BY Everson Mushava
TREASURY has released $3,4 million to the opposition MDC under the Political Parties Finance Act.
The money was released two weeks ago following months of bickering, with the opposition party accusing government of withholding the funds to sabotage its activities.
MDC treasurer-general David Coltart confirmed the development.
“Yes, we have received the interim amount of $3,4 million. We are expecting more – about $1,9 million,” Coltart said.
Coltart said the delay in the release of the funds was meant to frustrate the opposition party.
“The money is now worth a fraction of what it did when it should have been paid. There is no doubt the delay was designed to frustrate us,” Coltart said yesterday.
“It certainly undermined our capacity to fight the various by-elections such as Lupane and Mangwe.”
The MDC has been accusing President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration of deliberately withholding the money to cripple its activities, including campaigning for by-elections while the ruling party enjoys a competitive advantage by abusing State resources for campaigns.
Former MDC secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora in April claimed government’s failure to release the funds forced the party into a logistical nightmare in preparing the party’s first elective congress after the death of founding leader Morgan Tsvangirai in February last year.
The Political Parties Finance Act requires government to pay any political party with 5% and more political representation in Parliament.