A Harare court has granted the Movement for Democratic Change led by Thokozani Khupe an order compelling the opposition party to evict from Harvest House some youth that took over the building Sunday, claiming that they were members of the original party, which is supposed to hold an Extraordinary Congress to replace the late founding president Morgan Tsvangirai.
The applicants – MDC-T and Douglas Mwonzora – sought the order to evict the respondents -MDC Alliance led by Nelson Chamisa, the leader of the party, Paul Gorekore, Happymore Chidziva and Denford Ngadziore - from the building, which was seized by the Khupe group in June this year from the Chamisa formation.
In authorizing the eviction, the court said Hwende and MDC Alliance should not interfere with the operations of Morgen Richard Tvangirai House, formerly known as Harvest House. At the same time, police were authorized to carry out the eviction.
The applicants were ordered to leave Harvest House.
The police was ordered to maintain law and order at the first applicant’s premises and to enforce the provisions of the order.
But the MDC Alliance declared the court order null and void.
In a series of tweets, MDC Alliance attorney, Thabani Mpofu, said, “The Magistrate’s Crt (Court) does not have jurisdiction to issue an order regarding the occupation of HH (Harvest House). The value to the occupier is not susceptible to quantification in monetary terms so as to bring the dispute within the court’s monetary jurisdiction. Any such order would be a nullity
“A null order cannot be obeyed. It is unlawful for anyone to obey a void order. There is no need for a court order declaring it void. It is null and void without further ado. You cannot place something on nothing and expect it to stand. It will fall. A spoliation just like an eviction order cannot be granted ex parte (on the motion of one party to the dispute). Every lawyer knows that. Do not be used. Do not commit criminal misconduct. Stay out of it.”
The MDC-T took over Harvest House claiming that it was following a Supreme Court order that declared Chamisa’s leadership of the MDC as null and void.
The MDC-T has since recalled some lawmakers and councilors said to be aligned to the MDC Alliance.