MDC Secretary-General Douglas Mwonzora has described as heroic the party’s youths who took control of the party’s headquarters in central Harare without any violence.
In a statement, Mwonzora says the police were only brought in because of violence precipitated by MDC Alliance Secretary-General “Chalton Hwende and his thugs”.
Mwonzora also commends the legislators for defying calls for them to disengage from Parliament, adding that “instructions to boycott Parliament are reckless, selfish, and irresponsible, especially given the role that Parliament will be playing in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Read his full statement below:
MDC-T Press Statement
In the late afternoon on Thursday, 4th June 2020, there was a peaceful and smooth handover and takeover of the control of our headquarters, the Morgan Tsvangirai House. The handover takeover was peaceful and without incidence, as it was done with prior arrangement.
There was no violence nor harassment of anyone at all. We would like to applaud our youth for their exemplary display of discipline on this occasion. They were indeed heroic.
This smooth handover and takeover of the premises was in line with our philosophy as a party, which is to take over governmental power through peaceful, democratic and constitutional means.
We are happy to advise that our youth officials have started a massive cleaning and fumigation exercise inside the building. We have also been able to secure our key documents and equipment in the building. Further, if anyone has personal items in the building they are free to collect them.
Unfortunately, after we announced the peaceful handover takeover of the premises, a group of thugs led by Charlton Hwende and Denford Ngadziore came at night and attempted to force their entry onto the premises. They broke the back door of the premises prompting the police to intervene.
It is our view that when the police intervened to forestall violence and the breakdown of law and order, they were discharging their constitutional mandate. We dismiss the malicious propaganda propagated by the G40 and their apologists that we took our premises with the assistance of the army and the police.
The involvement of the police was precipitated by violence exhibited by Hwende and his thugs. It came more than an hour after we had taken control of our premises.
We condemn the continuous attempts by our colleagues to use violence against fellow party members at every turn. Violence and lawlessness as a means of resolving political disputes can never be tolerated.
Only yesterday, a few leaders of the new MDC Alliance party tried to incite violence by singing and dancing outside our headquarters. Their interaction with the police thereafter is nothing to do with us.
We have since secured a peace order from the magistrate’s court. In terms of this peace order, these violent elements are not allowed to visit our party headquarters. They are also interdicted from taking over possession of our headquarters without having a court order.
We re-iterate that Morgan Tsvangirai house has been the home of our party for years. For the past 20 years, we have been in peaceful and undisturbed possession of the party headquarters. To that end, we are now preparing for our extraordinary Congress.
The violence and attempts to forcibly take over our premises are meant to disturb our preparations of the extraordinary Congress. This will not be allowed to happen. By trying to engage us in violent propaganda and hate speech, this G40 fronting outfit is trying to engage us in the race to the bottom. We refuse this invitation.
Shortly, we will be addressing our Congress delegates country wide. We will do this in peace. To that end, we call upon our people to refuse being incited to violence.
Earlier in the week we held a meeting of the MDC Alliance in Eastlea, Harare. The meeting provided the MDC-T with an opportunity to update the other alliance partners with the political developments in the country.
The Alliance partners who attended the meeting were MDC-T, ZANU Ndonga, MCD, Transform Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe People First. We agreed to hold another meeting that will be attended by five representatives of each party on 13 June 2020.
The aim of this meeting will be to review the Alliance agreement and set the bases and mechanisms of future engagement as we resume our reform agenda.
We are grateful that most of our MPs heeded our calls to attend parliament. We reiterate that the instructions to boycott Parliament are reckless, selfish, and irresponsible, especially given the role that Parliament will be playing in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
By Douglas Mwonzora
MDC Secretary General