By Robert Tapfumaneyi
MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa has accused the government of wasting resources by deploying State security agents at Harvest House, the MDC headquarters now known as Morgan Richard Tsvangirai (MRT) House instead of focusing on halting the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Chamisa was speaking at a surprise birthday party for two-year-old Chantelle whose father Tinashe Choto was killed in cold blood by police during the violent January 2019 protests against fuel increases.
Choto, then 22 years old, from Makoni, Chitungwiza, was a rising football player.
“Instead of focusing on the fight against the spread of Covid-19, you deploy the army at Harvest House. Who said weapons are there?,” Chamisa told Choto’s close relatives Wednesday.
MRT House is at the centre of a raging battle between Chamisa’s MDC Alliance and MDC-T controlled by Thokozani Khupe.
The MDC Alliance was evicted from the building in central Harare by police and soldiers two weeks ago after the MDC-T sought assistance from the State to gain access to the building claiming they had rights to the facility.
However, Chamisa claims his party has a valid lease agreement with the owners of the building and the matter is now before the courts.
“Why should we have our soldiers and police being abused, and be involved in MDC party political issues that have to do with the control of Harvest House?
“It’s just that I don’t want to go to Harvest House. If I want to, do you think there is anyone who can stop me from entering the building? I can walk into the building during daylight.
“However, because I am not a violent person and MDC Alliance is not a violent party, we are respecting the rule of law, so we are waiting for the court process, but we will not accept to be chased away from our base by visitors.”
Chamisa’s co-vice presidents Tendai Biti and Lynnette Karenyi-Kore and several senior party officials were two weeks ago arrested after they attempted to gain entry into the building. They are out on bail facing criminal nuisance charges.
Chamisa said it was disheartening that since the death of Choto, no government official had visited the family to pay condolences or check on how the family was coping since the death of their son.
“It is government officials who are supposed to have been here assisting the family of the deceased, it is surprising and shocking that since the death of Tinashe, not a single government official has set foot at this house,” he said.
“Nothing will ever move smoothly in this country if the current government takes its citizens for granted and not initiate healing processes to affected families.”
He added: “You hear them saying we have stripped Chamisa of his presidency, we have removed the votes he got in 2018 and gave to Khupe, we have chased him from Harvest House.
“But they are fooling themselves, the people of Zimbabwe know who they voted for. The party is not Harvest House, the party is not forcing MPs to belong to Khupe, but a political party is an idea and that cannot be given to a rival political party. The darkest hour is before dawn.”
The MDC Alliance leader promised to look after Chantelle Choto.