SUISPECTED MDC-Assembly hooligans, who illegally stormed into the troubled opposition party Morgan Tsvangirai headquarters on Sunday, yesterday allegedly kidnapped 12 of their rivals as the internecine factional fights in the party almost spilled into the streets of Harare.
Alert police had to swiftly intervene to ensure peace and tranquillity prevail in the capital as the warring factions threatened to take the law into their hands in complete disregard to the Covid-19 regulations as well as the rule of law.
The occupation of the Morgan Tsvangirai House (also known as Harvest House) comes a few days after MDC A leader Mr Nelson Chamisa, who violently grabbed the party presidency in 2018, last Saturday threatened unspecified radicalism in order to reverse the will of the people as expressed in the 2018 harmonised elections.
In an interview, MDC secretary general Mr Douglas Mwonzora, who is a member of the Dr Thokozani Khupe faction, accused Mr Chamisa of sending his "hooligans" to ignite violent skirmishes.
"They have kidnapped people from our party and unlawfully occupied our headquarters, as I speak they are holding 12 people hostage at the Harvest House, we know they want to trigger unrest and violence so we are not going to indulge them, we have reported the case of kidnapping to the police," said Mwonzora.
Due to the actions of the MDC warring factions, some roads in the CBD had to be closed while the factions had to be restrained by the police from engaging in street fights.
Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said they had to deploy forces so as to ensure peace prevails after getting information that there were machinations to cause violence by one of the factions.
"The ZRP maintained law and order in Harare CBD today after reports of purported violence at Harvest House had been reported. Basically Police were ensuring that peace prevails in the CBD," said Asst Comm Nyathi.
Although MDC-A secretary general Mr Chalton Hwende claimed that the youths who took occupation of the Harvest House were not members of their party, one Paul Gorekore, who claimed to be a member of the MDC-T youths' assembly as per the troubled party 2014 structures, said in a statement that they besieged the MDC headquarters to pave way for future meetings among all party members, a situation that would benefit Mr Chamisa.
"This act of bravery was necessitated by the need to protect our beloved movement and the Zimbabwean people's fight for better lives. As young people we will remain guided by the organs of the party in particular the National Council as we establish the will of MDC leaders, members, supporters and Zimbabweans at large.
"... We furthermore urge the Zimbabwe Republic Police to desist from interfering in MDC internal political affairs and immediately vacate our headquarters. We also urge all youths to maintain discipline and peace as we await the party national executive and national council meeting to map the political way forward," he said.
The MDC history is littered with examples of violence, splits as well as campaigning for the continued existence of illegal economic sanctions that western nations imposed on Zimbabwe so as to squeeze the Revolutionary Party, Zanu PF, out of power.