There was mayhem at MDC-T’s Bulawayo provincial headquarters yesterday when a group of youths allegedly linked to the opposition party’s leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai attacked top party officials accused of convening an unsanctioned meeting.

The officials, who were attacked shortly after 11am, include one of the party’s three deputy presidents Ms Thokozani Khupe, national organising secretary Mr Abednico Bhebhe and national chairman Mr Lovemore Moyo.

Khupe was injured and taken to hospital.

Sources said about 20 youths linked to Mr Tsvangirai stormed the offices after sneaking in through the backyard.

They disrupted the meeting before hurling stones indiscriminately.

One party member, who was badly injured in the hour-long skirmishes, had to be hospitalised.

“It was a protracted war of some sort as thugs linked to our party president (Mr Tsvangirai) gained entry into the venue of the meeting and confronted Ms Khupe, accusing her of presiding over an unsanctioned meeting. They started exchanging harsh words with her resulting in a fight between two rival groups,” said the source.

The party’s offices were turned into a battlefield as Ms Khupe’s sympathisers fought back. Window panes at the party’s offices were extensively damaged and furniture turned upside down during the skirmishes.

The meeting reportedly resumed later.

When our news crew visited the scene of the clash, a handful of MDC-T youths had blocked the main entrance to the building while Ms Khupe and her allies were holed up inside for the better part of the day.

The pro-Tsvangirai group was reportedly riled by the controversial meeting, which was held under the auspices of the tripartite provincial executive comprising the leadership from Bulawayo, Matabeleland North and Matabeleland South provinces.

Sources said the meeting, which was organised by Mr Bhebhe, sought to discuss issues around Saturday’s launch of an opposition coalition, which Ms Khupe, together with other top MDC-T officials snubbed. state media