THE disputed leader of the Movement for Democratic Change Nelson Chamisa, whose ascension to the helm of the opposition party in February 2018 was recently nullified by the Supreme Court, has to account for the $7 million he received under the Political Parties Finance Act.
Last week, the Supreme Court upheld a High Court ruling which declared Mr Chamisa as an illegitimate leader of the opposition political party and nullified decisions he made while purporting to be president.
The party was also ordered to hold its congress within the next three months to correct the illegality, which was considered an affront to the organisation’s founding values and constitution as a social democratic party.
Dr Thokozani Khupe, who was declared as the legitimate acting president of the party as the most senior elected official after the demise of former president Dr Morgan Tsvangirai on February 14 2018, told The Sunday Mail that it was in the party’s interest to account for how public funds were used.
“The $7 million that you are referring to is political finances money which belongs to the organisation. Whatever funds are received, they must be accounted for. Political finances are meant to fund the activities of the organisations and not meant to go to an individual’s pocket,” said Dr Khupe.
“Currently, I do not have details of how the money was used. I have read also in the media about the allegations. In the MDC-A, we have our party MDC-T; certainly, we will be interested to find out what has been happening with regards to public funds under the previous leadership of Mr Nelson Chamisa. I would like to lead a corruption-free organisation and if time permits, I would like to get to the bottom of the matter.”
Government recently released more than $7 million to the MDC-Alliance as part of the $25 million that was shared with the ruling Zanu-PF as funding from the Political Parties Finance Act.
The law prescribes monetary allocations to any political party that garners 5 percent of the total votes cast in national elections.
MDC-A has already been reeling from a scandal where $2 million allegedly vanished from its coffers.
The party had to rope in a team of independent auditors to comb through the organisation’s books. Separately, the party has begun preparations for the congress, with a call for nominations for the party presidency set to be announced in the coming weeks.