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A public discussion on electronic voting organised by Crisis Coalition in Zimbabwe and the Election Resource Centre degenerated into a fistfight as rival factions of the coalition openly clashed at the Quill Club Wednesday night.

The coalition, whose reputation has been tainted by allegations of corruption and mismanagement, recently split into two factions, one loyal to director McDonald Lewanika and the other to ousted chairman Dewa Mavhinga.

Mavhinga’s supporters, who were visibly drunk, set the ball rolling, demanding the ejection of Mfundo Mlilo, the coalition spokesperson, from the meeting. Mlilo, who was chairing the meeting, is Lewanika’s ally and was instrumental in Mavhinga’s ouster last month.

As Mlilo spoke, Mavhinga’s supporters shouted him down saying that he was not eligible to represent the organisation. With time pushing and shoving ensued and degenerated into an exchange of blows which lasted for about 10 minutes before journalists, who are the owners of the club, intervened and ejected them.

After a few minutes Mavhinga’s youths resurfaced this time holding some placards which were denouncing Lewanika and Mlilo. Violence erupted again and the journalists pushed them out and called some police officers who were guarding ZANU (PF) delegates staying at the Ambassador hotel who whisked them away.

The meeting was however aborted with journalists warning the organizers against bringing “activism in our club”.

Source : New Zimbabwe