MDC-T Intra-party fighting spills into church
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The intra-fighting has reportedly found its way into the Seventh Day Adventist Church in the asbestos mining town.
Clr Zhou is reportedly eyeing the party's chairmanship for Zvishavane district while his rival, Mrs Acropol who is the leader of the other faction is the MDC-T's sitting provincial chairperson for Midlands South.
MDC-T has no structures in Zvishavane district after elections were abandoned more than five times following skirmishes between Clr Zhou and Mrs Acropol's supporters.
Mrs Acropol and Clr Zhou have on many occasions confirmed that there were divisions in the party that resulted in the Zvishavane district being the only district in the country which is yet to conduct elections for the party's district executive posts.
Sources within the party in Zvishavane said party supporters had taken the fighting to the SDA church.
"There are many MDC-T party supporters in the SDA Zvishavane central branch and these church members who belong to different factions are now taking their grudges into the church.
â€œSome of the church elders are now using their influence in the church to sabotage those members of the church who belong to the rival faction," said the source.
The sources said the situation has turned the SDA church into a political institution.
They said in the latest incident, one church member, Mr Amos Hungwe was recently suspended from coming to the church by a panel of church elders some of them allegedly belonging to Mrs Acropol's faction.
"Mr Hungwe is from Mr Zhou's faction and is the MDC-T party's acting treasurer for Zvishavane district. He was recently suspended by church members who accused him of taking politics into the church. What is surprising, however, is that some of the church elders who sat on the panel that suspended Mr Hungwe are known to be from the other faction which is being led by Mrs Acropol," said the source.
The sources said one of the influential elders in the SDA church, Mr Godfrey Maphosa; a deacon was behind the suspension of Mr Hungwe.
Mr Maphosa allegedly belongs to Mrs Acropol's faction.
Mr Maphosa was however, quick to dismiss the allegations saying the suspension of Mr Hungwe from church had nothing to do with MDC-T politics.
He also denied that he was a member of the MDC-T party saying he was a "staunch Christian" who was not into politics.
"I do not want to comment on the church matters but let me point it out that it is totally incorrect that Mr Hungwe was suspended from our church because of his political links to the MDC-T party. I am a staunch Christian and do not participate in politics.
â€œAsk Mr Hungwe why he was suspended from the church and if he is sincere, he will tell his story. I do not want to say much about him because he sought a peace order barring me from talking to him," said Mr Maphosa who, however, confirmed that he was a senior member of the SDA church.
Contacted for comment, Mr Hungwe confirmed that he was suspended from the church but declined to shed light on the reasons for his suspension.
"What I can confirm to you is that I was suspended from the church but I will not dwell on the details because the church does not allow us speak to the media," he said.
Pressed to comment on the party factionalism, Mr Hungwe said: "Yes I belong to MDC-T and I want to believe that my suspension from the church was all because I belong to the other faction in the party," he said.
SDA, Mandava pastor-in charge, Mr Gundane Machacha declined to comment on the matter.
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