MDC-T in court over Bulawayo properties

MDC-T vice president Thokozani Khupe’s driver was arrested after a car, cash  and two mobile phones went missing

By Tererai Karimakwenda
SW Radio Africa
10 June 2014

A case currently in the courts in Bulawayo has highlighted the complicated scenarios created by the recent split within the MDC-T, as the two camps fight for control of party-owned properties that include vehicles, computers and even furniture.

Witness Dube, a driver for MDC-T vice president Thokozani Khupe, was arrested after an incident in which he is alleged to have seized a car and stolen $380 and two mobile phones from the driver for the ousted chairperson of Matabeleland North, Sengezo Tshabangu.

But according to SW Radio Africa correspondent Lionel Saungweme, Dube and his accomplices were trying to repossess the Isuzu KB 240 after it was stolen from a garage by youths aligned to Tshabangu.

Saungweme said the car and other MDC-T properties in Bulawayo belong to a company called Laphonic, which was set up by the National Executive of the MDC-T to manage the properties of the party.

But what has complicated matters further is that the directors of the company are Tendai Biti and Elton Mangoma, the two front men leading the so-called Renewal Team that called for Morgan Tsvangirai to be replaced as party president.

Laphonic is therefore now under their control since they insist that they suspended Tsvangirai and other officials in his camp, meaning the properties registered under that name belong to the Renewal Team.

Dube was granted bail last week and is due in court on June 17th for a continuance of the trial.

Until this aspect of the split is resolved legally in the courts, the ownership of many properties around the country will continue to be disputed and inflame tempers between the two camps.

It remains to be seen whether their supporters will resist violence and leave it to the courts to decide their fate. But either way, the split has brought more unwanted headlines to a political party and leader struggling to regroup after ZANU PF’s disputed “landslide victory” in the last election.

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