MDC senior leaders Douglas Mwonzora and Morgan Komichi have also asked for police protection amid rising threats from rivals in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling which ordered for an extraordinary congress to determine the leadership of the party.
Mwonzora and Komichi’s appeal for Police Protection Unit (PPU) help comes after government granted acting MDC leader Thokozani Khupe police protection.
The Supreme Court recently ruled MDC should go to the structure established by the party’s congress in 2014 which made Khupe the party’s acting president pending the holding of an extraordinary congress.
The court also ruled that Mwonzora and Komichi were to be recognised as the legitimate secretary general and national chairman respectively.
The PPU is responsible for providing security to the VIPs within the country such as Head of State, Vice Presidents, Ministers, Ambassadors, Judges and any other designated persons.
They also protect key installations such as State House and Parliament Building, among others. Komichi and Mwonzora have engaged bodyguards for fear of being attacked by their political rivals.
Komichi told Business Times the appeal to the police will protect leaders against harassment.
“I know that many of them [party leaders] are being intimidated by our political rivals and we need police protection whenever the need arises especially these days we are in the process of reorganising the party structures and delegates for the elective congress as ordered by the Supreme Court ruling,” Komichi said.
He claimed to be receiving threats of physical and verbal from the MDC supporters mainly based at the party headquarters, the Morgan Richard Tsvangirai House.
“We do not want violence as we know that some of the MDC youths at the Harvest House are threatening us with violence and we want to warn them that the law will take its course and we are going to be making a report to the police about the threats.” he said.
The request made by Komichi and Khupe comes after the MDC Alliance leadership in Harare province dared Khupe, Mwonzora and Komichi to occupy the party headquarters.
MDC Harare spokesperson Fani Munengami said the party’s leadership in the province was not going to allow MDC- T to take over the party headquarters.
“In Harare province our supporters have indicated that they are do not recognise Khupe and the youths of the party have also dared Khupe to try to occupy our party headquarters and face the consequences. I understand that the judgment did not address the issue of the party property as it registered in the name of the party not to Khupe ,” Munengami told Business Times last week.
MDC Alliance MPs and councillors have thrown their weight behind Nelson Chamisa and arguing that he is their legitimate leader elected at the party congress last year in Gweru.
To date the country has confirmed 34 cases of the virus, four deaths and five recoveries.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa extended the lockdown by two weeks with relaxed conditions in which businesses would be allowed to operate between 8am and 3pm.
Coronavirus, also referred to as COVID-19, was first reported in Wuhan, China, on 31st December 2019, and was declared a public health emergency of international concern on January 30, 2020. The disease has since spread widely to over 180 countries. Across the globe, more than 200 000 people have died to coronavirus while over 3m have been infected.
Meanwhile, MDC recalled four legislators from Parliament with by-election expected in their constituencies. The recalled legislators are Prosper Mutseyami (Dangamvura), Charlton Hwende (Kuwadzana East), Thabitha Khumalo (Proportional Representation) and Senator Lillian Timveous (Midlands).
Last week, Mwonzora warned that legislators that do not toe the party line would be recalled.
“We are law abiding citizens and we follow the rulings of the court that we have to respect it and these MPs and councillors who are still recognising Chamisa are lost, and risk being recalled from parliament and council chambers by the party’s leadership and must come and join us in the preparation for the elective congress within three months,” Mwonzora said.