Two Bulawayo-based MDC Alliance aspiring councillors and their accomplice were yesterday sentenced to a 12-month jail term each for assaulting breakaway MDC-T faction leader, Thokozani Khupe and her supporters during clashes over control of the party’s provincial offices at the beginning of March.
These are ward 1 and ward 5 candidates Mlandu Ncube and Felix Mhaka (ward 5) as well as party activist Erick Gono. Magistrate Sithembile Ncube later ordered the trio to do six-month community service each at local schools after the other six months were suspended on condition of good behaviour.
MDC Alliance Bulawayo South parliamentary candidate, Kunashe Muchemwa, who was recently also convicted over the same charge, is still on the run.
Last week, the magistrate issued an arrest warrant for Muchemwa.
Muchemwa and 12 others including Bulawayo’s deputy mayor Gift Banda were arrested after violence broke out at the MDC-T Bulawayo office as Khupe and MDC Alliance supporters fought for the control of the party offices in the city in the aftermath of the party founder Morgan Tsvangirai’s death.
Eight others have been acquitted.
Khupe’s faction was at the time in control of the party’s Bulawayo provincial offices. Khupe’s personal assistant, Witness Dube, suffered a deep cut on the head during the skirmishes.
Muchemwa was in 2014 arrested together with five other MDC-T members for robbery and theft after they allegedly hijacked a vehicle belonging to then Matabeleland North party provincial chairperson, Sengezo Tshabangu, whom they accused of being a member of the Tendai Biti-led MDC Renewal Team.
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