MDC-T, founding members clash over Banda

via MDC-T, founding members clash over Banda – Southern Eye

DAGGERS have reportedly been drawn between MDC-T Bulawayo provincial leaders and the party’s founders, the MDC Veterans Activists’ Association (MDCVAA), following the reinstatement of Bulawayo deputy mayor Gift Banda as substantive provincial chairman.


Banda’s rivals have accused MDCVAA members of working against party decisions and seeking to hijack the main opposition party’s programmes.

On Saturday, they accused MDCVAA members of spraying graffiti at the party offices, denouncing Banda as a “mafikizolo” (newcomer) and “a sellout” prior to MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s visit to officially install him as the substantive provincial chairperson.

MDC-T insiders said the graffiti message was meant to warn Tsvangirai to stop the event, citing a High Court order barring Banda from occupying the post.

The High Court in November last year ordered Banda, who is believed to be MDC-T vice-president Thokozani Khupe’s ally, to step down on grounds that his election to the post during the party’s provincial congress was irregular and unconstitutional.

“VAA has sprayed the Bulawayo office with graffiti. This is the greatest revelation that VAA has lost their battle to change Bulawayo province into a VAA political party,” an MDC-T source who declined to be named said.

“For your own information, MDCVAA has changed to Zimbabwe Victims’ Association and will concentrate much of its energy helping disadvantaged comrades and avoid challenging the MDC leadership,” a WhatsApp message by the group’s administrator in charge of media and publicity, Polite Musarurwa, read.

Musarurwa is reportedly a fake name, party sources said.

However, MDCVAA Bulawayo chairman Isaac Mpofu dismissed the claims as laughable and cheap politicking to tarnish their group.

“It’s cheap politicking aimed at tarnishing our image. We had nothing to do with the graffiti. Instead, MDC-T members are the ones who sprayed that graffiti so that they can lie to Tsvangirai and present us as renegades of some sort. The MDCVAA has changed its name and still exists to carry out its mandate to assist victims of political violence,” Mpofu said in a telephone interview.

Tsvangirai’s visit was viewed as an attempt by the opposition party to stem factionalism in the highly fractious province where two rival factions supporting Banda on one side and Matson Hlalo on the other have emerged.

Hlalo, who claimed the elections were marred with violence, vote-buying and ballot-stuffing, successfully challenged the electoral outcome at the Bulawayo High Court.

MDC-T Bulawayo provincial spokesperson Felix Mafa Sibanda was unreachable for comment yesterday.