Windfall for ZANU-PF, MDC-T


Douglas Mwonzora

ZIMBABWE’S cash-strapped government has finally paid the ruling ZANU-PF and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) the US$3 million which they are entitled to under the Political Parties Finance Act.
Under the Act, a political party that secures at least five percent of the total votes cast is entitled to receive funding from government.
Following the July 31, 2013 general election results, ZANU-PF was entitled to receive about US$2,3 million while the MDC-T, led by Morgan Tsvangirai was eligible to receive US$700 000.

The money had not been forthcoming owing to budgetary constraints.
This had resulted in the political parties surviving mostly on donations from well-wishers and subscriptions from their members.
Following an outcry from ZANU-PF and MDC-T, Treasury has had to scrounge for resources to calm the situation.
Douglas Mwonzora, the MDC-T’s secretary-general, confirmed this week that the party had received funding for 2015, but was still to receive funding for 2014.
“The explanation which we have been given is that it was not government policy to pay in retrospect; that means funds not spent for that year are not carried over,” he told the Financial Gazette.
“Our colleagues in ZANU-PF have also received their share for this year which is about US$2 million, as all the funds are released at once by Treasury.”
Obert Mpofu, the ZANU-PF secretary for finance could neither confirm nor deny that the ruling party had taken receipt of its share from Treasury.
“I don’t know. It’s something which I will have to verify and then I will come back to you,” said Mpofu.
With coffers dwindling, the MDC-T has had to turn to its membership, estimated to number nearly a million, for support and upkeep of the party.
MDC-T supporters are understood to be paying monthly subscriptions of US$0,50 to keep the movement afloat.
“Since last year we have embarked on fundraising programmes and for the greater part of last year most activities were funded by our members, through the selling of membership cards.
“This has helped to meet our costs; the party members are our principal financiers, then come the government grants and indigenous business people,” said Mwonzora.
“The economy is not doing well, but our members are happy to pay that amount. We are a big political party, with a big administration which covers all of the country’s 10 provinces,” added Mwonzora.