party national executive member Mrs Magie Chakabuda confirmed the cancellation.

She however, said she was not at the party headquarters when the violence erupted.

“I was late for the elections because of other commitments elsewhere and by the time I arrived, party members were already on their way home. So I did not witness anything,’’ she said.

“However, what I know is that the election had to be called off to avoid the situation spiralling out of control. We will wait for guidance from the national leadership on what to do next.

“There is no way the election could continue in such an environment. Maybe by mid this week we will have a way forward,’’ said Mrs Chakabuda.

The chaotic election was stopped with Mr Chanyau leading his rival by 245 votes to 167.

While it could not be established yesterday whether any of the victims of the clashes had been hospitalised, sources said several party members were left nursing injuries.

Messrs Matutu and Gumbi’s beef stems from the party provincial congress held last year which saw Mr Matutu failing to upstage Mr Gumbi in the provincial chair race.

Mr Gumbi’s political star never shone brighter after his provincial congress win and suffered a serious setback recently after party leader Mr Nelson Chamisa suspended his executive for incompetence.

The suspension of Mr Gumbi and his executive by Mr Chamisa reignited factional fighting in the party.

Mr Chamisa is still to appoint an interim executive after sacking Mr Gumbi’s executive.

— Herald

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