MDC-T deputy national spokesperson Thabitha Khumalo was at the police camp on Saturday morning trying to secure the release of the youths-most of them supporters of Hlalo who is a senator for Mzilikazi.The youths from the rival MDC-T camps in Bulawayo were arrested after they turned violent in which they also smashed cars parked outside the elections venue.
According to eye-witnesses the fighting was between youths backing two candidates for the post of chairmanship for Bulawayo province, Matson Hlalo and cabinet minister Gorden Moyo.The first elections which were also marred by violence by rival factions were won in controversial circumstances by Moyo who is believed to be in the MDC-T Vice-President Thokozani Khuphe,s camp.MDC-T leadership turned down Hlalo,s request to have the elections nullified.
Hlalo, who was beaten by ten votes, dismissed Moyo’s election as a farce claiming that 58 of his supporters were barred from casting their votes.
Party insiders told Radio Vop that Friday’s re-arranged polls were meant to elect the rest of the executive.Police were called in to break up youths from the rival camps who started fighting outside the venue.Police were left with other choice but to call off the elections.
“ This kind of behaviour by MDC-T supporters in Bulawayo is giving police ammunition.Next time they will use the violence by the party supporters to justify cancellation of its rallies, ” political analyst Rejoice Ngwenya told Radio Vop.
It was reported that 10 people were injured during the fighting.Hlalo was later quoted as saying the elections would never take place as long as some wards were barred from voting insisting he would have won the elections if Mpopoma and Pelandaba delegates had been allowed to vote.
He said party leader and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai must resolve the dispute before the MDC-T national congress scheduled.