By Moses Matenga
Revelations that President Robert used a $100 million loan from a New York-based investment to bankroll his controversial re-election bid has exposed Zanu PF’s hypocrisy on funding of local parties, analysts said yesterday.
Investigations by NewsDay’s sister paper, the Mail and Guardian, revealed that Mugabe received a $100 million loan that was allegedly used to fund the 2008 election campaign from a New York-based investor, the Och-Ziff Capital Management Group.
Zimbabwe’s Political Parties (Finance) Act prohibits parties from receiving foreign funding and Mugabe often accuses his opponents of relying on Western funding. The veteran ruler says the MDC formations are puppets of the West because they are bankrolled by organisations in Britain and the United States.
Charles Mangongera, a political analyst, said Mugabe’s links with Och-Ziff was proof that Zanu PF was thriving on deception. “It explains why within Zanu PF you find capitalists who fund the party to protect their interests,” he said.
“That whole thing of accusing the MDC of being donor-funded is nonsense because they (Zanu PF) get funding from even the Chinese and we know that. It confirms that the anti-West rhetoric is part of what some people call exhausted nationalism and has nothing to do with Zanu PF ideological positioning. It’s got more to do with politicking.”
MDC deputy spokesperson Kurauone Chihwai said Zanu PF was guilty of using “dirty money”. “It shows Zanu PF is externally-funded and uses external resources to brutalise innocent Zimbabweans,” he said. “It’s dirty money that they used.”
Harare-based political analyst Alexander Rusero said it was hypocritical for Zanu PF to get foreign funding and denounce other parties if they did the same. “Naturally that’s hypocritical, but that’s typical of politicians,” he said.
“What they denounce during the day they practice during the night and if we have such people as leaders, where are we heading to as a country?” Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo declined to comment, saying he was not aware of the issue as he had just read about it in the media. NewsDay
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