Donors fuel MDC fight

HARARE - Internation donors are at the centre of the acrimonious leadership wrangle in the opposition MDC, amid reports Western diplomats particularly are demanding the removal of Morgan Tsvangirai as party president, the Daily News on Sunday has established.

Highly-placed sources in the donor community confirmed that the MDC rebels who are pushing for Tsvangirai’s ouster, have been holding secret meetings with diplomats and soliciting for funds to topple the opposition leader.

And in the wake of scuffles at the MDC headquarters last week which left deputy treasurer, Elton Mangoma’s shirt torn, the heat has been turned on the beleaguered MDC leader.

Donors argue that the MDC leader’s personal indiscretions negatively affected the image of the party, both within and outside the country. But on the ground, Tsvangirai has secured a ringing endorsement from all the 210 district chairpersons, a reality that is at variance with the donors’ perceptions.

The intra-party violence has also been played up to entice donors to the group of rebels, and in the process dumping Tsvangirai, whose party is now penniless.

The embattled former prime minister told his supporters at a rally in Harare last weekend that the membership, starting in March, will have to start bankrolling the party through monthly donations.

Donors were said to channelling their funds towards the putsch against the 61-year-old opposition leader.

Luke Tamborinyoka, Tsvangirai’s spokesperson, said the MDC leader was not worried about the withdrawal of donor support as he owes his mandate to the people of Zimbabwe.

“Tsvangirai is a democrat, who was elected publicly in a democratic forum called a congress. It is that forum which will make or unmake a leader,” he said.

Tamborinyoka said the MDC was a democratic party where anyone who aspires to be a leader can challenge the president through a congress and not through a hostile takeover arranged and plotted nocturnally.
“It is congress that decides leaders in MDC and not a forum elsewhere,” he said.

A top party insider told the Daily News on Sunday yesterday that in the past few weeks, Western donors have fuelled divisions in the MDC by lending an ear to the rebels, while abandoning Tsvangirai.

“These donors want leadership renewal in the MDC and they have made it clear even to Tsvangirai himself,” said a top MDC official speaking on condition of anonymity.

“I can tell you that both British and United States diplomats are heavily involved in this scheme. While they were disturbances at Harvest House last week, they were not as bad as being portrayed now.

“It’s now a game of play-acting for the donors, where some are playing victim to gain sympathy.

“It’s surprising that two days after the so-called violence at Harvest House, two of the rebels were busy visiting donors soliciting for money claiming that they are victims of violence.

“But both the donors and the rebels are playing into the hands of Zanu PF because (President) Mugabe’s party wants Tsvangirai out of the equation by 2018.” 

Following his defeat to Mugabe and Zanu PF in the July 31 polls, Tsvangirai has been forced to quell discontent from some senior MDC officials who have been calling for the former premier to step down after suffering three consecutive disputed defeats to Mugabe.

Sources privy to developments in the labour-backed movement say officials demanding leadership renewal have all along been responsible for sourcing donor funds to bankroll all party activities, but they have since stopped because of Tsvangirai’s refusal to step down.

Exiled MDC treasurer-general Roy Bennett — who has openly called for Tsvangirai’s resignation — has been the major link between the MDC and the donor community.

Last month, Mangoma wrote a damning letter asking Tsvangirai to step down and pave way for a new leader.

“The rebels are popular with donors and not with the people. And whoever leads the MDC must be elected by the people at congress,” said another source.

The source queried foreigners’ interest in determining who should lead the MDC.

In an effort to avert a financial crisis and total collapse of the party, Tsvangirai has called upon millions of his supporters to finance the MDC through subscriptions beginning in March, but political analysts believe that the withdrawal of donor support will cripple the opposition’s efforts to wrest power from Zanu PF.

Job Sikhala, MDC 99 leader and founding MDC leader, said without adequate funding, the opposition party’s campaign would be in jeopardy and the party’s effort to strengthen its grassroots support would be futile.

“It (donor support withdrawal) cripples the campaigns and politics is always associated with money. The logistical aspects of any political campaign centres on the resources available to you,” Sikhala said.

Makusha Mugabe, the UK Midlands North MDC district spokesperson, said he was not aware of the donor pull-out, “but if there is such a thing it is obviously related to the treasurer and deputy treasurer briefing the donors negatively about their own party for their own political benefit”.

Mugabe said it was no secret that political parties get external support as no party will survive without funds. He said funding from the Political Parties Finance Act was insufficient.

“What the party needs to do is to appoint or elect some or some people who have the full confidence to be able to mount fund-raising campaigns for the party, mobilise members to start paying their dues, give confidence in the Diaspora to restart their structured financial support for the party,” Mugabe said.

“All issues of transparency must be sorted out and members’ contributions acknowledged openly.

“Once the party starts pulling together instead of apart, these issues will be sorted out and of course whatever members can contribute can make a significant contribution because MDC has a very large membership.”

Mugabe said the future of the party remains in the hands of its members.

Comments (29)

kanak tichikuudzai kuti mdc i papeti ye vanoda kutonga nyika yedo munoramba

inini - 23 February 2014

WHEN WE TELL U MDC IS A PUPET OF THE WEST U REFUSE

KUMBI - 23 February 2014

Puppet inogwa kubvisa mhondi dzeZANU PF ndiyo yatinoda taneta nana baba Chatunga vanoda kutonga nyika semusha wavo ngavaabve or dai zvaigona Musiki vaitora zviinde .

MukarangawekuMberengwa - 23 February 2014

This is a silly report from a junior reporter whose loyalty lies with the Tsvangirai faction. We need objectivity from all reports. This report does not pass the test. Shame on you Daily News!

Danmore Muzivi - 23 February 2014

@mukarangawekuMberengwa the Americans and British are the biggest mhondi pasi rino check your history but they always claim to kill for a good reason to fool ignoramuses like you

chaporonga - 23 February 2014

@Danmore Muzivi, are you suggesting that the Daily News is only good when it writes and reports on only those things that you personally like? I say well done to the reporter for telling it like it is.

Kamba - 23 February 2014

This is getting really really messy!!

Regalia - 23 February 2014

Tibvirei apa munongoti MDC ipuppet, puppet chii, iyo zanu haina kuumbwa nemabritish here, Sir Aurther Bottomley, former Comonwealth secretary, zvirambei tione

simba - 23 February 2014

Chamisa, start a campaign to raise funds immediately through social media. we can contribute if we know how. to hell with donors.

Yahwe Murhasta - 23 February 2014

any serious wife who enters into marriage does not need to get financial wealth, l tel you the mdc will come strong without money history will tel us from 1999- 2005 when ncube left us. lets w wait and see. remember this is not a burial society but a people"s project!

chinja chaiyo - 23 February 2014

for the 1st 2 muppets who say MDC is a puppet party as proven by this report need to disown their minds. if mdc was a puppet party wouldn't they have done what their supposed masters wanted them to do??

galante1 - 23 February 2014

....which left deputy treasurer, Elton Mangoma's shirt torn, the heat has been turned on the beleaguered MDC leader. What about the heat on Mangoma and the other "rebels" as u have decided to label them, so the violence was a non-event,,, What nonsense and void article, its not flowing because u withhold some important facts in a bid to portray Tsvangirai as the victim. Shame on you JOHN KACHEMBERE. This paper is slowly losing its glister

Piece of Mind - 24 February 2014

So...we are saying to hell with the West, we can do it on our own...this sounds familiar. When Zanu PF inflict violence on its people it says "to hell with the West", MDC becomes violent it says, "to hell with the West" ... amazing

Rudo - 24 February 2014

Kuna Va Tsvangirayi Vanhu chete ndivo vane mandate to remove you, if you are removed its to the best interest of every politician, Vana Mangoma vapinda mumari, ZANU PF inenge yauraya its most formidable opposition, vana Welsh vanowana wo a few supporters, asi pane imwe nyaya iripo yekuti kunevanhu ku MDC ne ZANU PF varikuda kuti you and Va Mugabe to go, voita a new party ine ma values from both sides. Va Mugabe vakatomboitaura nyaya iyi pa interview yavo. Saka you have to pray for more wisdom and God's guidance. People cannot be fooled, kunevanhu vapinda mu politics vasina calling yacho, vaiko kuma Party ese. Ndatenda hangu

Muprofita - 24 February 2014

Tsvangirayi vs Mangoma...fight yemadinga!

mashefu - 24 February 2014

HP TONER CARTRIDGES FOR SALE 05A 11A 12A 13A 15A 24A 35A 36A 53A 55A 64A 78A 80A 85A 90A AND MANY MORE 0772 678 311

CARTRIDGEGALLERY - 24 February 2014

Everyone must know this"MDC-T is a democratic party,and for your own information was elected by the people of Zimbabwe and he is the people's president.ZvanaMangoma vakazouya zuro.ndovarikukonzeresa maDonors but MDC-T icharamba iripo with or without Donors.Zanu inawo maDonors outside the country.MDC-t haisi Puppet but its the peoples party............everyone "CHINJA MAITIRO'"THIS TIME zaNU HAILUME

Mashiriyapungana - 24 February 2014

Varume mari inodiwa kuti MDC T irambe iriko, When W NCUBE asiyana na Tsvgson haana kuwana support yama Donner and the going was very tough. Tsvangirayi aka tizwa namadonner part yake inoparara, masuppoters aya arikutambura havangawani mari yokufambisa party to fight zunu pf. Uye imwe mari ichange ichibiwa nevachasara natsvangirayi kuti kanayoparra ivo vanenge vaneta. Tsvangirayi achimbosiya kukecha kecha kunopedza mari. varume tiri pama one

tibvu - 24 February 2014

This lunatic thinks people have to contribute towards sustaining the puppet party

peter mayor - 24 February 2014

This lunatic thinks people have to contribute towards sustaining the puppet party

peter mayor - 24 February 2014

This lunatic thinks people have to contribute towards sustaining the puppet party

peter mayor - 24 February 2014

This lunatic thinks people have to contribute towards sustaining the puppet party

peter mayor - 24 February 2014

This lunatic thinks people have to contribute towards sustaining the puppet party

peter mayor - 24 February 2014

This lunatic thinks people have to contribute towards sustaining the puppet party

peter mayor - 24 February 2014

This lunatic thinks people have to contribute towards sustaining the puppet party

peter mayor - 24 February 2014

This lunatic thinks people have to contribute towards sustaining the puppet party

peter mayor - 24 February 2014

Like we have been saying all along the end for Tsvangirai is here. Once the west abondones you, you are done for. Look at the zim economy. Struggling Zimbabweans do not have the money to fund his womanising spree...

Nyakudirwa - 25 February 2014

tsvangirai ndoda kukunamatira vanhu ava vapanduka

judson charts - 7 April 2014

We need to pray for MDC-Tleader Morgan Tsvangirai these things are not fair,you have to rule for five years after winning the elections then you give to some one....call me on +263 774496618

judson charts - 7 April 2014

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.