By Nkosana Dlamini
MDC-T secretary general Douglas Mwonzora has blamed police for failing to arrest activists who continue to attack some current and former leaders of the country’s main opposition party.
This comes after former MDC-T vice president Thokozani Khupe was this week accosted outside the Supreme Court in Harare by hordes of party followers who hurled insults at her for alleged treachery.
Khupe and her allies were attending a hearing into a court challenge filed by the Nelson Chamisa led MDC-T against her faction’s continued use of the party name and symbols.
Her attack follows similar ordeals of violence under MDC-T (Chamisa) supporters who continue to accuse her of throwing spanners into the party’s bid to win elections this year by refusing to recognise Chamisa as legitimate successor to the now late MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
However, speaking during a panel discussion at SAPES Trust on Thursday, Mwonzora criticised the violence by MDC-T supporters and further blamed the police for failing to act on such cases involving MDC-T supporters.
“I find no better words to describe the abhorrence that we feel with the treatment of some of our colleagues by some of the hooligans under our name and for that reason, we condemn it,” he said.
“We do not accept the treatment that Dr Khupe suffered as she left the Supreme Court. That is the work of hooligans. That is the work of criminals and they must be brought to book.
“We do not accept the treatment that she suffered in Bulawayo where she was attacked by those hooligans.”
Govt perpetuating violence
Mwonzora said police were also to blame for allowing MDC-T hooligans to attack party rivals.
“The problem is the government. The government is not proceeding to arrest these criminals.
“Criminal charges were raised by Mrs Khupe, criminal charges were raised by Mr (Abednico) Bhebhe and up to now those perpetrators have not been brought to book.
“There were perpetrators of violence who tried to burn people including myself in Buhera. They have not been brought to justice by this government.
“So, this government is perpetuating violence by seeing no evil, hearing no evil and speaking no evil.”
Mwonzora said the current Zanu PF government has also been allowing politically motivated crimes to persist without taking action.
“This is not the first time that they are not bringing somebody to book. In 2008, 300 people from the MDC were murdered in cold blood by Zanu PF militia and there I documentation to that effect.
“Up to now no single person has been prosecuted. This is a state that condones violence and perpetuates violence. The ball is squarely in their court, but I want to say that every party is safe with us and we are going to get rid of the criminals.”
Police Commissioner General Godwin Matanga once said law enforcement agents were investigating Khupe’s attacks while Chamisa has also in the past, shifted blame on Zanu PF for the attacks on his former co-VP.