ZIMBABWE – The rift between MDC-T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, and once-trusted ally, Nelson Chamisa has been cited among the more than 400 recorded cases of political violations in October.
However, MDC-T supporters continue to dominate the list of victims of the abuses mostly at the hands of Zanu PF followers and the security organs of the state.
The violations, according to the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) report, also sucked in the first lady, Grace Mugabe.
This is after her Rushinga rally last month saw soldiers being roped in to beat up Zanu PF supporters stampeding for freebies she had donated.
“… Most of the victims of political violence for October were from MDC-T at 40 percent of the incidences,” the ZPP says.
It further adds that 32.2 percent of the victims were those whose political affiliations was unknown.
Zanu PF internal fissures also contributed to the cases.
“Victims from Zanu PF made up 24.2 percent of total incidences.
“These figures show a slight increase for Zanu PF from September which stood at 22.2 and a considerable increase for MDC-T which had 34.9 in September.”
Internal MDC-T turmoil
Mashonaland West had the largest number of violations at 14, with most of them (12) perpetrated by Zanu PF.
Matabeleland had no recorded violations for the month of October. All in all Bulawayo and the two Matabeleland provinces rated very low.
Said the ZPP: “… the main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) had its share of internal turmoil in October.
“Conflict, albeit milder than it is in the ruling party, showed that unity of purpose is at threat in MDC-T.
“Known for splintering and re-splintering, the opposition party’s propensity for possible splits is always present with the party leader, Morgan Tsvangirai being pitted against Kuwadzana legislator, Nelson Chamisa.
“Although the party still denies any rift, instances in certain areas, for example in Bulawayo following the death of Nkulumane legislator, Thamsanqa Mahlangu, among a few others, illuminate turbulences and power struggles within the party.”
ZPP gets its data from a network of 420 community based primary peace monitors spread in all the country’s 210 constituencies.
The peace lobby was conceived shortly after 2000 by a group of Churches and NGOs working was to become a vehicle for civic interventions in a time of political crisis.