Business ground to a halt as MDC NEC meets

Riot police reacted immediately and dispersed party supporters gathered at the MDC- T headquarters in Harare as the party’s National Executive Council met this afternoon.

Pedestrians scurry for cover as riot police barricades Nelson Mandela street.
Pedestrians scurry for cover as riot police barricades Nelson Mandela street.

The party’s top leadership today held an emergency meeting to deliberate various topical issues some of which include how to deal with the party Deputy Treasurer, Elton Mangoma, who is at the forefront calling for leadership renewal.

The crowd, some of whom openly expressed allegiance to the former premier and party President, Morgan Tsvangirai were dispersed by riot police soon after the party’s Secretary General, Tendai Biti arrived in a blue Toyota Corolla.

Remarked one of the party supporters, as they watched the party’s leadership arriving in ordinary cars: “They knew that if they used their usual state of the art vehicles, party members would easily identify them.

“We are not here to engage in any acts of violence but we are gathered here to denounce all forms of violence and show our leadership that these squabbles should be dealt with immediately,” said the source, only identified as David.

Party supporters who had formed clusters sought shelter in pavements away from the MDC headquarters as police chased them away from the opposite buildings where they were milling aimlessly.

Said a senior female police officer giving instructions to riot police: “Disperse anyone who has no business here. We want this road cleared.”

Vendors who trade their various wares near Harvest House and along Nelson Mandela, between First and Angwa streets took to their heels while the majority of the shops closed their doors.

The development affected pedestrians walking along Nelson Mandela who were either coming from First street or Angwa avenue as riot police barred the use of the road.

Last month, Mangoma was assaulted by party youths sympathetic to Tsvangirai after holding a similar meeting at the party headquarters, while the party’s Secretary General, Tendai Biti escaped the wrath of the youths by a whisker.

Unconfirmed reports said Biti was saved by clinging onto Tsvangirai’s jacket when he was leaving Harvest House.

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