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MDC-T in financial dire straits

THE Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC party’s financial position remains dire as it struggles to fund its programmes, barely five months after a new leadership was elected at its October congress.


The party last year resorted to levying its members a monthly subscription to keep its operations afloat even after retrenching scores of its employees after a bruising defeat to Zanu PF in the July 2013 elections.

MDC-T secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora yesterday confirmed that the party’s financial position was bad.

“It’s [finances] are not good, just like any other organisation, and I have to admit that in a big way our programmes are being held back,” Mwonzora said.

He said subscriptions from their ordinary members were keeping the party afloat.

“Our members are continuing to make their monthly subscription, but since taking over last year, we stopped the levy on the MPs since we realised they were struggling as the government is not paying them regularly,” Mwonzora said.

The financial situation has been worsened by government’s failure to remit to the party its full share of funding under the Political Parties Finances Act, he said.

“We have so far only received a quarter of what the government should remit to us as spelt out in the law further stretching our situation,” Mwonzora said.

The party last October received $500 000 from Treasury, but the money was shared evenly with the MDC Renewal Team after a split in April last year. This means the MDC-T led by Morgan Tsvangirai only pocketed $250 000 from the quota.

The party situation was last week further worsened when it lost a labour case to its 17 workers who were fired from the party at the height of factional fights between party leader Tsvangirai and axed secretary-general Tendai Biti won their case and were reinstated with full salaries and benefits.

However, Mwonzora said the party will not pay anything anytime soon as it has appealed the arbitrator’s ruling to the Labour Court.
“We have appealed the arbitrator’s decision to the Labour Court, thus it’s still a long way for the employees. Let me add that we are not going to pay them anything as paying them is tantamount to rewarding rebellion,” he said.

Traditional donors to the party have considerably scaled down their contributions in the face of reports of abuse of funds and the continued fracturing of the opposition.

The party suffered its second split in less than a decade, further diminishing its chances to take-over from Zanu PF in the short to medium term.

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