Zimbabwe authorities have arrested opposition MDC Alliance party leaders for protesting against the take over of the party’s headquarters by rival Thokozani Khupe who used armed soldiers and police officers to violently enter Morgan Tsvangirai House.   Some of the opposition leaders who were arrested include the  MDC Alliance’s deputy presidents Lynette Karenyi-Kore and Tendai Biti.

Other opposition leaders who were arrested include the party’s National Standing Committee members, deputy International Relations secretary Lovemore Chinoputsa, deputy secretary-general David Chimhini, Vongai Tome and secretary for international relations, Gladys Hlatywayo.

The arrest of the officials comes after elements aligned to Thokozani Khupe, Douglas Mwonzora and Morgan Komichi are alleged to have seized control of the building last night with the aid of armed soldiers and police officers.  However, the Nelson Chamisa aligned MDC Alliance has argued that it has full control of the Harvest House and that Khupe and her allies cannot take over the building through force.  They argue that the Khupe faction should first approach the courts and get a legal court order if they have any grounds to remove the MDC Alliance from the building.

Meanwhile The United States Embassy in Harare has condemned the armed take over of the party headquarters.  Writing on social media, the US Embassy said,

We are dismayed by the politicized use of security forces to take over the headquarters of an opposition party and arrest its members. A healthy democracy requires healthy opposition parties. #PoliticalArrests #AHouseStolen