By Mthulisi Mathuthu
SW Radio Africa
26 May 2014
MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai suddenly fell ill Sunday, resulting in him failing to address an Africa Day star rally at the Zimbabwe Grounds in Harare.
Officials said Tsvangirai, whose party is in turmoil following internal power squabbles, had been advised by his doctor to take a rest. It was the second time in a week that Tsvangirai failed to attend a rally, after the former Prime Minister also did not turn up for another gathering last Thursday.
Reports said vice president Thokozani Khuphe, Chairman Lovemore Moyo and his deputy Morgen Komichi were also not present at the rally. The news that Tsvangirai was not going to address the rally did not go down well with the supporters and it took the newly readmitted party stalwart Job Sikhala to cheer up the estimated 10,000 crowd.
As this was happening the party was slipping into further chaos with internal squabbles continuing unabated. In Bulawayo, the provincial executive suspended Magwegwe MP Anele Ndebele for assaulting a party member in November last year.
Party officials said Ndebele was suspended Friday for assaulting Tronix Nyamupingidza. But sources said the MP was a victim of infighting which is rocking the party, while Ndebele himself blamed his suspension on tribalism.
On Saturday Tsvangirai loyalists allegedly assaulted youths belonging to the Renewal Team, a faction so named after Secretary General Tendai Biti led calls for the leadership renewal within the party.
Senior member of the Renewal Team Samuel Sipepa Nkomo, told SW Radio Africa that Lameck Ndlovu was on Sunday driving a party vehicle belonging to the Matabeleland North province when ‘known’ Tsvangirai loyalists blocked him from the front and back, forcing him to stop.
Sipepa Nkomo said a fight then ensued as the assailants tried to kidnap him and throw him on to the back seat. Ndlovu reportedly fought back but in the process he dislocated his arm for which he has been treated. Sipepa Nkomo said both the vehicle and another youth who was in Ndlovu’s company are missing and the incident has since been reported to the police.
Many dramatic events have been reported countrywide since the split with the two rival factions fighting over the party assets. A forth night ago, Mbizo MP Settlement Chikwinya, who is in the Renewal Team, was briefly detained by the police after Tsvangirai loyalists reported him for theft.