Zanu PF and MDC-T have clashed over political funding, with the latter accusing the former of receiving funding from foreign embassies.
The MDC-T said yesterday that embassies operating in the country should use state institutions and non-governmental organisations as agents for development assistance and poverty alleviation, not political parties.
The standoff comes following a donation this week of nine tractors to Zanu PF by the Libyan Embassy.
The party has received various other forms of assistance from its “all-weather friends mostly from the east” although the Zimbabwean law forbids any foreign funding of political parties.
Zanu PF has many times accused the MDC of secretly receiving funding from Western countries.
The former ruling party has particularly been incensed by the belief that the countries that have slapped its leadership with sanctions were the very same that were propping up its nemesis.
Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo yesterday said there was nothing wrong at all with his party receiving donations from friendly countries.
He named China, Russia, Libya and Iran as some of the countries Zanu PF had received and would continue to take gifts and donations from.
He however said for MDC-T to receive anything from the country’s perceived enemies was “intolerable”.
But the MDC-T yesterday hit back saying “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander”. Zanu PF politburo member Webster Shamu on Wednesday received nine tractors from Libya on behalf of the party, presumably to campaign ahead of anticipated elections.
Gumbo said only donations from countries who want to help the country to develop would be tolerated while those working with the MDC-T to effect regime change would never be entertained.
“You cannot compare the Libyans to the Americans and British who have imposed sanctions on us. The MDC-T is just confused and they don’t know what has hit them,” Gumbo said.
In a statement the MDC-T said it was concerned with cases of continued political dishonesty by Zanu PF who made noise whenever the Morgan Tsvangirai-led party got even “solidarity messages from human right defenders the world over”.
MDC-T said the party only received “unsolicited endorsement and solidarity messages from foreigners and numerous universal human rights defenders”.
“Zimbabwe’s strict laws forbid external funding for political parties. The MDC has been accused many times of being a recipient of Western support when there is abundant evidence showing that the party is wholly indigenous,” said the MDC-T in a statement.
“The MDC was founded by workers and peasants in response to their persistent impoverishment.
“The party is funded by poor Zimbabweans through their toil and hard work, inspired by a strong sentiment, hope and an insatiable desire for political change and transformation,” the party said.
The MDC-T called on the inclusive government to urgently stop Zanu PF’s “illegal practice”.
“We were further dismayed by the involvement of Munyaradzi Kajese, a civil servant and Zimbabwe’s chief of protocol, in the sourcing of the Chegutu tractors on behalf of Zanu PF.
“Kajese’s contract with government binds him to serve all Zimbabweans in their diversity,” said the MDC-T.
“Wednesday’s Libyan donation represents a rising pattern in Zanu PF involving officials who abuse their ministerial positions to cajole Harare-based embassies to donate money, equipment and a plethora of trinkets to Zanu PF’s rural supporters.”
Zanu PF accuses the MDC-T of being Western-funded while the MDC-T accuses them of being funded by countries that have tainted human rights records.