MDC fights for survival as splits widen
Instead, his assailants were drawn from his own party, the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, which is paralysed by violent factional rivalry.
"I have never been so dejected in my life because my own party perpetrated atrocities on me," said Mr Chamunorwa, 55. "I was not only beaten but forced to bend down, lie on the ground by youths, most of them younger than my first-born child."
The gang of about six abducted him from his home in the capital, Harare, last month. They deliberately humiliated Mr Chamunorwa, throwing him to the ground, kicking and beating him.
He was close to tears as he described his experience. What makes him especially bitter is that he helped found the MDC six years ago and was almost murdered by thugs from the ruling Zanu-PF party.
The assault happened because Mr Chamunorwa was suspected of plotting against Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC leader. Senior party figures have accused Welshman Ncube, the secretary general, of planning to oust his leader and seize control of the party - a charge he has denied.
Mr Chamunorwa said there was no plot.
our mandate, more than half the population want him to rule but his
ineptitude and indecision may cost him and Zimbabwe dearly," he
Discontent with Mr Tsvangirai's leadership is coming increasingly to the surface as the MDC fails to make any headway against the regime.
When Mr Mugabe carried out his assault on the townships, bulldozing the homes or livelihoods of 700,000 people, the opposition failed to offer any coherent response. The MDC was paralysed by factional warfare and incapable of opposing Mr Mugabe.
The assault on Mr Chamunorwa was only one of many. Other MDC thugs tried to murder Peter Guhu, a party official, who was forced to flee to South Africa after suffering serious injuries.
Another member, Diamond Karanda, 31, was beaten up inside the MDC's headquarters in Harare on June 16. He was dragged into the boardroom and assaulted so badly that he still cannot walk properly.
"I have many
scars from Zanu-PF. They knocked out four teeth, but it is not all right
when I am beaten up in the MDC boardroom," he said.
But the violence
within the MDC has dismayed its most senior figures.
"I cannot believe that the youths involved in these despicable acts acted independently. It is common cause that they were unemployed and it is equally clear that they had access to substantial funding," said Mr Coltart. "The instructions to act must have come from people within the party as no one else would have the detailed knowledge the youths had access to.
the youths and relatively low-ranking members of the security team we
have only dealt with the symptoms of the problem, not its root cause."
"If we do not send out a clear and unequivocal message to Zimbabweans in general and in particular to our own members and staff that violence will not be tolerated, then we will simply reduce the standing of the MDC to that of our opposition, Zanu-PF," said Mr Coltart.
Observers believe that infighting threatens the MDC's very survival as a political force.
a Harare commentator, said: "The MDC is paralysed and if this is
not dealt with, it will lead to its demise."
- Daily Telegraph
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