By Mutsa Makuvaza
MDC Alliance vice president Tendai Biti has revealed that political life under a national lockdown and without control of Harvest House has not been “normal” for the opposition party led by Nelson Chamisa.
Chamisa has lost legal battle for control of the party headquarters, Morgan Richard Tsvangirai House, popularly known as Harvest House, after the High Court ruled in his rival Thokozani Khupe’s favour.
High Court judge Justice David Mangota in June last year dismissed two applications by Chamisa’s party trying to regain control of the party headquarters after it was grabbed by the Khupe-led MDC-T youths with the tacit help of the police and soldiers.
In a Twitter post on Sunday, Biti wished things has gone differently and says he misses the building along Nelson Mandela Avenue in Harare.
Since losing the party building, Chamisa went on to scale down on office space. In January, he also culled his office workforce, sending many home without benefits as the party struggles to stay afloat.
The coronavirus lockdown, which has been with Zimbabwe in various forms for the past eleven months, has seen the MDC Alliance also unable hold protests or rallies as police warn of drastic consequences if the party congregates. However, Zanu-PF functions are going ahead even under the tightest of lockdowns.
The lockdown has also seen the country’s by-elections being suspended indefinitely. With dozens of elected officials recalled, several dead from COVID-19 and other causes, a number of constituencies have no representation.
However, Biti may also miss many more things that his party lost as a result of the legal fight with the camp led by Douglas Mwonzora: party assets, Treasury funding, MPs, Senators and Councillors were also lost to the Mwonzora camp while other officials have been recalled.
The party headquarters in central Harare is generally regarded as the citadel of opposition politics founded by Morgan Tsvangirai in 1999.
Of late, defections from the top brass have also rocked Chamisa’s party. Zanu-PF chairpersons countrywide are reportedly enticing disgruntled and recalled MDC Alliance officials into crossing the floor. – Zimbabwe Voice 🔺