Hungry supporters of the late MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai looted bread vans, breached security fences and beat up some of the party leaders during his burial on a chaotic rainy day.
With trucks that were supposed to bring food having being trapped in muddy ruts, supporters of the late veteran politician initially started the day by ransacking bread vans and later on descending on the party’s vice president Thokozani Khupe and secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora.
Khupe and Mwonzora were clobbered and took refuge in a hut, with the marauding youths threatening to set the hut alight.
The two have been opposing MDC acting president Nelson Chamisa’s ascendancy.
“Ngaaende, ngaaende (She must go),” sang the angry and hungry mob as they besieged the hut in which Khupe and Mwonzora had sought refuge.
“We don’t want to see Khupe here. She wants to sell out to Zanu PF. She left the party a long time ago,” the crowds shouted.
MDC deputy national youth chairperson Shakespeare Mukoyi, the leader of the so-called Order of the Vanguard, had to intervene to rescue the two VPs.
“Cde Wamba Dia Wamba gave me an instruction — we know you have the energy and power to defend the principles of the party — but he has instructed me to tell you to release the party leaders who are inside that hut,” Mukoyi, looking resplendent in black military fatigues and a red beret, said.
The youths call Chamisa — Wamba Dia Wamba after the commander of the opposition Rally for Congolese Democracy, who is also a prominent academic and political theorist in the DRC. Ernest Wamba dia Wamba was also the vice president of the DRC Senate Permanent Commission on Legal and Administrative Matters in the transitional government.
As Khupe cowered in fear in the hut, the mob followed Mukoyi’s instruction and stopped the crusade.
Khupe told the Voice of America that she was beaten by clenched fists and even threatened with death.
“When we arrived here we went straight to see Mbuya (Tsvangirai’s mother) and about 10 youths came and started beating us. Then some more people came and they started beating us as well, they called me a dissident from Bulawayo and said you must go back otherwise we will kill you.
“They were chanting Chamisa’s name and then we were taken to a hut were we hid. While we were there, they wanted to burn us while we were inside. They actually lit the thatching but the house did not burn because the thatching was wet since it was raining.
“Instead of burying a hero, they started violence. This is not the first time that we were beaten; we have been beaten before in Bulawayo. As a party, we are clear, we have a constitution and I am the deputy president, it is written that in the absence of the president, the deputy president must act.
“There are two vice presidents who were appointed by the president and served at the pleasure (of the president) but now they want to grab power through violence. These two (VPs) were appointed and served at the pleasure of the president, I was elected at congress,” Khupe said.
After the funeral, people had to walk back home on empty stomachs. There was no food.
And there were no ablution facilities, with people turning to the bush to relieve themselves. Others had bush sex, with condoms strewn everywhere. DailyNews