AHEAD of the recent harmonised elections, the European Union (EU) extended US$3 million to CCC leader Mr Nelson Chamisa to build a war chest for the polls, but he sat on the money and is now facing a rebellion from his already disgruntled followers.
The financing of the CCC campaign, ostensibly for paying polling agents, has brought to the fore the EU duplicitous role in the recently concluded elections, as it was both a referee and a player.
Government says the revelations, which were made by diplomatic sources, warrant the dismissal of the bloc’s preliminary report. According to the diplomatic sources in Brussels, the EU handed Mr Chamisa US$3 million when he visited the Netherlands before the elections, which were overwhelmingly won by ZANU PF.
However, instead of paying polling agents at the more than 12 000 polling stations across the country, the funds mysteriously vanished. Apart from creating fresh cracks in the opposition party, this has exposed Mr Chamisa’s dictatorial inclinations.
The Americans reportedly refused to fund his political campaign because he had no structures and the party was using his personal account for transactions.
Diplomatic sources said the EU tried to sanitise its clandestine funding of the opposition when it sought to co-opt Zanu-PF and other political parties in the scheme by promising to dole out US$1 million to help pay for polling agents.
Just a week before the elections, Zanu-PF through its treasurer-general Cde Patrick Chinamasa, exposed the EU’s hand and the plan collapsed. Mr Douglas Mwonzora, who leads the MDC, cried foul after the EU was forced to withdraw the funds.
Yesterday, President Mnangagwa’s spokesperson Mr George Charamba said the EU’s fingerprints in interfering in the country’s elections and breaching the Political Parties Finance Act makes it a biased observer, whose preliminary report cannot be taken seriously.
“We are disappointed to learn the double role which the EU, through its representatives here, played. What comes out to the fore is that they were also a player and referee in this election, in which case their decision as a referee cannot stand, because it is undermined by their player role in this election. We dismiss their report with the contempt it deserves.”
The EU’s surreptitious role aside, Mr Chamisa’s handling of the funds now threatens to split the party.
In a telephone conversation with a regional leader, whose name cannot be mentioned for diplomatic reasons, a top opposition official said Mr Chamisa should not be supported in his quest to challenge the poll outcome, lest the regional leader is isolated for supporting a man who is accountable to no one and who hid US$3 million without using it for the intended purposes. “He had money but he did not use it for the elections.
We don’t have the V11 forms for a serious court challenge; that is why you see the hesitation to file a petition,” the source in Brussels said.
Mr Chamisa’s is now clutching on the discredited SADC preliminary report that was authored by Dr Nevers Mumba, who allegedly recently requested US$200 000 to help sustain that narrative through the media.
The money, apart from greasing the hands of selected journalists, will also be used to pay Dr Mumba to stand by his opinionated draft report on the elections, the sources said. Mr Biti, the sources added, is now emerging as the alternative leader of the opposition, as there is no love lost between the former Harare East legislator and Mr Chamisa.
The United States shut the door on Mr Chamisa, citing a litany of undemocratic practices and abuse of funds.
Mr Chamisa blamed all that on Mr Biti, Washington’s preferred opposition leader.
For his ill-fated trip to the United States, which was undertaken under a veil of secrecy, Mr Chamisa, who goes by the monicker “cobra” in opposition circles, decided to manipulate the candidate-selection process in CCC to ensure Mr Biti would not return to the National Assembly. – Sunday News