Zimbabwe’s main opposition political party, the Movement for Democratic Change led by former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, is denying charges it is receiving money from Western governments in contravention of the country’s Political Parties Finance Act.
This after the state-controlled Herald newspaper quoted Presidential spokesperson George Charamba accusing the party’s officials of travelling to England, Austria and Norway this week to receive external funding.
“There are three things we are worried about with the move taken by the MDC-T,” said Charamba.
“Firstly, we are worried by the issue of external funding because the whole essence of funding political parties from the fiscus is to develop politics local to the nation.”
He added: ‘When we have foreigners funding local political parties we have the reason to revise legal parameters that government funding.”
As a result, Charamba said the government might be forced to review the Political Parties Finance Act to deny some opposition movements funding that they are entitled to under the law.
But the opposition spokesman, Obert Gutu, rejects Charamba’s charges, saying his party does not receive any foreign funding.
“The fact that the MDC is actually on the resurgence, the fact that MDC is proving to be the largest and most political party is proving to be largest and most popular political party is actually causing problems for the Zanu PF regime,” said Gutu.
“George Charamba and his masters are just trying to create a side show by lying to the nation that we are breaching the Political Finances Act. He knows that he’s telling a blue lie.”
Political parties in Zimbabwe receiving state funding based on the number of representatives they have in parliament.
The Act stipulates stringent fines imposed on political parties that receive funding from outside and related issues.