THE power struggle in the MDC T yet again took an ugly turn Sunday with violent clashes at the party offices in Bulawayo which resulted in several people being injured.
Loyalists of embattled vice president Thokozani Khupe clashed with supporters of new party leader Nelson Chamisa as the former tried to hold a meeting at the facility.
Three people, including Khupe’s personal aide and driver Witness Dube, sustained serious head injuries in the violence which lasted for almost an hour.
Khupe’s Land Rover discovery and another vehicle belonging to the party’s South Africa chairperson were extensively damaged during the clashes.
Freelance journalist, Tendai Marima, also had her Nissan XTrail vehicle damaged in the fracas.
When New Zimbabwe.com news crew visited the party’s provincial’s offices, the scene of the deadly clashes, an assortment of missiles including stones were strewn all over the place.
Heavily armed police in riot gear and water cannon had also sealed the venue.
According to MDC-T’s national organising secretary Abedinico Bhebhe, they had called a meeting to explain to party’s structures the current leadership wrangle when the violence started.
“Today we had called a meeting to explain to our structures who the legitimate leader of the MDC–T is,” said Bhebhe.
“While we were in the midst of the meeting, some people started throwing stones on top of the roof. Our youths come out and started retaliating.
“During the ensuring clashes Khupe’s aide was hit by a stone in the head.”
Bhebhe said the injured were taken to Galen House medical centre in the city.
Some witnesses who spoke to New Zimbabwe.Com however disputed Bhebhe‘s version, alleging that the violence started inside the venue of the meeting.
“I was one of the people who were in the meeting. When I and other people realised that the meeting was turning out to be a Khuphe and Bhebhe praise singing affair, we walked out.
“The people who were inside then started attacking us with stones for walking out,” claimed another party supporter who refused to be named fearing of victimisation.
Meanwhile, it could not be established how many people were arrested as police spokesperson Precious Simango‘s mobile phone was not being answered.