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Zimbabwe Provincial Congresses of Tsvangirai MDC Marred by Violence


Political analyst Rejoice Ngwenya said he believes the violence is related to the feeling among some MDC members that ZANU-PF is in decline, which has promoted competition for future governmental posts

The Movement for Democratic Change formation of Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said Monday that it will re-run three provincial congress elections that it charged had been disrupted by the national police over the weekend.

The party said it held nine provincial conferences but must reconvene the Bulawayo, Mashonaland Central and Midlands North congresses, which were broken up.

Aside from police intrusions, party congresses have been marred by violence. Bulawayo was one hot spot with State Enterprises and Parastatals Minister Gorden Moyo pitted against Bulawayo's Mzilakazi Senator Matson Hlalo for the chairmanship.

Sources said supporters of the two men came to blows amid charges of vote buying and rigging. Moyo eventually claimed the seat on Saturday.

Also notable in MDC provincial balloting on the weekend was the election of former Nkayi legislator Abednico Bhebhe as vice-chairman of Matebeleland North province.

MDC spokeswoman Tabitha Khumalo told reporter Patience Rusere that the party is concerned about violence and the standing committee will discuss it on Tuesday.

Political analyst Rejoice Ngwenya said he believes the violence is related to the feeling among some MDC members that ZANU-PF is in decline, which has promoted competition for future governmental posts. He added that the MDC must halt the trend.

In South Africa, the Johannesburg congress of the Tsvangirai MDC's local wing was in its initial phases marred by heated talk and tribal tensions but ended positively.

Most delegates voiced their satisfaction with the new leadership, as VOA Studio 7 correspondent Benedict Nhlapho reported from Johannesburg.

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