Friday, April 22, 2011

(NEWZIMBABWE) 20 held in Bulawayo MDC-T clashes

20 held in Bulawayo MDC-T clashes
by Staff Reporter
22/04/2011 00:00:00

TWENTY MDC-T youths were arrested in Bulawayo as rescheduled elections to choose a provincial executive turned violent with youths supporting rival candidates engaging in street battles and smashing cars in the city centre.

Witnesses said fights broke out between dozens of youths backing chairmanship candidates, Senator Matson Hlalo and State Enterprises minister, Godern Moyo.
It’s the second time the elections have had to be aborted due to violence.

Moyo was elected chairman at the first time of asking last weekend, but the rest of the executive could not be filled after clashes broke out between the rival factions. Hlalo, who was beaten by ten votes, dismissed Moyo’s election as a farce claiming at least 58 delegates had been barred from voting.

The party’s national executive has allegedly refused his request to nullify Moyo’s election.

Meanwhile, Friday’s re-arranged polls were meant to elect the rest of the executive but violence started after delegates from the Mpopoma and Pelandaba wards were barred from voting because they failed to conduct district elections.

Police were then called in as fist fights broke out between angry party youths, some of them pelting each other with stones and smashing cars. Twenty youths were arrested for public violence.

At least ten people were said to have been injured in the melee which took place outside the city’s Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions offices where the elections were supposed to be held.

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.

The party was last week forced to nullify elections Masvingo and Midlands North after they were also marred by violence.

Analysts have warned that Tsvangirai needs toget a grip on violence in the party saying these clashes show that the MDC-T could no longer continue to play innocent and blame political disturbances in the country on its Zanu PF rivals

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