THE debate over alleged abuse of party funds by MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai has caused a storm in the opposition party with some top officials saying there was nowhere the former Premier could have dipped his fingers into the cash box because it was closely guarded.
NewsDay torched the debate last week after it carried a report by a section of the party which accused Tsvangirai of misusing party funds, charges the MDC-T leader has dismissed.
The group, which is also advocating for leadership renewal within the MDC-T, is believed to be linked to deputy treasurer-general Elton Mangoma and exiled treasurer-general Roy Bennett.
In a statement last Friday, MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora said Tsvangirai had never, at any given time in the party’s history, been directly involved in the disbursement of funds.
“The administrative arrangements at MDC-T are such that all finances are handled by the treasurer-general and the deputy treasurer-general, while the day-to-day general administration, which includes disbursing of party funds, is done by the secretary-general through the director-general of the party,” Mwonzora said.
“All major financial decisions of the party are made by the finance and administration committee chaired by the secretary-general of the party and it is therefore impossible for the president of the party to allocate financial resources of the party to himself without the treasury department or the administration of the party’s involvement,” he said.
Mwonzora said Tsvangirai had a clean record of running public institutions and using sound financial systems and policies as envisaged by his history at the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions and Southern Africa Trade Union Congress and during his tenure as Prime Minister of the inclusive government which ended last year.
Harare province MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu said if some members of the party had peddled the allegations that Tsvangirai had misused funds then action should be taken against them. “If Bennett indeed said those statements, then action has to be taken. This level of indiscipline cannot and indeed should not be tolerated,” Gutu said.