NATIONAL People’s Party (NPP) leader Joice Mujuru has been accused of defrauding her former party, Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF), of $4,5 million which had been raised by her British-based supporters for the Bikita West parliamentary by-election.
BY BLESSED MHLANGA
The allegations were made by NPP Harare provincial deputy secretary for lands Trymore Bisenti, who has since tendered his resignation accusing top party officials of looting from party coffers.
In his resignation letter addressed to Mujuru, Bisenti claimed that the $4,5 million saga triggered ZimPF’s split after some founding party members were angered by her decision to pamper her deputy president John Mvundura with a Ford Ranger truck, among other luxuries.
“What I know is that the party received more than $4,5 million for the Bikita by-election, but the leadership shared it among themselves and bought a car for John Mvundura,” Bisenti wrote.
ZimPF secretary-general Kudakwashe Bhasikiti confirmed yesterday that greed was at the centre of the split of the party after Mujuru kept sources of party finance close to her chest.
“We knew there was money for elections, but she refused to release anything for the by-election. We had to run it from our own resources while she held back the purse. I am not sure how much she and her cabal got, but now that it is coming out we want to hear more,” he said.
The claims were corroborated by former NPP local government secretary Mlilo Joyinani, who also accused Mujuru of failing to clear the air on the missing party funds.
“I personally wrote to you about the embezzlement of funds by your confused MDC-T reject Friday Muleya, who has destroyed Harare province the same way Zanu PF has done to Zimbabwe, but you acted as if you are (President Robert Mugabe) Baba Chatunga and converged a meeting to discuss me saying “munhu makamuwanepi uyu?” (where did you get this person?),” Joyinani said in his resignation letter last week.
This followed allegations that nearly $9 000 from donors was stolen at the party convention.
But NPP spokesperson Jeffreyson Chitando yesterday dismissed all the fraud allegations raised against Mujuru, describing Bisenti as a “mere vendor”.
“That is a mere vendor who is just throwing allegations and we will not be worried over pieces of paper written by vendors. I can tell you the party is surviving on the good will of the people, our convention was funded by our members, the T-shirts at the convention were bought by our members.
“Our vice-president (Mvundura) was an ambassador for a long time and surely he has money to buy his own car, he has children who are working and we can’t say the party bought him a car,” Chitando said.