By Costa Nkomo
PREPARATIONS for the stop-go MDC-T extraordinary congress now set for this Sunday have run into another customary hurdle, with claims of financial impropriety levelled against the opposition’s secretary general Douglas Mwonzora.
In a statement Friday, party deputy treasurer Chief Ndlovu accused the presidential hopeful of abusing party funds to the tune of $6 million.
“It has come to my attention that some of our members may not be able to travel to the Extraordinary Congress due to lack of funding.
“Equally, I have received allegations that the Treasury is refusing to make payments for EOC, nothing could be further from the truth.
“I would like to take this opportunity as your deputy treasurer to inform you that as treasury, we are not able to pay due to the fact that funds were withdrawn from the party account on the 18th of December 2020, we are still pursuing and trying to get some Standing Committee members who were involved in the unapproved transfer to return the money to the party.
“I was left shocked to learn that the SG expects Treasury to release money when he is the one who transferred all the money out of the account without my explicit approval.”
Mwonzora is eyeing the MDC-T presidency but will have to shake off a challenge from interim party leader Thokozani Khupe and senior politicians Elias Mudzuri and Morgen Komichi.
Since the break-up with the MDC Alliance led by Nelson Chamisa, the MDC wing has seen itself having to deal with turbulent episodes, something that has continuously delayed the holding of its congress ordered by the courts in March this year.
One familiar accusation levelled against its leaders, Khupe and Mwonzora, has been that of dictatorship and financial embezzlement.
But party acting spokesperson, Tapiwa Mashakada has defended Mwonzora, saying there was no evidence linking the ambitious politician to the misdemeanour.
“The MDC-T would like to dismiss with the contempt it deserves, the malicious and baseless allegation peddled by our detractors to the effect that the MDC-T secretary-general mishandled or put to his own use sums of money in the amount of $300 000,” said Mashakada in a recent statement.
“The finance committee and the national standing committee carefully looked into the allegations and found no truth in those allegations.”
The MDC-T congress, according to a court judgement, is meant to find a substantive replacement for founding MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai who died of colon cancer February 2018.
The rival MDC Alliance has refused to be part of the controversial ruling.