Female Zimbabwe Opposition Legislator Stripped Naked by ZANU PF Youth

Thabitha Khumalo walks topless with a mob of party youths

Auxilia Katongomara Chronicle Reporter

MDC-T Bulawayo East legislator Thabitha Khumalo yesterday stormed Njube Hall topless after violence erupted at the party’s district rally yesterday.

She briefly disrupted an address by the party’s vice president Thokozani Khupe, alleging she was undressed by police officers.

Party leader Morgan Tsvangirai who was supposed to address the rally, had returned to Harare, where MDC-T officials said he had to deal with a crisis at the party’s headquarters.

The streets of Njube turned into a battlefield as MDC-T youths fought among themselves, accusing each other of being “Zanu-PF spies.”

Baton-wielding police officers moved swiftly to restore order.

A number of youths sought refuge at the police station as their colleagues bayed for their blood.

Senior party officials that include national organising secretary Abednico Bhebhe, national chairperson Lovemore Moyo, and Khupe seemed unmoved when Khumalo, clad in her bra, burst into the hall with a group of youths.

Bhebhe waved an agitated Khumalo aside saying: “We will deal with that later,” as Khupe continued with her address.

Khumalo alleged three other women were stripped naked by what she claimed were Zanu-PF supporters. A number of MDC-T supporters, however, said she gave her T-shirt to one of the women who were allegedly stripped.

Khumalo fumed: “We’re talking of Women’s Day and you are undressing women and they’re walking stark naked because there’re people with an upper hand. I’ve three women at the police station who had their clothes removed by Zanu-PF supporters.”

In her address Khupe admitted there were divisions in the party. She said power hungry members would not be tolerated in the party.

“Don’t be power driven, let’s be focused, our aim is to remove Zanu-PF from power. We’ve some elements in the party who joined the party to get leadership positions.”

“There are also some elements who think they’ve people here, no one owns anyone in this party, we’re here because of you so as from today no-one can come here and say that these are my people,” said Khupe.

She denounced the MDC Veteran Activists Association (VAA) saying it was sowing divisions in the party.

“We’re saying to VAA you cannot create structures within the party but you can be an affiliate group to the party, subscribing to the provincial leadership.

“We’re saying to the veterans use your energy to fight for the cause that saw the establishment of the party,” said Khupe.

Also present at the rally were national youth chairman Happymore Chidziva, Bulawayo Mayor Councillor Martin Moyo, his deputy Councillor Gift Banda, other councillors and the MDC-T provincial leadership.

Suspended Bulawayo provincial vice chairperson Dorcas Sibanda was conspicuous by her absence at yesterday’s rallies.

Lovemore Moyo said the party was fraught with divisive elements.

“We’ve heard your cries that there is indiscipline and we’ve moved forward to ensuring discipline in the party. We want to assure that my office will change things,” said Moyo.

The party officials denounced party legislators Matson Hlalo, Reggie Moyo and Samuel Sipepa Nkomo, who won seats on the MDC-T ticket but later defected to other formations.

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