AS intra-party chaos intensifies in the crisis-ridden opposition MDC-T, violence erupted at the party’s Bulawayo provincial offices over the weekend resulting in members laying assault charges against each other.
MDC-T Bulawayo deputy organising secretary Tsepiso Helen Mpofu was allegedly beaten up by Artwell Sibanda during the skirmishes that left the provincial offices with broken windows.
The warring factions are positioning themselves for posts at the party’s national elective congress at the end of next month.
Sibanda, who is a former aide of ex-Speaker of Parliament, Lovemore Moyo, admitted to Southern Eye that he had slapped someone during the scuffles, but said he had done so in self-defence as he had been assaulted for supporting the candidature of Bulawayo deputy mayor Gift Banda for the provincial chairpersonship.
Sibanda said a truck that belongs to Bulawayo East MP Tabitha Khumalo drove to the party offices with thugs, who assaulted him, and he retaliated and Mpofu was injured.
“I was at the office and was assaulted by a group of thugs who come out of Khumalo’s vehicle,” he said.
“During the process of trying to protect myself I don’t know who I slapped before escaping to safety.
“I was informed that a case was opened at a local police station, but the funny thing is that I am the one who was being assaulted and I managed to deal with the assailants then they decided to go and report me so that they could cover their backs.”
Mpofu denied having been assaulted by Sibanda and declared that her number one enemy was Zanu PF and not Sibanda.
“My enemy is Zanu PF which we are fighting and I do not understand when you are saying that I fought with Sibanda,” Mpofu said before abruptly hanging up.
However, pictures of Mpofu leaked to Southern Eye indicated bruises on her face.