Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

$6m scandal haunts Mwonzora

By Richard Muponde

An MDC-T activist on Friday lodged a complaint with the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) accusing the party’s leader Douglas Mwonzora of stealing over $6 million from the opposition party’s coffers.

Douglas Mwonzora
Douglas Mwonzora

Patson Murimoga, a former Mwonzora ally, accuses the MDC-T leader of conniving with the party’s finance director Toddy Mapingire to loot the money, which they allegedly used to buy foreign currency on the parallel market.

In December last year, Murimoga made an initial police report t under RRB /2236/12/2020 on the eve of the discredited Supreme Court-ordered party extraordinary congress, which propelled Mwonzora to the helm of the party.

However, police are still to charge Mwonzora over the matter.

In his Zacc complaint seen by this publication, Murimoga said police appeared reluctant to act on the matter despite him writing to the Zimbabwe Republic Police spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi, where he raised concern over lack of action by the law enforcement agency.

“The case was reported on December 26, 2020, CASE- RB# 2236/12/2020,” Murimoga wrote.

“Several members of the MDC-T standing committee have deposed affidavits with the ZRP attesting to the theft and laundering of funds.

“The ZRP has conducted its own investigations and evidence exists in support of both theft and illegal exchange of foreign currency on the black market.

“The persons, who participated in the illegal exchange of foreign currency are known to the police.

“There are recorded statements from some members of the MDC-T standing committee attesting to the theft and money laundering.

“That the laundering was in total contravention of the country’s Foreign Exchange Act and the prevailing official exchange rate, which was US$1:83RTGS as established by the auction market.”

He said the MDC-T standing committee violated the government policy on the use of foreign currency in local transaction.

“That the funds from the Political Parties Finance Act are public funds that should not and can’t be laundered on the black market in total contravention of the country’s monetary and fiscal policies,” he said.

Murimoga wants Zacc to investigate why police have not arrested Mwonzora for the theft of funds despite overwhelming evidence.

“Arrest and depose all MDC-T standing committee members for their complicity in money laundering stemming from inability to report the theft and laundering of party funds,” he added.

“Take up the issue as a matter of urgency in light of police inaction and the soon-to-be-disbursed $29 million as gazetted by the government”.

In his letter to Nyathi dated February 3 this year, the MDC-T activist said there was enough evidence for the police to arrest Mwonzora.

“I strongly believe it is in the best interest of justice that Douglas Mwonzora, Todd Mapingire and others be arrested just like any other citizens will if they are accused of a similar crime,” Murimoga wrote.

“Justice is blind and should be dispensed without fear or favour.’

Mwonzora’s stranglehold on the opposition party has come under constant test after his protagonists including his deputy, Thokozani Khupe put pressure on him over the missing funds.

Last month, Khupe made a statement to the police on the alleged raiding of the from party’s coffers ahead of its disputed extraordinary congress. The Standard

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