MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa Friday rallied his supporters to draw “a line in the sand” after MDC Alliance deputy presidents Lynette Karenyi-Kore and Tendai Biti were arrested after clashing with police at Morgan Tsvangirai House.
This comes as MDC-T leader Thokozani Khupe on Thursday night took control of Morgan Tsvangirai House, formerly called Harvest House, with the assistance of the army and police.
MDC Alliance officials then walked into Morgan Tsvangirai House as if nothing happened the previous night before clashing with law-enforcement agents.
“I’ve just been to Morgan Tsvangirai House where soldiers and police are obstructing our leaders and staff from occupying their place of work,” Chamisa said in a Friday afternoon tweet.
“Riot police earlier arrested MDC VPs Kore and Biti, other leaders at MRT House after they went to their place of work. It’s time to draw a line in the sand.”
As the battle for control of the opposition party ensued, government which has been accused of fighting in the corner of the Khupe camp, placed crack army battalion and riot police units on high alert in Harare.
Zim Morning Post witnessed as law-enforcement agents directing traders in the Central Business District to close shops early in anticipation of protests.
MDC Alliance spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere had earlier issued a statement insisting the Chamisa led group was still the rightful occupants of the building and castigated the use of military and other security operators to occupy the building.
“The MDC Alliance maintains its rightful position as the occupants of Harvest House and will not allow such underhanded and patently unlawful seizure of our property,” Mahere said in a statement.
“The use of the armed forces to settle personal squabbles must be condemned in the strongest way possible by all prodemocracy forces.
“This illegal seizure of property in the dead of the night puts to rest all falsehoods that the recent attacks on the MDC Alliance have been driven by an interest in constitutionalism and democracy.
“The attempt to take over the assets of our political party will be resisted we are in the process of taking steps to restore possession and control of the building,” reads the statement.
The fractured opposition’s rift has been widening since the Supreme Court ruling in March.
The Supreme Court ruled that Khupe was the legitimate leader of the MDC-T at the time of the death of founding leader Morgan Tsvangirai and ordered her to hold an extraordinary congress to elect Tsvangirai’s successor within three months.
Since then some members of Parliament belonging to MDC-Alliance have been recalled.
Limping Chamisa’s hold on power is set to be further weakened after MDC-T secretary general Douglas Mwonzora on Thursday told Zim Morning Post that the MDC-T will soon recall 12 legislators who sit in the national executive council.
On Thursday, Mwonzora, through a letter to the party’s provincial structures, confirmed the takeover of Morgan Tsvangirai House, adding it had been successful after Nelson Chamisa “cooperated“.
“The party wishes to advise that the following communication sent by the acting president Dr. T. Khupe to Advocate N. Chamisa, the latter has today through party officials allowed for a peaceful handover takeover of control of the Morgan Tsvangirai House,” reads the letter gleaned by Zim Morning Post.
“We are grateful for the display of cooperation. Henceforth, all meetings will be held at Morgan Tsvangirai House,” Mwonzora adds.
Insiders say Khupe will start operating from Morgan Tsvangirai House on Monday.
— Zim Morning Post