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Rift Opens In Zimbabwe Opposition As Women's Assembly Dissolved

A serious rift in the leadership of the faction of Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change led by Morgan Tsvangirai threatened to rock the Wednesday one day after its 24-member Women's Assembly was dissolved by party brass.

Sources said the decision to dissolve the assembly went beyond the accusations of poor performance and financial irregularities launched by a top faction official. The faction's chairman said the decision was reached after an audit of the panel.

Sources opposed to the assembly's dissolution said the move was preceded by a vote of no-confidence in the faction's national executive by chairpersons of the Women's Assembly in 12 provinces. They said the decision was likely to be contested by the Women’s Assembly because the committee assigned to investigate the assembly lacked the authority dissolve it and could only make a recommendation.

These sources say the decision to dissolve the assembly has not gone down well with some party members who believe the move will create divisions and fuel factionalism.

Women’s Assembly Chairwoman Lucia Matibenga in an interview with reporter Chris Gande of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe denied any wrongdoing by her panel.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...