Mwonzora, Khupe fight over US$1,3m windfall

FRESH fissures have rocked the opposition MDC-T camp over management of a whopping $150 million (about US$1,3 million at the official exchange rate) released yesterday by Treasury under the Political Parties (Finance) Act, with Douglas Mwonzora and Thokozani Khupe fighting over leadership of the opposition party.

According to an Extra-Ordinary Government Gazette released yesterday, Zanu PF received $350 million and the MDC-T got $149 million.

This is despite the fact that the MDC-T got less than 5% of the 2018 election vote.

Analysts say the money was due to Nelson Chamisa’s MDC Alliance, which was the runner-up in the 2018 harmonised election.

Chamisa has, however, renamed his party to Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) after Mwonzora recently claimed ownership of the name MDC Alliance and its symbols.

Under the Political Parties (Finance) Act, a political party that receives 5% or more of the vote in an election is entitled to State funding.

MDC-T (Khupe) spokesperson Ntando Ndlovu told NewsDay that Khupe became eligible for the money after the Supreme Court ruled that the MDC Alliance was not a political party.

“What the people of Zimbabwe must understand is that the money is for the MDC-T party. Mwonzora has formed his own party, the MDC Alliance,” Ndlovu said.

“The money is for the MDC-T. The Supreme Court judgment made it clear that the MDC Alliance is not a political party, so we are expecting the money to be given to the MDC-T party.”

CCC treasurer-general David Coltart echoed similar sentiments.

“In 2018, there were two MDC political parties, the MDC Alliance and the MDC-T, but the MDC-T failed to get 5% of the total votes. So the money either goes to MDC Alliance or no one, the
$149 850 000 is an illegality considering the name changes and all,” he said.

MDC-T (Mwonzora) spokesperson Witness Dube was not reachable for comment last night.

Political analyst Vivid Gwede said the Zanu PF-led government wanted to suffocate Chamisa financially.

“Zanu PF has already made sure through various ways that the Chamisa-led entity, by whatever name, is deprived of public finances,” Gwede said.

“Going forward the CCC party will have to fend for itself until it wins seats and be due for its disbursement. As we have also seen, citizens are willing to donate through online platforms which creates an even more organic and important connection with the new party.”

Another analyst Eldred Masunungure added: “Politics is about strategies and not always money because you can still fail even if you have more money, so Chamisa must make use of technology to propagate the new name, especially in remote areas.”Newsday.

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