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U.S, Zimbabwe Lawmakers Dismiss Espionage Accusations

  • Blessing  Zulu

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe.

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe.

The United States of America has been sucked into the Zanu-PF succession wars as more than a dozen ruling Zanu-PF party and two MDC-T Members of Parliament are being accused of spying on behalf of Washington.

But the MPs and the U.S Embassy in Harare were quick to dismiss the allegations as unfounded.

The state-controlled and Zanu-PF leaning Herald and Sunday Mail newspapers accuse some Zanu-PF MPs of allegedly benefiting from a $90,000 grant the U.S Embassy disbursed to their constituencies.

The Herald accused the U.S Embassy’s second secretary in charge of parliamentary affairs section, Eric Little, as getting briefings from the MPs and using the ambassadors special self-help program as a cover.

But the U.S Embassy in Harare issued a statement saying “this assertion is in error, no Zimbabwean MPs have received any funding through this program.”

The embassy further said the ambassadors’ programme has been in existence since 1980, adding that MPs have no say in the schemes that are meant to benefit small-scale community development projects.

ZANU-PF FACTIONS

Political temperatures have been rising in Zanu-PF ahead of the party’s elective congress in December. The party has been allegedly divided into two factions - one backing Vice President Joyce Mujuru and the other Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa.

The two have consistently denied that they have ambitions to succeed President Robert Mugabe.

The majority of the Zanu-PF MPs fingered by the Herald are alleged to be belonging to the Mujuru camp.

Efforts to get a comment from Zimpapers chief operating officer and Editor-In-Chief Pikirayi Deketeke were futile. Zanu-PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo is qouted in the Herald as saying they will investigate the allegations.

But Zanu-PF Makonde MP, Kindness Paradza, told VOA Studio 7 that some senior party officials are using the Herald and Sunday Mail to tarnish his image.

MDC-T Mabvuku MP, James Maridadi, also alleged to be working with Washington, dismissed the reports as unfounded.

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