HARARE - Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) says government is deliberately withholding $3 million it should get under the Zimbabwe Political Parties Finance Act in an operation which it claims is designed to destroy the beleaguered party.
Under the Zimbabwe Political Parties Finance Act, government should bankroll all parties that get at least 5 percent of the vote. The Act outlaws political parties from receiving foreign funding.
Douglas Mwonzora, MDC spokesperson, told the Daily News yesterday that although the party was aware that government was financially constrained, it should consider paying in batches.
“During the Seventh Parliament, the MDC was entitled to about 41 percent under the Act and presently the party is entitled to about 33 percent but we have not received anything,” Mwonzora said. “We suspect that government wants to ground the MDC financially.”
The MDC, which has been lurching from one crisis to another since controversially losing the 2013 general elections, has since appealed to its members to bankroll the party amid revelations that its traditional financiers have disengaged.
Tsvangirai recently made an impassioned plea to the party’s supporters to finance the cash-strapped party.
Before elections last year, the MDC and Zanu PF were entitled to split $4,5 million, but Treasury only availed $1 million that was shared among the major political parties.
But with government failing to pay even its workers, the MDC has been left to its own devices.
The suspension of party deputy treasurer-general Elton Mangoma and the widening rift in the party has given currency to the suspicion that some top party officials were withholding money in order to cripple the party’s key operations ahead of a crucial congress that has been brought forward from 2016 to 2015.
Currently, there is no money to finance the mega event that requires almost half a million dollars.