POLICE have launched investigations into allegations that Douglas Mwonzora stole $6 million from MDC-T coffers in the run-up to the party’s elective congress last year, piling pressure on the beleaguered politician whom critics say is cosying up to the ruling Zanu-PF party to avoid prosecution.
Mwonzora’s former aide and party activist, Patson Murimoga, who said he reported the case to the police and Zimbabwe AntiCorruption Commission, appears to have the support of party vice-president Thokozani Khupe and other senior executives.
Murimoga told NewsDay yesterday that he felt the delay in arresting Mwonzora was because political considerations were taking precedence over justice.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi, however, yesterday confirmed that the matter was being investigated.
“I can confirm that we received that case, and it is being investigated by the Criminal Investigations Department,” Nyathi said.
Mwonzora’s spokesperson Lloyd Damba rubbished the allegations of theft, arguing that Murimoga was not an influential party member.
“First, you need to understand that Murimoga has no locus standi to speak about party finances because he is not a member of the finance and administration committee. He was just a band member, a praise singer for the party and it ends there,” Damba said.
“You must also understand that the finances of the party are not administered by an individual, but by a committee, and the party account has more than three signatories and not an individual.”
But Murimoga claimed that MDC-T supporters were not happy because of the missing money and the lack of explanation from Mwonzora.
“We had the Elias Mashavira case that he sponsored, but we never had (Morgan) Tsvangirai firing him. He also was behind cases that fought (MDC Alliance leader Nelson) Chamisa, but he was not fired from the party. I am tempted to think that the people he fought accusing them of being undemocratic were actually better than him,” he said.
Mwonzora accuses losing MDC-T presidential candidates for pushing Murimoga to get him arrested over the alleged missing $6 million, which he says could be accounted for.
Last week during a party meeting, top executives of the party, including Khupe, were ordered to leave for defying a directive to withdraw financial impropriety charges they filed against the party leader.
The resolution to purge defiant executives was read out to Khupe and her team last Wednesday following a national standing committee meeting held two weeks ago.
Besides Khupe, Mwonzora’s axe is also likely to fall on party chairperson Morgen Komichi, Chief Ndlovu and several top executives after they insisted that Mwonzora should account for the $6 million which they say was illegally withdrawn from party coffers ahead of the party’s extraordinary congress in December.
Mwonzora allegedly ordered party heavyweights to withdraw their support for the case.
Damba claimed that the congress had made a resolution that there were no missing funds, hence Mwonzora had no case to answer.