THE Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) led by Thokozani Khupe last night took over the Morgan Richard Tsvangirai House when close to 40 of their youths tricked security guards and walked into the building without resistance.
The Khupe-aligned youths, working with disgruntled workers at the party headquarters that Nelson Chamisa has failed to pay salaries since March this year, stormed the building situated at 44 Nelson Mandela Avenue in Harare in dramatic fashion while officials aligned to Chamisa least expected it.
“Some workers at the building deliberately gave information to the Khupe camp on the best time to move in,” said a top official aligned to Thokozani Khupe.
“It was Douglas Mwonzora’s idea that the takeover must be smooth and without skirmishes, and they planned this with disgruntled workers over the past few days while the Chamisa group was making noise on social media.
“The beauty of it all is that no skirmishes happened at all. One worker who was on night duty deliberately delayed going to the building, and conveniently arrived at the party building at just about the time the 40 or so youths were on their way. It all happened as planned.
“He called for his colleagues inside to open the door for him. Soon as they opened the door, a whole pack of three dozen party youths stormed the building and took control without violence.
“Police only went close to the building after the takeover as they anticipated violence, but as it turned out, noone in the Chamisa camp was willing to fight back as they haven’t been paid salaries for long,” the official narrated to the Zimbabwe Voice.
Last month, Chamisa admitted that the workers had not been paid salaries “since the lockdown”.
In a video shared by the Chamisa camp on social media, MDC Alliance Secretary-General Chalton Hwende can be heard asking for police assistance to retake the building, but police stood aloof.
According to some MDC-T activists who spoke to Studio 7, several party members visited the office Thursday evening in Harare, which was being used by Nelson Chamisa’s MDC Alliance, and asked the youth found in the building to leave.
MDC-T’s organizing secretary for Harare province, Rhino Mashaya, told VOA Studio 7 that they took over the office without a fight.
“Some of the MDC Alliance youth guarding the premises called our members and asked them to take over the offices. Our youth in the Harare central business district went there and did that. There was no resistance at all as that office belongs to us.”
He dismissed as “wishful thinking” reports that the MDC-T was assisted by the Zimbabwe Defence Forces in taking over the building.
Chamisa’s spokesperson, Dr. Nkululeko Sibanda, was unreachable for comment as he was not responding to calls on his mobile phone.
Sibanda recently attacked MDC-T saying the party is now allegedly working with Zanu PF in an attempt to cripple the opposition party.
The Supreme Court sometime this year ruled that Chamisa is not the legitimate leader of the MDC and ordered it to hold an extraordinary congress to replace the late founding president Morgan Tsvangirai.