BY BLESSED MHLANGA
The Nelson Chamisa-led MDC is pushing for sweeping changes and restructuring of its internal affairs and financial systems in an effort to endear itself to supporters and attract funding.
The party’s national council meeting yesterday approved an external audit of the organisation, debt payments and overhaul of its entire workforce, to give the newly-elected treasurer-general and secretary general a new lease of life.
Speaking at a Press conference yesterday, Chamisa announced the sweeping changes, saying apart from the audit the party was going to uplift its headquarters.
“We made the point that we are making a turn as a party so there are a number of far-reaching changes that we have made,” Chamisa said.
Having failed to fund its election machinery in the past elections in terms of polling agents and advertising, owing to poor funding, the MDC is opening its
books to external auditors.
Party secretary-general Chalton Hwende said the MDC receives taxpayers’ money and should, therefore, open itself to audit to enhance transparency and restore
trust in the organisation.
The MDC will receive a war chest of $4 million from Treasury earmarked to clear its debts which include employee salaries, bills and other obligations.
The money will also be used to refurbish a dilapidated party headquarters, the Morgan Tsvangirai House (formerly Harvest House) to enhance the party’s appeal.
“There is an appointment of auditors. As an institution, we must have our books audited, we have to do things in a better fashion not like Zanu PF who we have never heard that they audited their books. Harvest House is going to be a different building very soon. We don’t want you to come to Harvest House and not have tea and coffee, so yes, we are sprucing up our image,” Chamisa said.
On the situation in the country, Chamisa said Zimbabwe was sliding into anarchy, owing to a failing economy and repression of human rights defenders.
“When it comes to peace and security in the country, the situation is sliding into dire circumstances. There is a dark cloud hanging over the country in terms of the tensions, the stalemate and the political discussions that are supposed to be done,” he said.
“We have pledged that we need peace, we need change in Zimbabwe and that can only be done by our ability to work together through managing political dialogue to resolve the issues.”
Chamisa said President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government has failed to run the country and fallen into servitude of inflation.
“Government can no longer control the economy, it’s now being controlled by the new government called inflation. The government of the day is also being controlled by inflation, they have lost control… we have the answers to these problems, we have put a raft of measures through our smart economy; what we have said is the best approach to resolve these issues,” Chamisa said. He accused government of clamping down on basic and fundamental freedoms.
“The major challenge we face is that citizens are no longer safe locally or abroad. This is because of the arrests that we have seen, attacks on the opposition, civil society, trade union leadership; attacks on political views perceived or real,” Chamisa said.
The MDC has since threatened to demonstrate against the Zanu PF-led government.
“We are not happy with the reform path the country is on. It is based on deception, fake and piecemeal reforms that are not attending to the real issues,” Chamisa said.