'I will clean MDC treasury rot'

HARARE - Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC is gearing for its congress at the end of the month.

The party has just wrapped up its nominations in the 12 provinces and 62-year-old Theresa Makone (TM) has garnered eight nominations for the post of treasurer-general.

Our Community Affairs Editor Margaret Chinowaita (MC) sat down with Makone for an interview and below are excerpts.

MC: Why did you choose to compete for the treasurer-general’s post? 

TM: When Elton Mangoma was expelled from the party, a National Council meeting was held at (the MDC headquarters) Harvest House and I was appointed acting treasurer-general of the party.

After my appointment, I realised that I enjoyed the work and I was able to catch up and expose a lot of things that were not known by the party.

I managed to put systems in place thus allowing transparency and accountability.

I know for a fact that if I had this as my substantive post, this party could be heading somewhere.

I have no doubt that given the same resources that the previous administration had, the MDC could be in government today.

There was a lot of abuse of power for personal gain.

My main competitor (Tapiwa Mashakada) was in this administration for eight years and I don’t believe that he is genuine.

If he was interested in what happened to the party for eight years, he would have made changes and I know that he started a dirty campaign on me which is totally unfounded.

He should run his campaign peacefully and quietly because he watched the party disintegrating to the level it is today. He has no right to talk about anyone who was not part of the administration.

I am saying it is about time that a woman is put in charge of the treasury of the party. I’m saying this because when the party first split, the secretary-general and treasurer-general — who were both men — left with a bank account and the party was left exposed with no money and we had to start from scratch.

The second split saw the treasurer-general and secretary-general leaving the party with $53 in the account and we started all over again.

MC: What will this post mean to you as a woman?

TM: It is a public secret that women make the same dollar stretch and this is why women look after the purse in a normal home situation because we have the success of our families at heart.

Women also succeed in business because they do not have any interest other than the success of their families and if it is business, it’s success as well.

MC: What strengths are you bringing to this post?

TM: I have been successful in my own business which I started in 1991 (Cleopatra Aesthetics). I have been the owner and managing director of this for 13 years.

Most people who started the business with me are no longer on it. We have upgraded to become a medical spa which I think is the only one in the country.

MC: How did you start politics?

TM: This is my 41st year in politics. I have been in politics since 1973. I was expelled from the University of Rhodesia and was the only woman activist who left with more than 800 men to go into exile.

I am not new in politics. I am probably one of 10 people in the party who have been in politics for that long.

MC: What are you bringing to the post of treasurer-general?

TM: I have proved beyond reasonable doubt that I am a keen business operator and if I plough the same principles to the party, this machine can fly to higher levels.

MC: How are you going to fundraise for the MDC if selected?

TM: I have no doubt that those people who have supported the party locally are now confused as to which is the real MDC and they are waiting for the outcome of this coming congress to make a decision on who to support, the MDC renewal team or the MDC-T?

We have been supported by masses out there and the kind of congress we are going to have will make a difference. I have no doubt that after our congress, our original sponsors will come back.

MC: How are you going to ensure transparency and accountability in the party?

TM: Since the beginning, there was no financial transparency and accountability. At no time was the (MDC) president and the vice president aware of what was going on at the bank.

But when I open a party bank account, I made sure that both of them will be signatories and they receive by email or sms all the transactions that take place.

No transaction of any significant amount should take place without clearance by the national executive. Expenditures should be approved first by the national executive and then executed by the treasurer-general to avoid abuse of power.

A lot was going on in the office of the treasurer-general, although they took all the documents, the few that remained revealed that a lot was going on.

Scholarships for girls were happening, buying party property in the name of a personal companies, and all along, people thought all the properties were registered in the party’s name and they were not registered in the name of the party.

The MDC-T was a player on the stock exchange but in the name of a private organisation.

MC: What qualifications do you have for the treasurer-general post?

TM: I have done leadership management and I am a qualified facilitator in the same discipline and I studied with University of Texas.

MC: What is your working relationship with Nelson Chamisa who is gearing for a secretary-general post?

TM: There are rumours that I am fighting Nelson Chamisa, I can only say this is something being contrived by my detractors inside and outside the party. They are jealous that I am leading with a wide margin and I can become the next treasurer-general. They want to scuttle this by making me fight with Chamisa.

I am not interested in his post and he is not interested in mine, we can actually complement each other. I am older than him but I am in a junior position and he is much younger than me but he has a senior post to mine. He is a highly capable, brilliant young man and I am an older woman with 41 years political experience.

I do not see why the two of us should be put in a boxing ring right now. We make the administration of the party and my success is his success and vice versa since we both belong to one party.

Those who are threatened by the success of the party are the ones who want to put spanners in the works at the last minute. Thankfully, we are both intelligent people and we are not going to bite that kind of nonsense. We refuse to be involved in silly sideshows.

Comments (12)

the mole

dr matibili - 15 October 2014

It doesn't matter if the finances are clean or not. Do you guys give Tsvangirayi valuable advice?? No u don't! Are you guys worthy leaders? No you ain't. The only thing keeping you there is sycophancy, your ability to wipe Tsvangirayi's behind more shan others. Don't you think losing Biti and Welshman is the reason why MDC is not ruling today? Don't you think inability to accept genuine criticism is the cause of Tsvangirayi's downfall? And you don't care about that! You just want to be treasurer general, and then what?? Stupid woman!

Nduna - 15 October 2014

@Nduna u 're the one who is stupid read the article again and wonzwisisa. The reporter is asking about treasury kuna treasurer to be.

Chasura - 15 October 2014

Theresa Makone? Which Theresa is this one? Is this the one who flew to Nikuv headquarters in Israel and came back saying she didn't know what Nikuv does? Is this the Theresa we heard akatsvagira Save mukadzi ainzi Karimatsenga? Well, I don't know what value she will add to the MDC-T, but mai ivavo ma one.

machakachaka - 15 October 2014

Madam Makone after congress please tell us more about the looting of MDC-T funds. Name the culprits and their girlfriends who got scholarships from public funds.

Jonathiel Moyowaonda - 15 October 2014

mai vakanaka iva imba chaiyo ndiri kuda kuita beauty contest yangu ye over 50 ndofunga ian makone anokakirwa beacuse 61 years munhu ane face ye chanana yakadai

ian - 15 October 2014

I used to be a very big fan of Tsvangson, until he surrounded himself with praise singers, a#& wipers and yes boys. But the truth is that Tsvangirai needs the Madhukus, Welshmans, Bitis and all these critical tough people. From there he can negotiate with Makonis and Dabengwas. But as it is, we have to watch Grace taking the initiative.

Nduna - 15 October 2014

the problem mdc t people have is that they revolve around morgan. take him away then they having no one else to lead them. as such, they would have him as their leader for time immemorial even though he displays arogant tendences. the fact that he is loosing key members of his team is 'soft brain drain' which is now seeing him as the only competent person in the party. soon it will be chamisa and mwonzora and that would be it.

zvirozviyedzwa - 16 October 2014

Kune vanoda mishonga yechivanhu inoita kuti nhengo dzana baba dzikure, wekuwedzera nguva pa bonde, wekuuchika kuti pamuviri pa bate, wekurapa zvirwere zvepa bonde. fona 0737286007 nhasi

Dhokota - 16 October 2014

No,Madhuku,Welshman,Biti etc,etc can never be called critical but sellouts.MTis not Zimbabwe. Why are the so called critical people failing to unite &free Zimbabwe? Clearly Tsvangirai is the only genuine freedom fighting leader in Zimbabwean opposition politics.We cannot follow power hungry opportunists to please vana Zvirozviyedzwa. If indeed the so called critical people are serious they should unite & the people will follow them.MT is just one human being&pple can leave him anytime.

GURUMWANDIRA - 16 October 2014

Are there people still supporting MDC and tsvangirayi shame hey...kkk

Surprised - 16 October 2014

Tsvangirai kwavakumberi.......& zvedi madhongi aifunga kuti varakafamba naJesus rakati ravane mukurumbira, zvavakadzi varume ava vakazodi kupa pfungwa dzemberi kuna vaTsvangirai, nhasi voti haagoni kutungamira . He va Tsvangirai was zctu sg, nca chairman, now MDCT PRESS ON ALL thes posts he has score with flying coulors check his records. then can any comes near this man. AMEN

wazhinji manhingi - 16 October 2014

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