Tsvangirai’s home raided


MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai

A SHERIFF of the Harare High Court backed by riot police raided the home and party headquarters of MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai on Tuesday in an attempt to seize property worth around half a million US dollars.

Neighbours stood in the streets to watch as the Messenger of Court and his entourage tried to force their way into the mansion of the former prime minister in broad day light.

Tsvangirai and his party have been embroiled in a land dispute with 17 former employees who sued the party after being fired for siding with former party secretary general Tendai Biti and others that later formed a splinter party – MDC Renewal Team.

In a statement, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) immediately dismissed the event as a “well-choreographed drama” meant to “embarrass” Tsvangirai.

The party said no property had been attached, but ZTV’s News Hour programme reported that “more than 15 vehicles have been attached by the sheriff who was in possession of a list of more than 60 MDC vehicles earmarked for execution”.

The broadcaster said the MDC owed 13 former employees, whose contracts were terminated in 2010, amounts of up to $48 000.

Pictures on state TV showed helmeted riot police, clad in black body armour, milling outside the gates of Tsvangirai’s plush Highlands home earlier on Tuesday.

But Tsvangirai’s spokesman, Luke Tamborinyoka, said no property was seized.

“Curiously, the Messenger of Court wanted to attach the President Tsvangirai’s property at his Highlands home when the party leader was never part of the dispute,” Tamborinyoka said in a statement.

“However, the well-choreographed team (of) the messenger of court, journalists and armed riot police moved from Highlands to Harvest House, where the President was having his meetings.

“Upon arrival, the messenger of court, with his retinue of riot police in tow, was shown a court order in which the party had successfully won a stay of execution on the matter.

“The Messenger of Court, the riot police and the state media journalists left Harvest House with their tails firmly tucked between their legs when the plot to tarnish President Tsvangirai and the party leadership dismally collapsed like a deck of cards.”

The MDC-T said Tsvangirai was never part of any labour dispute with the former workers. -Agencies