By Zvamaida Murwira
Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara’s woes continue to mount as his political party MDC-M has failed to access State funds under the Political Parties Finance Act. Government has disbursed money earmarked for political parties to the Welshman Ncube-led MDC formation leaving the other faction in the cold.
Professor Mutambara had made frantic efforts to secure the money.
He reportedly wrote two letters to Justice and Legal Affairs Minister Patrick Chinamasa arguing that they were entitled to the money. Zanu-PF and the MDC formations were allocated US$8 million in the 2012 national budget to be shared proportionately according to the number of legislators each political party has in Parliament.
Government introduced funding after outlawing foreign funding of political parties. This was after it emerged that the MDC was receiving funding from outside, particularly from those countries hostile to Zimbabwe. Minister Chinamasa confirmed the development yesterday saying he was guided by the enabling legal statutes.
“The Act provides that I should deal with secretaries-general or secretary for administration (with respect to Zanu-PF). We have therefore disbursed money to Welshman Ncube in the same account that we have deposited,” he said.
Minister Chinamasa said: “Until there is a court order to the contrary, we will continue disbursing the funds in that manner.” Prof Ncube, who is also Industry and Commerce minister, was Prof Mutambara’s secretary-general before ousting his leader. He was elected president at the MDC congress held in 2010.
However, a section led by former national chairman Mr Joubert Mudzumwe has been challenging Prof Ncube’s election in the courts. The faction’s secretary-general Mr Maxwell Zimuto yesterday insisted that they were entitled to a share of the money.
“Our argument is based on the premise that we have some MPs who have expressed allegiance to us in writing. No one can just dismiss us because we are a legitimate party entitled to anything that the MDC-M must get as a party that signed the Global Political Agreement,” he said.
He, however, could not name the legislators aligned to the faction. Mr Zimuto acknowledged writing to Minister Chinamasa.
“I have written letters to the minister twice and he has not responded. He has probably decided that we are not a party but at least he should have responded to our letters.” The High Court has since upheld the contention by Prof Ncube but Prof Mutambara has lodged an appeal against the ruling in the Supreme Court. The Herald
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