Khupe, Chamisa fight over party funds

EMBATTLED MDC-T deputy president Thokozani Khupe has approached the Justice ministry, demanding that the money due to the opposition party under the Political Parties Finance Act (PPFA) be channelled to her faction.

BY Everson Mushava/Paidamoyo Muzulu

The MDC-T is entitled to receive $1,8 million under the fund.

Khupe, who is trapped in a nasty power wrangle with Nelson Chamisa following the death of party founder Morgan Tsvangirai last month, argued that she was the bona fide leader of the largest opposition party.

In her letter to the Justice ministry where she also attached a copy of the MDC-T constitution, Khupe said she was finalising opening a bank account where the money should be directed to.

Asked for comment, Khupe’s personal assistant, Witness Dube could neither deny nor confirm the development.

“I am not with her, she is in the rural areas campaigning,” Dube said.

Justice secretary Virginia Mabhiza confirmed the development.

“The ministry has received letters from the parties involved, but I am not at liberty to divulge the contents of the correspondence,” she said.

The letter from Khupe, however, was clear that she was the bona fide leader and was in the process of creating a new account where the ministry should deposit the money due to the party.

Chamisa’s spokesperson, Luke Tamborinyoka said: “It is not about president Chamisa or VP Khupe.

“Disbursement under the Political Parties Finance Act is not done to individuals, but to institutions. And the MDC as an institution has just received its money from government. Government does not deal with individuals, but with institutions. The institution as led by president Chamisa has already received part of its share.”
Asked how much the party had received so far, Tamborinyoka said it was confidential.

Tamborinyoka’s statement was contradicted by sources at Treasury, who claimed that no payment has been processed since the letters emerged.

Chamisa and Khupe have been locked in nasty power wrangles that saw the latter being attacked by party youths at the burial of Tsvangirai in Buhera last month.

Chamisa was endorsed by the party’s national council, but Khupe has refused to recognise him as the leader of the party, arguing the organ that endorsed him had no such powers according to the party’s constitution.

This is the third time that the party has been involved in fights over State funds.

This happened in 2015 after then Former MDC secretary-general Tendai Biti once asked President Emmerson Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was then the Justice minister to withhold funds to Tsvangirai after the party’s acrimonious split in 2014. The same had happened after the 2005 split. – News Day