MDC accuses govt of sabotage

Opposition parties in Zimbabwe face a struggle for survival in the country’s harsh economic environment with the MDC-T accusing the government of sabotage.

“We are entitled to money from government but this government is deliberately sabotaging our activities. We have 91 members in Parliament,” MDC-T spokesman, Douglas Mwonzora, told The Zimbabwean.

MDC-T and Zanu (PF) are the only parties set to benefit from state funding under the Political Parties Finance Act. “The MDC is no different from other organisations struggling financially in this environment. We are just keeping our heads above the water,” added Mwonzora.

The government has been failing to meet many of its financial obligations and owes legislators from both the current and last parliaments sitting allowances. Zanu (PF) itself is broke, with its business enterprises struggling. During the elections it was reportedly rescued by President Robert Mugabe who donated money for campaign materials.

The smaller MDC party led by Welshman Ncube which garnered only five seats in Parliament has failed to field candidates in local authority by-elections in Zaka, Harare and Karoi set for January 25.

Party deputy spokesman Kurauone Chihwayi said this had nothing to do with finances.

“The candidates’ papers were not in order. We are financially sound. We rely on our supporters and local friends and sympathisers,” he said.

Zapu is reported to have fallen on hard times following its failure to build a strong treasury. “99 percent of our income comes from our members. It’s not sufficient but it gets us through,” said the party’s spokesman, Mjobisi Noko.

One of the newest parties in the country, the transformed National Constitutional Assembly, said it would participate in the by-elections. “The subscriptions we receive from our members are enough for our activities,” NCA spokesman, Madock Chivasa, said.

Mavambo/Kusile spokesman, Liberty Mkwakwami, said that his party was “surviving despite the hardships”.

Some of the parties said they were taking time off to regroup and restructure following Zanu (PF)’s overwhelming but disputed victory.

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