Khupe goes to court over MDC-T money

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EXPELLED Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) deputy president Dr Thokozani Khupe has approached the High Court seeking an order barring Government from disbursing funds to her rival Mr Douglas Mwonzora on behalf of the opposition party in terms of Political Parties Finance Act.

The MDC-T led by Mr Mwonzora is set to receive $149 million of the $500 million allocated in this year’s annual national Budget under the Political Parties Finance Act.

A political party that garners at least five percent of the total votes cast in a general election is entitled to the money under Political Parties Finance Act.

Dr Khupe, through her lawyer Mr Nqobani Sithole of Ncube Attorneys, filed an urgent chamber application at the Bulawayo High Court citing Mr Mwonzora, Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube and his Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs counterpart Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi, as respondents.

She wants an order interdicting Ministers Ncube and Ziyambi from disbursing $149,85 million to MDC-T in terms of the Political Parties Finance Act.

Dr Khupe said in the event that money would have already been disbursed, the recipient of the funds be interdicted from spending or using the money.

The fallout between Dr Khupe and Mr Mwonzora followed the former’s suspension from the main opposition by the latter, who alleged that she was supping with adversaries and fermenting dissent in the fractious MDC-T.

In her founding affidavit, Dr Khupe said she was the MDC-T acting president and one of the party’s founders together with the late Morgan Tsvangirai, Gibson Sibanda, Tendai Biti and Prof Welshman Ncube among others.

She said Mr Mwonzora expelled himself from MDC-T and automatically relinquished his role of the presidency of the party when he “joined” MDC-Alliance hence he had no political credibility to receive the funds.

Dr Khupe said it would be a travesty of justice if Mr Mwonzora whom she claims is a leader of a different party, receives and superintends over the finances of the MDC-T after opting out of it.

“It is a notorious fact that the first respondent (Mr Mwonzora) through his spokesperson has made a statement purporting to suspend me from the activities of the MDC-T.

This is against the backdrop of the fact that the first respondent voluntarily moved out and aligned himself with the activities of the MDC-Alliance,” said Dr Khupe.

“It is the duty of the court to guard against the kind of conduct complained of and that the first respondent should be stopped from receiving the funds on behalf of the MDC-T because he is no longer a member of the party.”

Dr Khupe said in the event that the money would have been disbursed, a moratorium should be issued stopping any person from using it pending the finalisation of the matter.

“Wherefore, I seek an order interdicting the second and third respondents (Ministers Ncube and Ziyambi) from disbursing the funds to any other account apart from the MDC-T’s AFC corporate account number 100001481945, Bulawayo branch,” she said.

Dr Khupe was suspended from the MDC-T early last month before challenging her suspension.

She later announced a split of the party on 21 January, subsequently, writing to the Speaker of the National Assembly Advocate Jacob Mudenda and Minister Ziyambi that she was leader of MDC-T hence her faction was eligible to receive funds from the Political Parties Finance Act.

Mr Mwonzora has since recalled his estranged former deputy from Parliament and described her as having “anger management issues.”

But Dr Khupe immediately shot back at her former ally during a press conference in Harare where she clung to her claim that she is the bona fide leader of the main opposition party and expressed indignation at the Speaker of Parliament, Advocate Jacob Mudenda for accepting her recall from the August house. — Chronicle