Two senior officials in Joice Mujuru’s National People’s Party were involved in a violent public brawl outside the Bronte Hotel in Harare on Thursday.
Mujuru’s spokesman and incoming secretary general Gift Nyandoro sustained a broken leg after being allegedly assaulted by party spokesman Jealousy Mawarire.
In interviews he gave later on, the older Nyandoro was filmed in a wheelchair. He said he had to visit a private clinic for an x-ray on his knee, which he said had a dislocated cap.
Nehanda Radio understands the two were squabbling over policy inconsistencies relating to the NPP’s position on a proposed coalition of opposition parties to take on Zanu PF in 2018.
Nyandoro claimed that Mr Mawarire floored him with a vicious kick before strangling him and launching a barrage of blows to his face which he blocked.
Mr Mawarire, he added, tried to pull his genitals after which he threatened to fetch his gun from his car to shoot him.
Mr Mawarire dismissed Mr Nyandoro’s claims, saying he had acted in self-defence after Mr Nyandoro charged and shoved him first.
Mr Mawarire had been at Bronte Hotel where he was attending an election workshop organised by the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN).
Mr Nyandoro, who filed assault charges against Mawarire and the case was recorded under IR031912, said he had visited the hotel to relieve himself on his way from Sanyati for his mother’s funeral.
When the two met, an argument ensued over press statements they had been issuing with regards the party’s position on the proposed coalition of opposition parties ahead of next year’s elections.
It is not clear how the two ended up on the streets to settle their matter physically.
“I decided to visit a toilet at Bronte Hotel, that’s when I got confronted by Jealousy Mawarire from nowhere,” said Mr Nyandoro.
“I don’t know where he came from. As part of his confrontation, when he charged towards me his issue was that I made a statement on behalf of the party and the president to the effect that our party as the National People’s Party and Mai Mujuru as our leader are still committed to a coalition.
An exchange of words ensued because I did not understand the basis of his confrontation because I think and I still believe that our president’s party position is that she is still committed to a coalition.”
Mr Nyandoro said in the process of trying to explain to Mr Mawarire, he started making accusations that some members of the party he was supporting such as Messrs John Mvundura, Samuel Sipepa Nkomo and Dzikamai Mavhaire were no longer marketable.
He said: “Whilst his (Mawarire) wife was trying to restrain him, that’s when he gave me a cold blooded kick on my knee cap. I dislodged the leg and I fell down and hit a cement block and I could not rise from there. He tried to strangle me and I had to block his fights on my face. He tried to pull my private parts but I overpowered him.”
But Mr Mawarire had a different version, saying it was Mr Nyandoro who attacked him.
He said he only shoved Mr Nyandoro who was advancing towards him with a pronounced intent of beating him up, and he fell on his back.
Mr Mawarire said he was aware of a well-knit plot by Mr Nyandoro and his fellow members who joined NPP from the People’s Democratic Party who wanted to grab the party in six months.
He said the PDP component within the NPP viewed the position of party spokesperson that he holds as key in their plot and they were making deliberate efforts to discredit him.
Mr Mawarire said contrary to claims by Mr Nyandoro’s utterances as quoted in the NewsDay yesterday, all his press statements over the coalition were sanctioned by Dr Mujuru in her capacity as the party leader.
“I know there is a plan from the people who came from PDP to grab the party,” he said. “Remember, in Masvingo they grabbed seven out of 11 executive posts and they also want the position of party spokesperson and that is why they are trying to discredit me.
“He (Mr Nyandoro) is the one who attacked me in front of my wife and I shoved him in self-defence and that is when he fell down by his back.
“If you are attacked you go to a public hospital where a Government doctor examines the extent of your injury based on a police report that you would have made not these stage managed dramas in front of cameras at some private clinics.
“I had a meeting with the president this morning (yesterday) and she said she never sanctioned Mr Nyandoro to issue any statement.”
Mr Nyandoro, who is under probe from the Law Society of Zimbabwe, is a political journeyman who once flirted with MDC-T, PDP and ZimPF before their expulsion by the Didymus Mutasa camp.