MDC-T factions trade barbs over funds

MDC-T spokesman Douglas Mwonzora replied to a person purporting to be Roy Bennett on the question of Tsvangirai’s financial accountability

By Nomalanga Moyo
SW Radio Africa
11 February 2014

MDC-T spokesman Douglas Mwonzora has reacted angrily to suggestions that party President Morgan Tsvangirai abused funds.

Accusations of financial impropriety were carried in the privately-run NewsDay last week.

The paper quoted some senior party officials who said the raging infighting over Tsvangirai’s leadership stemmed from his misuse of funds.

Last month, deputy treasurer Elton Mangoma asked the MDC-T leader to step down, and raised questions about the lack of financial accountability within the party.

“How will we put closure to the question of misuse of funds, and ensure that our friends regain confidence that donations will be channelled to the people’s project going forward?” Mangoma asked in his letter to Tsvangirai.

The officials who spoke to NewsDay alleged that some donors had withdrawn their support for the MDC-T, citing a lack of accountability in the party finances.

A person purporting to be Roy Bennett wrote on the Newsday discussion forum, standing by the allegations that Tsvangirai “took liberties with party funds”. SW Radio Africa was not able to speak to Bennett as he was said to be travelling.

On Monday party spokesman Mwonzora furiously denied the allegations which he said were malicious, adding that Tsvangirai is not directly involved in the disbursement of funds.

“All major financial decisions of the party are made by the Finance and Administration Committee chaired by the Secretary General of the Party.

“It is therefore impossible for the President of the Party to allocate financial resources of the Party by himself without the Treasury Department or the Administration of the party’s involvement,” Mwonzora said in a statement.

In a separate response to the statements attributed to Bennett, Mwonzora said: “If indeed Mr Bennett genuinely wanted an audit into the MDC finances then he would have made his request to the Standing Committee, the National Executive or the National Council of the Party justifying his reasons for such a demand.

“Further he would not have waited for a Newsday article to make his statement. We therefore doubt very much the authenticity of the author of this letter.”

Political analyst Rejoice Ngwenya said the two MDC-T factions were being shortsighted and immature in failing to resolve their problems.

“But the current cracks are a sign of leadership fatigue and the best thing to do for Tsvangirai is to subject himself to peer review and fixing what needs to be fixed, even if it means admitting that he’s failed to deliver the mission without waiting for a structure to say it,” Ngwenya said.

He said while calls for a financial audit were legitimate, as allegations of financial misuse go to the heart of political accountability and transparency, this was not possible with a party such as the MDC-T which receives donor funding.

“It is illegal in Zimbabwe for political parties to receive external funding and the MDC-T and its financiers know that they can’t audit without revealing who has been funding the party.”

Ngwenya said it was up to the MDC-T leadership, if they see themselves as the government-in-waiting, to behave in a morally blameless manner because their behavior now has implications on how they will manage the public purse should they ever come into power.

To read Mwonzora’s statements, click here

8 Responsesto “MDC-T factions trade barbs over funds”

  1. Chimbwido Warvet says:

    Let us hear hear the so-called Black Aristocrat and associates have to say in this matter. It will be interesting to establish who these foreign donors are and their agenda in financing a Zimbabwean political party. Come on guys, let us know your views in this matter. I rest my case.

    • Nedy says:

      We do not condone milking of the country by any party Mushoma! What case do you have to rest? And you seem to be a big fan of SWradioafrica? Do you have some work? I mean, are you employed somewhere? Looks like you are always the earliest bird when it comes to reading a day’s edition??

      • Chimbwido Warvet says:

        Quite frankly, this question should be posed to your friend, the so-called Black Aristocrat who claims to be a British citizen and a hedge fund manager who spend his time writing crap on this site instead of joining his colleagues who are milking us the taxpayers in bailing out their failed businesses in this country because their businesses are too big to fail. I belong to the middle class/working class who are being used as the cash cows in bailing out failed corporations in this country. You can check my record that I work day in and day out. In fact, I have decided to have two jobs to make ends meet as I am heavily taxed by the tax man with view to sustaining the failing corporations and businesses run by the hedge fund managers whose taxation is regressive, if you know what I mean. I am a disappointed man but what choice do I have if I have to work hard to earn a living and make the already rich get richer? Would you say I am being radical or a CIO agent working for ZANU PF for expressing my views and grievances to you?

    • Larry King says:

      The only time you will rest your case is when Mugabe dies or Zanu PF is removed that is when you will rest from kissing the proverbial butt. We know who pays you as a CIO agent and Zanu PF’s spin master. As for who funds the MDC keep guessing. Even if you were to ascertain this it will not reveal anything of substantive interest. Or if you are suggesting that certain governments are involved in funding MDC for regime change here again you are being naive. Zimbabwe has no oil or is of any strategic value to the west. Yes the west does poke its nose where its interests are involved. Anyway Mugabe has finished off Zimbabwe it lies at the bottom of the poor nations of the world.

      • Chimbwido Warvet says:

        Let us agree that Chimbwido Warvet is being paid by the CIO and let us also agree what you are going to do about it? Do you want to get some of the funds that he gets. As a die hard rhodie, I am aware you are envious of everything. You were envious of the land that did not belong to you but which you had stolen from my people and look what happened. Today, you have nothing and that explains why you are ever writing crap on this site. The ball is in your court now.
        Arrests me and prosecute me for accepting that I am paid by the CIO. You believe that, don’t you? If you do, then you have to do something about it, otherwise you will just be wasting your fcking time buddy.

  2. Yepec says:

    As the Leadership of the MDC-T seems to be copying activities of Zanu PF members who live in corruption with impunity, things tend to be blurred. Examples that easily come to one’s mind are: Ministers who become rich on State assets that they are administering, Security Forces which are given permission to mine diamonds then freely smuggle them across the country’s borders, Zanu PF receiving donations and help from friendly or so-called Revolutionary Parties plus the well connected, private people allowed to getting filthy rich, also, from looting State Assets.

    You cannot be blamed for asking for an audit as if it were the panacea of this rotten system of things. Corruption has eaten at the fabric of the society and, therefore, an audit cannot be genuine or reveal these ills, fake, Chimbwido Warvet.

    Just look at the Anti-Corruption Commission which had its mandated activities stopped by mere Ministers. What then can be expected from the President of the Party and Country plus being the Leader of the Government?.How long can you remain with your head buried in the sand like an Ostrich?

  3. AmaiZim says:

    Your correspondent is obviously new at this job and is publishing a story “purporting” that Roy Bennett wrote in the comments section of a Newsday article.

    If she knew Bennett, she would know better because it’s not Bennett’s style .

    What is more concerning is that SW Radio management should know better than to allow publication of such red herrings.

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