BY BLESSED MHLANGA
MDC-T leader Thokozani Khupe allegedly received funding from Zanu PF to destabilise the MDC Alliance and oil her party activities including the legal battles towards the 2018 general elections, party insiders have revealed.
Former party spokesperson Linda Masarira, said during the time she was at the helm of the party, she got to discover that Zanu PF was funding activities of the MDC-T through Khupe, who had failed to win the leadership battle in the MDC.
“We were receiving money from Zanu PF. I don’t know who was the direct contact person who was bringing the money, but we got funding for the party from Zanu PF,” she alleged.
“We were not a real opposition, this is why I took a picture of myself wearing Zanu PF regalia in Zambia and posted it on social media because I wanted to tell a story.”
The MDC led by Nelson Chamisa, has been accusing Zanu PF of funding projects to destabilise the party and even withholding financial resources in what opposition secretary-general Chalton Hwende said was a scotched earth policy by the ruling party.
Masarira was fired by the party for wearing regalia of the ruling Zanu PF party ahead of that of her own party at a time Khupe was leading other opposition entities at the Political Actors Dialogue (Polad).
“I just wanted to show people that we are being forced to fight over nothing. Zanu PF was funding the MDC-T and I asked questions. They did not want the questions I asked. But you can see from the events (Polad) that are happening now, that they were just a project,” Masarira said.
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Insiders confirmed that Khupe received money from Zanu PF for campaign material, fuel and legal fees for court cases against Nelson Chamisa’s MDC in a grand scheme to give the ruling party an upperhand in the elections.
The source said there was discontent in the party because the only person who appeared to be benefiting from the liaisons with Zanu PF was Khupe, while other members were getting nothing.
“There is no grassroots activities in the MDC-T all you see is Khupe and inner circle going to Polad receiving allowances and travelling around the country, this has left many who believed in the party unhappy,” a source said.
Another source said then vice-president Obert Gutu left the party because he was being forced to use his money to fund programmes of the MDC-T, while Khupe was getting money from Zanu PF and not declaring it and just using it to fund a lavish lifestyle.
But party secretary-general Nickson Nyikadzino dismissed the allegations by Masarisa saying the party had not received money from Zanu PF.
“We have not received any funding from anyone. We do not wish to receive funding from anyone except ourselves. The only funding that we have received is the 48 000 votes which we got from the people of Zimbabwe and we wish to remain an independent democratic party set up to serve the people of Zimbabwe,” Nyikadzino said.
Zanu PF also dismissed Masarira’s allegations as “utter rubbish”, saying the party had its own challenges as it was struggling to fund its own activities.
“That is utter rubbish. I am the party’s secretary for finance and I can tell you that we have not funded any other party,” Zanu PF secretary for finance Patrick Chinamasa said.
“We are struggling to finance our own party. Where would we get money to pay other people, and we have no appetite to undermine anyone or any party. The MDC is doing a good job undermining themselves. How can a party just have one policy to bring sanctions against the people.”
The MDC has insisted that Polad is a grouping of “Zanu PF lite political parties” and they will therefore not join the dialogue which they allege is not genuine.
Already two opposition leaders Brian Mteki and Ambrose Mutinhiri have rejoined Zanu PF since Polad started and the revelations by Masarira leaves Polad’s reputation hanging.