THREE top allies of former MDC-T vice president Thokozani Khupe have appeared in court over the violence which recently rocked the opposition party’s Bulawayo offices.
Khupe’s personal assistant Witness Dube, expelled MDC-T organising secretary Abedinico Bhebhe and one Elliot Moyo, were charged with public violence when they appeared before a Bulawayo magistrate last Friday.
According to prosecutor Nkathazo Dlodlo, the trio was part of a mob which fought running battles at the party offices earlier this month.
The factional clashes pitted Khupe supporters against loyalists of party leader Nelson Chamisa.
“On March 4 this year around 12 noon, complainants Mulusi Fuyana, Edith Moyo, Sibusisisiwe Masina, Sandra Moyo and Persuade Jena were part of a group of MDC-T members that had gathered at the party’s Bulawayo provincial offices between 2nd and 3rd Avenue along Fort street waiting to be addressed by Khupe.
“The complainants were denied entry into the venue of the meeting by people who were manning the entrance.
“After that, a misunderstanding ensued during which Bhebhe ordered some youths who were manning the gate to attack the complainants whom he accused of being aligned to Chamisa’s faction and the MDC Alliance,” said prosecutor Dlodlo.
Court head that, during the scuffle, Elliot Moyo picked a brick and struck Fuyana on the back of the head resulting in the latter falling to the ground.
While Fuyana was lying in agony, Dube, Bhebhe and other members of their faction joined Elliot and allegedly further assaulted her until she lost consciousness and had to be taken to Mpilo Central Hospital.
It is further alleged that Bhebhe ordered other MDC-T youths to drag Edith Moyo from the gate. The youths also picked stones and attacked Masina causing her to sustain some bruises.
Bhebhe is also accused of ordering the party youths to attack Sandra Moyo.
The complainants were rushed to Mpilo Central Hospital. A report was made to the police, leading to the accused persons’ arrests.
Meanwhile, two weeks ago, 12 MDC-T supporters loyal to Chamisa, including Bulawayo deputy mayor Gift Banda, also appeared before the same magistrate facing similar charges.
They were remanded out of custody to April 6.
However, before the case was heard, the 12 complained that they were the ones who first approached the police after they were assaulted by the pro-Khupe camp.
The magistrate then ordered police to investigate their complaints, leading to the arrest of Bhebhe and his two alleged accomplices.
Khupe and her allies, including Bhebhe, were fired from the party last Friday for “unconstitutional behaviour, holding illegal meetings and bringing the party’s name into disrepute”.