By Mashudu Netsianda
MDC-T national organising secretary Abednico Bhebhe and two other members of a faction aligned to the party’s co-deputy president Dr Thokozani Khupe appeared in court yesterday in connection with the recent violence that rocked the party’s Bulawayo provincial offices.
Bhebhe (52), Witness Dube (41) who is Dr Khupe’s personal assistant and Elliot Doctor Moyo (52) appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Mr Franklin Mkhwananzi facing charges of public violence as defined in Section 36(1)(a) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act. They were remanded out of custody to April 13.
The trio was part of a mob that fought running battles at the party offices along factional lines.
More than 15 people were injured during the skirmishes.
The MDC-T has been divided along factional lines, pitting Dr Khupe and the party’s president, Advocate Nelson Chamisa.
Prosecuting, Mr Nkathazo Dlodlo said on March 4 this year at around 12 noon, the complainants Malusi Fuyana, Edith Moyo, Sibusisiwe Masina, Sandra Moyo and Persuade Jena were part of a group of MDC-T members that had gathered at the MDC-T Bulawayo provincial offices between 2nd and 3rd Avenue along Fort Street waiting to be addressed by Dr Khupe.
The complainants were denied entry into the venue of the meeting by people who were manning the entrance.
The court heard 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 Adv Chamisa’s faction and the MDC Alliance. During the scuffle, Elliot allegedly picked a brick and struck Fuyana on the back of the head and he fell down.
“Dube, Bhebhe and other members of their faction joined Elliot and they assaulted Fuyana until he lost consciousness and had to be taken to Mpilo Central Hospital,” said Mr Dlodlo.
He said Bhebhe ordered MDC-T youths to drag Edith away from the gate.
The youths picked stones and attacked Masina on the buttocks and left arm and she sustained bruises.
“Bhebhe then ordered youths to attack Sandra and they assaulted, pushed and shoved her resulting in the complainant sustaining a twisted knee. They also dragged Jena and struck her on the forehead with a wheel spanner and three of her fingers were injured,” said Mr Dlodlo.
The complainants were rushed to Mpilo Central Hospital.
A report was made to the police, leading to the accused persons’ arrest.
Two weeks ago 12 people, including Bulawayo Deputy Mayor Gift Banda and another councillor, Mlandu Ncube, also appeared in court in connection with the same violence.
They were all remanded out of custody to April 6. The Chronicle