The new clashes follow on the heels of simmering tensions rocking the MDC-T- controlled Bulawayo City Council where councillor Nduna Dlala defected to the MDC led by Welshman Ncube while four others are likely to jump ship.
MDC-T insiders said a fresh struggle had erupted between the party’s Bulawayo provincial chairman Gorden Moyo and his longstanding rival Mzilikazi senator Mattson Hlalo over the person to replace Gombami.
Daggers have already been drawn and the factional battle is expected to escalate in coming weeks.
Hlalo’s faction has kicked off a campaign for its preferred candidate Dorcas Nyoni while Moyo’s group is set to field Jennifer Kawona. Bulawayo Central MP and the party’s provincial vice-chairperson Dorcas Sibanda also wants the post for herself since it wields more influence than her current ceremonial post.
“The women’s assembly is a huge constituency and determines voting patterns, that’s why factional wars have re-emerged,” said a source close to the goings on.
It has also emerged that Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe, a close Moyo associate, has been sucked into the nasty intra-party clashes after she intervened to stop Kawona from contesting.
“Khupe and her allies are planning to choose another candidate but it’s not yet clear who is favoured. However, behind-the-scenes campaigning is raging in the province,” said the source.
Moyo and Hlalo were last year involved in running battles in the run-up to the party’s provincial elective conference.