By Nqobani Ndlovu
MDC Alliance national chairperson Thabitha Khumalo was attacked by two armed men who brazenly broke into her Bulawayo home yesterday and severely assaulted her using a knobkerrie before stabbing her.
Khumalo, a former Bulawayo East legislator, was alone at her Sauesrtown house when she was attacked.
The unknown assailants also stole Khumalo’s belongings, a 64-inch flat screen television set, a laptop and three cellphones.
The MDC Alliance suspects the attack was politically motivated and orchestrated by suspected state security agents because the intruders openly said they were looking for “Honourable Khumalo”.
As of yesterday evening, Khumalo was still admitted at a Bulawayo hospital and had received stitches on the palm of her right hand.
Khumalo, who was visibly in pain and struggled to move, as her legs were heavily bruised with swollen marks all over her body, said she “almost died”.
“It was around 4am, I had woken up to go to the toilet when I saw people who were torching the house with their cellphones,” she told The Standard.
“In shock, I asked who they were. There were two men and they said to me they were looking for Honourable Khumalo.
“I told them I don’t know her and they sprayed some substance on me,” she said, adding her face and neck were still feeling the effects of the substance.
“They started beating me up and ordered me to tell Honourable Khumalo to stop moving all over the show and be quiet.
“They struck me on my head first, hammered my knees and one of them took a knife and aimed for my head.
“I instantly raised my hand and I was stabbed on my palm. I collapsed after the attack.”
After pausing briefly, Khumalo added: “I almost died, shame.”
Khumalo also suspected that her assailants could be state operatives.
“What kind of thieves would ask me where Honourable Khumalo is?
“I mean after taking a 64-inch TV, what more would you want? Why beat me up like that? The system wants to hide behind a robbery,” said the MDC Alliance national chairperson.
MDC Alliance Bulawayo provincial spokesperson Swithern Chirowodza said the attack had the characteristics of a state operation.
“The modus operandi is similar to that of the abductions of July 31, 2020 where after a break- in there is a seizure of belongings especially those that deal with personal telephonic communications,” Chirowodza said.
“Notice at that time, two cadres who were abducted lost laptops and cellphones.
“The same took place on January 29, 2019 where people who were abducted that time also had their phones taken away from them.
“This is not an ordinary attack and has all the characteristics of an attack by state security agents and it is important for us to punctuate the hashtag ZimbabweanLivesMatter.”