By Jackie Mbayiwa-Makuvatsine
One of the properties alleged to have been bought is the Palm lodges situated in the avenues area of Harare purchased sometime in 2010 when power struggles within the opposition party were in their infancy.
Under new management? (Photo-surgicalsocietyofzimbabwe)
MDC-T spokesperson, Douglas Mwonzora confirmed they were making their own investigations.
“We ave been aware of the whole issue for quite some time. We are conducting our investigations which will have dire consequences if the allegations are found to be true,” said Mwonzora.
MDC-Tsvangirai party insider however confided that the old owners of the lodge approached him. He in turn alerted then Secretary General Biti. The party insider claimed that he was later alerted that the property had been purchased by MDC-T company owned by named leaders (now in MDC-T Renewal) but without the knowledge of the rest of the Standing Committee or Tsvangirai himself.The party insider alleges that he alerted someone closer to Tsvangirai but they never took him serious until the MDC-Renewal walked off the main party. The insider also claimed that several other properties including vehicles , computers and so on which had been purchased in the name of the mentioned company were later collected or repossessed from Harvest House by Biti and crew. “There was nothing those loyal to Tsvangirai could do to stop them”, he claimed
Efforts to get a comment from then MDC-T Director General Toendepi Shone were unsuccessful but , renewal team spokesperson, Jacob Mafume blatantly denied the allegations saying Tendai Biti could never steal money from the party.
“The party’s secretary general was the minister of finance during the GNU and he was never accused or suspected of misusing or stealing funds, but now people are accusing us of doing so, it is a shame,” said Mafume.
The team’s spokesperson said investigations should be done on Morgan Tsvangirai instead who is still living in a government house, rather than wasting time pursuing innocent people.
“We used to hold meetings at the Palm lodge because it accommodates everybody. Just like any other hotel or lodge in the country which accommodates people, so why would we be suspected of having acquired it. We never acquired anything besides what the party acquired countrywide,” he said.
Meanwhile, the renewal team says they are pleased with the progress they have made so far in setting up structures nationwide towards launching their party.
Mafume said there was need for leadership renewal in the country as the leaders of the two main political parties were now questionable characters.
“Mugabe’s age is being questioned because seriously no one can lead a country at the age of 90. Tsvangirai on the other hand is being queried for replicating Mugabe in trying to stay in power for good,” said Mafume.
He said democracy cannot prevail in Zimbabwe if the two parties remain dominant hence they have been able to speak to all MDC structures throughout the county.
“We have people who believe in what we are saying and in all the country’s 220 districts we have engaged structures. We also have found an alternative solution to the country’s progress because we have an economic plan,” he said.
Mafume said they have also looked at the ideological shift and therefore need a third way in terms of dealing with economic issues that affect the people. He said they have no president as yet since they are building a grand coalition.
“The ZANU PF government is our key opponent, and it is also a coalition of Zanu PF, ZAPU, ZIPRA and ZANLA forces. Therefore there is great need for a coalition, not individualism in defeating it,” he said.
MDC-T spokesperson, Douglas Mwonzora scoffed at the sentiments by Mafume,saying his leader; Morgan Tsvangirai was certainly not clinging to power as the people still wanted him as the leader of the party.
“The situation on the ground shows who has support and who has not. It is clear that President Tsvangirai has support from the attendance of his rallies. We have no problem with them forming their own party because it shows democracy, and the more, the merrier, but the size of the meetings they have conducted so far prove doom,” said Mwonzora.
He said if Biti and his followers were a serious political party, they should be worried with the average number of people attending their rallies, who averaged between 22 and 100.
Mwonzora said the renewal team’s grand coalition could never defeat Zanu PF because they were discontent.
“They were supposed to create their grand coalition on 26 May but up to today they have not done anything. They over concentrate on Tsvangirai instead of Zanu PF which they say they are fighting. It is a grand coalition of losers,” he said.
The renewal team, Mwonzora said, did not even have the capacity to dislodge the Tsvangirai led MDC because they had no clue to the country’s woes.
However, some of the parties said to be in the grand coalition reportedly denied claims by Mafume that they were soon going to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the renewal team.
Mavambo Kusile Dawn (MKD) said Biti’s team was rushing matters as they had only held meetings and not yet come to technical things like signing the MOU. He said his party had urged the renewal team to solve their disputes with the MDC-T before they move to other matters.
ZAPU also said the party had not yet come up with a definite position on the grand coalition which the renewal team wanted to have an upper hand on.