Mwonzora, Chamisa fight over MDC HQ
A BATTLE to control MDC headquarters Morgan Richard Tsvangirai House, formely Harvest House, has erupted between factions of the party headed by dethroned president Nelson Chamisa and reinstated secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora, the Daily News can report.
This followed last week’s Supreme Court ruling which removed Chamisa as party president for unconstitutionally assuming the leadership of the party following the death of founding leader Morgan Tsvangirai in February 2018.
The court ruled that Thokozani Khupe is the interim president of the MDC, Mwonzora secretary-general and Morgen Komichi, the national chairperson.
Since the judgment there have been accusations and counter-accusations between the two factions as they battle to seize control of the party and its assets, with Harvest House being the main centre of the combat.
Mwonzora on Monday claimed he had taken control of the day-to-day running of Morgan Richard Tsvangirai House, named in honour of the founding president who succumbed to cancer of the colon.
He was reported to have locked down the building.
In an interview yesterday, Mwonzora denied ever locking up the headquarters.
“We said Harvest House is under lockdown and that the security was ordered to lock the offices so that no business takes place there. It is not like I came with a new set of keys, but that I instructed the security to make sure nobody conducts business there,” Mwonzora said.
“I am aware that (Chamisa faction secretary-general Chalton) Hwende went to the office to work, but he knows he is acting in contempt and being irresponsible. We suspect that he wants to tamper with documents, especially financial records. We want to warn against that.
“We have a lot of options, but it is not our intention to be prejudicial, but they must never underestimate our resolve. We know they were disappointed with the court ruling and we allowed them time to cool off.”
Mwonzora said he would re-open the offices after the 21-day national lockdown imposed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa last month as part of efforts to curb the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
On the other hand, the MDC youths aligned to Chamisa warned Mwonzora against “testing our patience” by claiming ownership of the party headquarters.
“Initially, we thought they were going to deal with issues regarding their party, the MDC-T, which we have no problem with. We are, however, saddened by the fact that Mwonzora attempted to lock down our headquarters and he must be warned against testing our patience,” youth assembly chairperson Obey Sithole told the Daily News.
“If he does, we will simply unlock it because we mean no harm, but should that persist, we will solve the matter in the shortest possible time.”
He did not say how they would solve the matter.
Chamisa’s allies argue that the MDC Alliance is a political entity separate from the MDC-T, hence would not be bound by the Supreme Court ruling.
Since the court ruling, the MDC factions have been trading war of words with the Mwonzora camp warning parliamentarians and councillors backing Chamisa that it would not hesitate to cut loose all those who would disobey its interim leadership.
The court mandated Khupe to organise an extra-ordinary congress to elect a substantive leadership of the party.