MDC-T MP for Makoni Central, David Tekeshe was Wednesday blocked from addressing mourners after MDC-T and MDC Alliance supporters turned rowdy over which faction the deceased was a member of at the time of her death.
The MDC-T is led by Douglas Mwonzora and the MDC Alliance is fronted by Nelson Chamisa.
However, supporters from the two factions were involved in a harsh exchange of words over the allegiance of the deceased, who is wife to a former MDC Alliance member, Energy Madondo during her burial in Ward 3, Makoni Central.
Madondo, the husband, is reported to have defected to the MDC-T last year while his wife, who died this week, had remained an ardent supporter of Chamisa.
However, when it was time for Tekeshe to give his graveside eulogy, MDC Alliance supporters gathered would have none of it as they insisted Madondo’s late wife had remained a member of their party up to the time of her death and the MP had no right to speak at the funeral although he is the local legislator.
Several attempts by Tekeshe to speechify were met with heckling and singing of derogatory songs from MDC Alliance supporters until the legislator was forced to abandon his speech.
Efforts by MDC-T members to intervene and protect their senior party also failed.
The MDC Alliance supporters at the funeral led by one Teddy Chitsere also labelled Tekeshe a sellout accusing him of abandoning Chamisa’s MDC Alliance for the MDC-T.
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Tekeshe won the Makoni Central in 2018 on an MDC Alliance ticket after defeating then incumbent MP Patrick Chinamasa of Zanu PF. Last year, he was one of the MPs who left the Alliance after Supreme Court judges ruled Chamisa was an illegitimate leader of the MDC-T.
In an interview with NewZimbabwe.com Thursday, Tekeshe confirmed the incident adding he had since made a report to the police.
“l can confirm the incident. When l was about to address at the funeral, Teddy Chitsere and some members from the MDC Alliance disrupted me. They sang derogatory songs against me,” he said
“To my surprise most mourners in attendance did not like what was happening and even the husband of the deceased (Madondo) left and went to rest in the car. We need to be mature and not take politics to the graveyard and l was unhappy.”
Ward 8 councillor Munyaradzi Chigwede also confirmed the skirmishes.
“l gave my speech as the councillor of the ward but when Makoni Central MP David Tekeshe was about to give his speech, Teddy Chitsere and his crew started denouncing Tekeshe accusing him of being a sellout,” Chigwede said.
Madondo’s mobile phone was not reachable for comment.
However, sources in Ward 3 Makoni Central said Madondo is a former MDC Alliance member who joined the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) led by Lovemore Madhuku after he was snubbed as a local council candidate by the party ahead of the 2018 harmonised elections.
He then campaigned as a councillor for the NCA in the 2018 elections but was not sucessful.