The opposition Movement for Democratic Change led by Nelson Chamisa is breathing fire after the government on Friday disbursed state funds amounting to $59,940.00 to Douglas Mwonzora’s MDC-T and $140,000,000 to Zanu PF under the Political Parties Finance Act.
The MDC Alliance says the MDC-T, which was led by Thokozani Khupe during the 2018 harmonized elections, performed dismally in the polls and does not deserve any funding.
Jameson Timba, the MDC Alliance’s secretary for presidential affairs, told the privately-owned Standard newspaper that the government is breaking the law as there is a High Court order which bars it from disbursing funds to any MDC formation.
He claimed that Zanu PF disbursed the funds to the Mwonzora group in an effort to destabilize Chamisa’s party.
But in the same publication, Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi dismissed the allegations, saying the government does is not have political surrogates, which it is using to cripple the MDC Alliance.
In a series of tweets, human rights lawyer, David Coltart, said, “Ziyambi has confirmed in today that Z$60 million (about US$428,000) has been paid to the MDC T, whereas the gazette says it should be paid to the MDC Alliance. The MDC T & the MDC Alliance are two separate entities - so on what basis has this been done? A few things Zimbabwean taxpayers should know: 1. This is illegal; 2. The money will not be accounted for and subjected to independent audit (as we did when state money was paid to MDC A); 3. The money will be used to promote a ZANUPF agenda not a democratic agenda.
“The payment of this money is a brazen injustice which runs complete contrary to the provisions of the Political Parties Act which states funds are issued in proportion to votes secured. MDC T got less than 50K votes !”
Coltart urged the church to take urgent action on this matter.
“It is time the church spoke out against this brazen theft of State funds - everyone knows the truth - that the MDC Alliance under Nelson Chamisa won the votes not MDC T. This is the truth. Silence is complicity.”
He further said there is need to follow the law in disbursing state funds.
“One of these processes is compliance with the Political Parties Finance Act which was designed to ensure that parties with support – i.e. actual votes in the last election- receive State funding. The Churches’ silence on the illegal transfer of funds from MDC A to MDC T is troubling.”
Political and human rights activist, Pedzisayi Ruhanya, said on Twitter, “Thokozani's MDC-T according to ZEC results, got 0.96% of votes in 2018 elections. On what account does it get the political party finances money of ZW60 million that is meant for MDC Alliance Nelson Chamisa. Munga tengesa kusvika apa here hama. The people know the truth.”
Section 3 of the Political Parties Finance Act stipulates that each political party whose candidates received “at least five per centum of the total number of votes cast in the most recent general election shall be entitled to the same proportion of the total moneys appropriated as the total number of votes cast for its candidates in the election bears to the aggregate of votes cast for all political parties that qualify to be paid moneys in terms of this subsection.”