Zim’s op­po­si­tion im­plodes

African Times - - International/africa - NDABENI MLOTSHWA

VI­O­LENT clashes be­tween ri­val fac­tions of Zim­babwe’s main op­po­si­tion have left sev­eral party sup­port­ers in­jured and hos­pi­talised in the sec­ond city of Bu­l­awayo.

This is the lat­est in a se­ries of in­tra-party po­lit­i­cal vi­o­lence and end­less con­flict among lead­ers and sup­port­ers of the Move­ment for Demo­cratic Change (MDC) since its leader, Mor­gan Ts­van­gi­rai, died from colon cancer in South Africa last month. After vi­o­lent skir­mishes at his re­cent burial, fac­tions are now fight­ing for con­trol of the party’s pro­vin­cial of­fices in Bu­l­awayo.

Since Sun­day, clashes have bro­ken out be­tween sup­port­ers of the in­terim leader, Nel­son Chamisa, and Thokozani Khupe, the co-vice pres­i­dent who op­poses Chamisa’s en­dorse­ment by the party.

MDC, a for­mi­da­ble force since its found­ing in 1999, is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a lead­er­ship bat­tle after Ts­van­gi­rai left three deputies.

While Khupe was elected into the po­si­tion, Chamisa and Elias Mudzuri were ap­pointed by the nowde­ceased leader.

The Zim­babwe Lawyers for Hu­man Rights (ZLHR) con­demned the grow­ing cul­ture of vi­o­lence by the MDC to re­solve and set­tle po­lit­i­cal dif­fer­ences.

The lawyers group ex­pressed con­cern that the lack of de­ci­sive and puni­tive ac­tion and sanc­tions on per­pe­tra­tors of vi­o­lence was en­cour­ag­ing re­peated in­ci­dences and im­punity.

“The MDC-T party must em­brace a strict, bold and con­sis­tent in­tol­er­ance to any forms of vi­o­lence and con­flict within the op­po­si­tion po­lit­i­cal party.”

MDC squab­bles are a ma­jor con­cern ahead of general elec­tions later this year. The party is seen as weak­ened by the death of Ts­van­gi­rai, in­fight­ing and the ref­or­ma­tion of the rul­ing ZANU-PF un­der Pres­i­dent Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa. – CAJ News

Fac­tions are now fight­ing for con­trol of the MDC. IN­SET TOP: Nel­son Chamisa. IN­SET BOT­TOM: Thokozani Khupe

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