OVER 60 youths aligned to MDC Alliance President Nelson Chamisa Sunday night besieged and took control of Harvest House from the hands of the Thokozani Khupe led MDC-T.
For the past three months, the headquarters of opposition politics, now rechristened Morgan Richard Tsvangirai (MRT) House in central Harare, was under the control of MDC-T. MRT has been known as the home of opposition politics since 1999.
“MDC-T Harare Youth Assembly (2014) Harare has taken over control of the Party HQ MRT House tonight. This has been necessitated by our realization of the need to unite the people in the fight for a better Zimbabwe,” a statement signed by Paul Gorekore reads.
“We as the youths have decided to go beyond our differences and unite to resolve the current crisis. We have been concerned by the recent developments where the party had been infiltrated by some Zanu PF elements battling to destroy the people’s movement thereby aiding the suffering of the masses.”
The youths said they had taken contingency measures, including changing locks and using chains to fortify the entrances.
Previous attempts by the MDC Alliance leadership to take back the building saw the party’s deputy leaders Tendai Biti and Lynette Karenyi-Kore being arrested. The youths said they expected police and the military to try and reclaim the building for Khupe. The military has previously denied facilitating the initial occupation.
The leadership of the MDC Alliance party has been disputed since a March Supreme Court judgment which said the party’s leader Nelson Chamisa was illegitimate for failing to follow the party constitution when he succeeded founding leader Morgan Tsvangirai in February 2018.
The court said Khupe, having been elected as Tsvangirai’s sole deputy at a previous congress held in 2014, should have assumed interim charge pending an extraordinary congress.
But by the time that judgment was delivered, Chamisa had led the MDC Alliance into an election in which he narrowly lost to Zanu PF leader Emmerson Mnangagwa. Khupe took part in the elections in July 2018 as leader of the MDC-T.
Khupe has used the judgment, which the MDC Alliance says was engineered by Zanu PF, to assert herself as leader of the MDC-T party, and also the Alliance while moving to claim the party’s properties as well as funding due to it from the government.
Despite winning just two seats in parliament through proportional representation, she is now claiming leadership of over 100 MDC Alliance lawmakers and hundreds of councilors across the country. Those who reject her leadership have been recalled, including 24 MPs and Senators and dozens of councilors.
Gorekore, a former Harare City councilor said he would address the media at MRT House this Monday at 10 am. However, the latest occupation is expected to set the stage of another fierce battle between Chamisa and Khupe’s loyalists, including the state.
Soon after the initial takeover of the building by the Khupe faction, Chamisa said although he was not losing sleep over the grab, he would at the end repossess MRT House.
Source: New Zimbabwe