AN MDC-T official was left for dead following a vicious attack by political rivals in the violence-hit elections for the Bulawayo provincial executive last Saturday, a court heard on Tuesday.
State Enterprises Minister Gorden Moyo was elected chairman in a closely-fought election against Mzilikazi Senator Matson Hlalo, who has refused to concede defeat and is challenging the outcome through the party's internal appeals process..
The elections were halted before voting for other positions could take place after violence erupted and police were called to separate supporters of the two men.
Ntonga Mhlanga, 21, Lloyd Chamboko, 27, and Witness Dube, 34, -- a driver of Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe – appeared before a Bulawayo magistrate charged over the vicious attack on the party’s provincial director of elections, Clint Chigumbu.
Mhlanga and Chamboko, both of Pelandaba, and Dube, of Magwegwe North, are charged with assault. Dube is angling for the provincial youth chairman's post.
Magistrate Ndumo Masuku remanded the trio to May 30 on US$50 bail each.
Prosecuting, Marylyn Mtshina said the trio pounced on Chigumbu after he took a lunch break and walked out of the offices of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions where the elections were being held, intending to buy food.
The prosecutor said Mhlanga, Chamboko, Dube and a fourth man who is still at large attacked Chigumbu with an iron bar on the head and he fell down and lost consciousness.
“They continued to kick Chigumbu while he was lying on the ground until he bled profusely. Other party members who were at the meeting attempted to rescue Chigumbu but Mhlanga, Chamboko and Dube dragged him to a secluded place where they tied him with an electric cord and continued to assault him,” the prosecutor said.
Chigumbu sustained a deep cut on the head and was rushed to hospital where he was treated and discharged.
The MDC-T has threatened to crack down on the instigators of the violence.
“We have received reports of various incidents in the provinces. We are yet to sit and interrogate those reports," said spokesman Nelson Chamisa.
“We will also investigate allegations of violence, get to the bottom of the matter and root out those responsible. Violence is alien to our culture and whoever chooses to use violence as a way of attaining political power will face the music.”