By Tichaona sibanda
SW Radio Africa
19 February 2014
Promise Mkwananzi, the MDC-T youth assembly secretary-general, has urged the top leadership of the party to denounce violence and ensure that perpetrators of last weekend’s disturbances outside Harvest House are punished.
The youth leader, one of three senior party members to be manhandled by youths baying for their blood, for allegedly leading a plot to oust party leader Morgan Tsvangirai, said the ‘silence is deafening’ over the violence.
Mkwananzi told SW Radio Africa on Wednesday that the party should desist from making false statements that those behind the attacks are from ZANU PF, insisting that he was beaten up by MDC-T youths, ‘people I have worked with for years.’
He said his immedate reaction after the attack was that of disappointment and anger, especially realizing that he had been set upon by people he thought should be defending him from ZANU PF’s violent tendencies.
‘I’m their leader, I know them like the back of my hand, and so to suggest I was attacked by ZANU PF youths, when in fact I was beaten up by people I work with everyday, is not only unfortunate but trying to hide the truth unashamedly,’ Mkwananzi said.
He added: ‘We need a strong statement from the top leadership denouncing violence. Lets not use the laws of the jungle to settle personal differences. The party has a constitution which spells out the appropriate channels and platforms to resolve differences.’
One of the leaders who was attacked on Saturday and had his shirt torn and glasses destroyed was Elton Mangoma, the deputy treasurer-general. He has now made a formal complaint to the police.
Secretary-general Tendai Biti reportedly escaped the mob by getting into Tsvangirai’s car, while another youth president, Solomon Madzore, remained holed up in Harvest House for his safety.