By Robert Tapfumaneyi
THE battle for control of Harvest House, the MDC main headquarters, rages on with MDC-T secretary general Douglas Mwonzora adamant he will grab the keys of the iconic home of opposition politics from MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa.
Harvest House, rechristened Morgan Richard Tsvangirai House after the much loved late founding party leader, has a place in Zimbabwe opposition folklore as the pedestal of opposition politics.
Tsvangirai died February 2018, igniting a fierce tussle for his job among his lieutenants.
While former party vice president Thokozani Khupe was first to raise the red flag over claims of being elbowed out of the race to succeed Tsvangirai, the real protagonists in the battle for the most influential opposition job has emerged between Chamisa and Mwonzora.
Both factions are very much aware for them to have some measure of control, they need to have in their pockets, keys to Harvest House, the non-imposing six-storey building located along Nelson Mandela Avenue in central Harare.
Chamisa is currently in control of the building and last Thursday, his faction held what it called a “2014 National Council structures meeting” where they ordered Mwonzora, acting MDC-T president Thokozani Khupe, chairperson Morgen Komichi not to interfere with the operations of the “former MDC party”.
This was after Mwonzora had recalled four senior officials, Charlton Hwende, Prosper Mutseyami, Lilian Timveous, and Thabitha Khumalo, as MPs, claiming they were no longer MDC-T members.
On Friday, Mwonzora was forced to use the backyard of MDC senator, Elias Mudzuri’s home in Milton Park, Harare to address a hastily arranged press conference where he dismissed as “bogus”, the meeting held by Chamisa loyalists Thursday.
However, armed with a recent Supreme Court judgment that ruled Chamisa as illegitimate ruler of the entire MDC empire Mwonzora, has on several occasions failed to drive out Chamisa out of the building.
Police officers have even been roped in two weeks ago to assist Mwonzora to take control of the building, but the bid flopped.
However, at the media briefing Friday, Mwonzora vowed he would be in charge of the building soon.
“We are going to occupy our premises, we are going to occupy our headquarters,” Mwonzora told journalists.
He was flanked by Mudzuri and Komichi.
“It’s a question of time and our colleagues who are holding on to that property know that we are going to occupy our property. But, we will always act in a lawful, constitutional manner and we will act in a responsible manner.
“As you can see this is a measured leadership, responsible leadership and we are going to take those steps necessary to occupy our citadel.”
Mwonzora also accused Chamisa and his party of stripping office furniture at the party building.
“We got information that some of the leaders who had lost party leadership positions after the Supreme Court judgment were stripping Harvest House equipment. Computers were being taken away, furniture was being taken away.
“We now know that some of the computer accessories are at a house in Highfields belonging to one of the councillors. We now know that some of the furniture from the sixth floor, which is the secretary general’s office, is at a house in Madokero.”