Barely a few hours after legislators from the Nelson Chamisa-led main opposition MDC Alliance announced that they were going to boycott proceedings in the House of Assembly in protest over this week’s shock dismissal of four of its members from both the lower and upper houses, the party claims that it foiled an attempt by Thokozani Khupe’s MDC-T to take over its Harare headquarters Thursday evening.
On Tuesday, parliament announced the dismissal of MDC Alliance MPs who include Charlton Hwende, Prosper Mutseyami, Lillian Timveos and Senator Thabitha Khumalo after the quartet was recalled by the MDC-T.
The Supreme Court recently disqualified Chamisa’s presidency in a dramatic twist to oppositional politics, and ruled that Khupe was the rightful heir apparent to the political throne left vacant following the demise of founding MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai on Valentine’s Day in 2018.
The surprise ruling on 31 March 2020 has apparently emboldened the Khupe camp which has publicly declared that it is ready to occupy and evict Chamisa’s ‘faction’ from its iconic Morgan Richard Tsvangirai House, previously known as Harvest House.
On the other hand, MDC Alliance youths have warned that they will resist the envisaged Harvest House takeover ‘with our blood.’
And, shortly before 7pm on Thursday, dozens of police details garbed in riot gear arrived at Harvest House armed with a letter from renegade opposition political figure, Douglas Mwonzora.
Mwonzora this week penned a letter to the police requesting ‘help’ to effect the eviction of Chamisa’s legally discredited political outfit. The MDC-T secretary general wrote that the intended occupation of Harvest House by Khupe was meant to enable the preparation of an extraordinary Congress to choose Tsvangirai’s substantive successor.
He also claimed that the MDC-A offices were being guarded by 15 to 20 youths who had “promised violence (and also) threatened that there would be a bloodbath.”
Khupe, who was declared the interim leader of the main opposition by the courts, has been tasked with announcing dates for the impending Congress due in three months time.
When the heavily armed riot police arrived at Harvest House Thursday evening, they reportedly got embroiled in a bitter exchange of words with pro-Chamisa members who argued that the police did not posses an eviction order from the courts.
MDC-A Secretary general Charlton Hwende said the police drove off after being challenged because they had no court order.
“We have possession, occupation and title so they left. Harvest House is a revolutionary house, no-one can take that away from us,” MDC-A secretary general and recalled parliamentarian Charlton Hwende said.
Writing on micro-blogging social networking site, Twitter, MDC-A treasurer general David Coltart said Harvest House ‘is not owned by MDC-T’ which is led by Khupe, adding that ‘the MDC Alliance is in lawful occupation of it.’
The MDC-A has continued to label President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his Zanu PF of having not only captured the allegedly compromised courts of law, but also working in cahoots with Khupe to derail Chamisa’s presidential ambitions.
The 42-year-old MDC Alliance leader controversially lost to Mnangagwa by a narrow margin in the disputed 2018 elections.
Additional Reporting: Zwnews