Witnesses say supporters of Gorden and Hlalo factions traded insults and blows during the accreditation exercise.Feuding MDC- T factions vying for influential posts in the party provincial assembly traded blows and insults on the back of accusations between them that the accreditation process was flawed to deny other members a chance to cast their votes for their factional leaders.
The biggest battle is for the post of chairmanship which is between minister Moyo and Hlalo.Moyo who is now unpopular among senior MDC-T leaders in Bulawayo was accused of vote buying and of using residents associations for support among the residents.Moyo supporters accused their rivals of trying to prevent them from being accredited for the congress.The elections were supposed to take place at 10am in the morning but due to the chaos and confusion in the morning they were pushed to late afternoon while police were also called in to control the two factions.
Hlalo is a veteran community and business leader in Bulawayo dating back to the 70s while very few people in Bulawayo knew of Moyo,s political credentials until the time he headed the civic group, Bulawayo Agenda.
“Today’s violence and chaos during the accreditation process was always coming because there has been violence all along in the district elections as Moyo and Hlalo’s supporters were fighting to position their members to vote in the provincial assembly polls, ” a MDC -T member said in an interview.
Bulawayo MDC -T spokesperson, Felix Mafa blamed what he called thugs for trying to disrupt the party’s provincial assembly elections.
“Elections will take place…there are people who are trying to tarnish the party image,” Mafa said.
Campaigns in Bulawayo for influential positions ahead of the MDC- T’s long awaited national congress have all along been characterised with violence leading to the Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai making a surprise visit to the city recently.MDC-T insiders believe that Moyo is likely to win provincial chairmanship post after he successfully lobbied the Bulawayo Progressive Residents’ Association (BPRA) for support.
Moyo is the patron of the organisation which was formed two years ago to rival the Zanu (PF) aligned Bulawayo United Residents Association (BURA).
Matabeleland North and South provincial elections are set to be held on Sunday and Monday.