By Tichaona Sibanda
SW Radio Africa
5 May 2014
Scenes of violence marred the end of an MDC-T rally in Epworth on Sunday, which left 14 activists injured, two of them seriously, a senior party official said on Monday.
Obert Gutu, the spokesman for Harare province, told SW Radio Africa the orgy of violence was calculated as the perpetrators launched the unprovoked attack soon after party leader Morgan Tsvangirai had left the venue of the rally.
Gutu blamed ZANU PF youths for the violence, emphasizing that some of their activists easily identified most of the perpetrators as belonging to the ruling party.
‘It was a well orchestrated attack. They waited for the party leadership to drive off before they attacked our members who were dismantling the tent and the public address system.
‘The attackers used stones, knobkerries and other dangerous weapons and the whole episode took less than 10 minutes,’ Gutu added.
Two of the seriously injured victims were admitted to the Avenues clinic. Tambudzai Kalandi is in the intensive care unit after sustaining a broken leg and multiple body injuries, while Florence Motsi suffered serious head injuries.
Tsvangirai, accompanied by his shadow Home Affairs Minister Lillian Timveos and national organizing secretary Nelson Chamisa, visited the two women in hospital on Monday.
A statement released after Tsvangirai’s visit said the party leader deplored the attack, insisting that in the face of violence,, the movement would continue to engage.
‘What is important to emphasize is that when ZANU PF sees people on the roll, it turns to its default mode which is violence, fear and intimidation. We need to recognize that the MDC is a popular movement while ZANU PF has a challenge of converting their harvest of fear, violence and intimidation into popularity,’ Tsvangirai said.
Meanwhile in Chinhoyi, members of the MDC-T ‘renewal team’ allegedly stormed the provincial offices in the town where they made off with party assets, according to the provincial organizing secretary Wilson Makanyaire.
The party is yet to carry out an audit to see what was removed from the offices.
Makanyaire said the perpetrators forced their way past a security guard, who alerted members of the MDC-T. The team was inside the offices for about an hour where they had a meeting before they took away, files, computers and party cards.
Initial attempts to eject members of the renewal team failed as they outnumbered those from the MDC-T. Makanyaire said reinforcements were called in and on realizing the tables had turned on them, the renewal team were forced off the premises amid a lot of abusive insults between the protagonists.