BY : Leonard Chisvo
MDC T party member
The MDC T is a political party which was established to restore democracy, transparency, dignity and to improve the lives of all Zimbabweans. The fundamental values of good moral ethics are a prerequisite.
Internal Democracy and Governance system
It is not worthwhile to focus on external democracy and accountability in other institutions when MDC T has some skeletons in its cupboard. The wish of the party members must be respected at all levels and structures of the party. There is stifling of the dissent voices amongst the ordinary party members, by failing to listen to the grass roots on matters of concern. The Recalls, EOC voters Role and the journey to the Extra Ordinary Congress has not been much publicised while other MDC T leadership are establishing their own new structures for the EOC, which is unconstitutional.
There has been lack of discipline in the party and many party members have not been dragged before the disciplinary committee for purposes of restoration of dignity and party image. Of late only the National Organizing Secretary, Abedico Bhebe was expelled from the party for gross indiscipline. His issue concerned undermining the credibility of MDCT and sabotaging party programs. We have many provincial; and district leadership who have tarnished the party, but they just walk scot free, while some local authorities embezzle funds without due monitoring.
The party received $7.8 million from the Political Finance Act in May this year, and also received another batch of $61 million recently. There has been much concern on the abuse of party funds in MDC T. There have never been any party programs funded by the party but the money has just been abused.
Recently, last week, the party Secretary General, Hon Douglas Mwonzora embezzled $300 000 from the party account, Bank ABC, and this was not authorised nor accounted for. He used his signature and the Finance Director Mr Toddy Mapingure to steal money from the bank and went on to parcel it to one, Mr Chetsanga. Chetsanga is Mwonzora’s home mate, his personal lawyer and also his presidential campaign manager for the MDC T forth coming Extra Ordinary Congress. Obviously, there is convergence of sinister interests. The money did not flow into any party programs nor any intended party issue. The public has gathered that the money was withdrawn without any authority from other Standing Committee Members of the party and went on a drinking spree.
The MDC T fellow members abandoned Nelson Chamisa and Alliance for abusing party funds, lack of transparency and use of vanguards and lack of democracy. Similarly, Mwonzora has created his own vanguards too and many party members are not free to visit the Morgan Richard Tsvangirai House due to fear of brutality.
In this regard, we question the system of financial management in MDC T as there are loopholes. Mwonzora is not the party treasurer, and he has no mandate to decide, implement and disburse funds alone in the party. This was fraud and typical of a criminal offence and we may be interested to audit all the finances received so far, since the Supreme Court Ruling. Mwonzora has usurped all other party organs such as Treasurer, Presidency, Organizing, Information and Elections Department as he cris crosses and bull dozes all of them single handed.
We have no kind words to the MDC T leadership, which seems to cover up the acts of indiscipline and gross abuse of funds. The MDC T National Organizer, Abedinico Bhebe was suspended and then later expelled from the party for indiscipline , while the party deputy spokesperson , Hon Khalipan Phugen, was suspended from his position last month on allegations of his own personal issues that could threaten the integrity of the party. In this scenario, we expect the immediate course of action against Douglas Mwonzora. There must be no selective application of the rules of the party.
Therefore, the public is interested to hear whether MDC T is still a democratic party ready to govern this country in future and whether they will take action to restore transparency in the manner in which they do party business.
Surprisingly, we have party members who suffer or die from political issues and some lost their relatives, while poling agents were not paid in the Harmonised Election in 2018. If Mwonzora claims that he has all powers to withdraw money, and yet he failed to pay the polling agents till now, then what justification does he have to abuse the party funds? The allegations that Mwonzora apologized to the Standing Committee Members and forgiven by the Acting party President Dr Khupe, is not constitutional and they have no mandate to cover up corruption, fraud and criminal offence in the party. What interests do they have to forgive someone who has stolen almost half a million dollars? Ordinary party members are neglected while orphans, widows and the physically harmed due to political tension are not looked after.
As a concerned party member, I want to register the public opinion that the failure by MDC T leadership and in particular, the Acting President Hon DR Thokozani Khupe, to act decisively on the $300 000 stolen by Mwonzora, is a sign that they are an accomplish. If the party is to regain international and donor support, the MDC T must clean its house urgently. We demand transparency and proper accounting of all finances and systems. In my capacity as the member of the MDC T, I do hereby, demand that the party must immediately announce publicly, its course of action in order to fulfil the important party values which attracted me to be part of MDC T. I, therefore, has reported this matter of theft to the police RRB 4586626, for further legal course of action since the MDC T leadership is quiet about the abuse of funds.
The following urgent demands will make MDC T a well revived, credible and strengthened institution in terms of its governance systems.
- The immediate suspension of Douglas Mwonzora from the position of Secretary General and the MDC T party in particular.
- Urgently investigate the circumstances under which money was withdrawn and take due legal process
- That Mwonzora pays back the $300 000 which he withdrew from the bank and abused.
- An urgent reconfiguration of financial bank signatures and accounting books
- That the MDC T leadership perfects all systems and the delegates to EOC including the voters’ role.
—————————————————— Concerned MDC T Party Member