By Never Kadungure
Masvingo- The newly elected leader of the MDC-N Professor Welshman Ncube has been accused of hiring party thugs to retrieve vehicles that he believes belong to his faction of the party.
National Chairman Joubert Mudzumwe who led a rebellion of senior national executive members just before the congress that elected Ncube unopposed said his family in the Runyararo West suburb of Masvingo was attacked by 20 thugs who destroyed property before taking away his Mazda 323 vehicle.
Ncube has in the past accused the larger faction of the MDC led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai of hiring party youths to settle political scores. After last week warning that rebels in his own party faction were building up a pretext to hang onto party property it appeared hypocritical Ncube would hire thugs to retrieve the vehicles.
Mudzumwe told Nehanda Radio.com that his family was heavily beaten up by the thugs on Friday afternoon before they took the car. The mob later went to the home of the party’s Masvingo province chairman Robson Mashiri and forcibly took a Mazda B18 from the premises.
“I was shocked when I received the news that my family was under fire. My four year old daughter and 12 year old son were the most endangered because they are not able to defend themselves. I left Harare only to arrive at home and get the information that the thugs claimed that they were sent by the ‘new executive’.
“I am really worried because it seems our opponents have ceased thinking and they are now after using physical power to abuse our loved ones. My children were all crying, when I arrived at home,” Mudzumwe said. His colleague in the party rebellion Mashiri meanwhile said;
“I was also not at home when they arrived and took away my car. As I am speaking they are towing our cars towards Bulawayo. It seems the fight has become more tribal than political. All the people who ambushed my house were Ndebele speaking,” he said.
Two weeks ago a day before the congress that elected Ncube, Mudzumwe convened a press conference in Harare and announced their decision to boycott the congress at the City Sports Centre citing violations of the party constitution.
Present at the press conference were members of the national executive including award winning writer Tsitsi Dangarembwa (Secretary for Education), Morgan Changamire (Deputy Organising Secretary), Hilda Sibanda (Women’s Assembly Chairperson), Mudzumwe and National Youth Chairperson Costa Chipadza among others.
In a sign of all out political war between the two MDC-M factions SW Radio Africa on Friday reported that the newly elected national executive of the MDC-N led by Welshman Ncube has recalled four ‘rebel’ party rapporteurs from the team drafting the country’s new constitution.
The four rapporteurs are from Harare, Masvingo, Manicaland and Mashonaland East. They are part of a group that boycotted the party congress held in the capital. All of them were appointed to the constitution drafting team during Arthur Mutambara’s reign as party president.
The party now wants them removed from the constitution drafting exercise and replaced by pro-Ncube members.