MDC-T was looted: Mwonzora
BY BLESSED MHLANGA
ACTINGS MDC-T secretary general Douglas Mwonzora has exposed looting of funds and assets from the party under the leadership of the late Morgan Tsvangirai by his erstwhile colleagues as the fight for the heart and soul of the opposition continues to roll out.
Speaking at a meeting with MDC-T Mashonaland East delegates on Saturday, Mwonzora said Tsvangirai lost US$23 million and 150 party vehicles to colleagues who now want to lead the party.
“We did not know that the party MDC has 150 cars, we did not know where the vehicles were, the cars were stolen, the papers we have them. We will now be going to recover our cars, recover our motorbikes. We have people who went with US$23 million belonging to the party,” Mwonzora told the delegates.
“What they did not know is that the late Tsvangirai kept three copies of papers at a time, the one at Harvest House, the other at a safe house of which most of them doesn’t know where it is located, we won’t tell them, the other copy is kept at the secretary general’s office. This house is ours (offices).”
He said the thieves, without mentioning names, took the money to Botswana after misleading the party that they were going to keep it safe ahead of a possible run off after an election eventually won by the late former President Robert Mugabe with a decisive majority.
“2013 we were using US$, there are people who lied to Tsvangirai and said president we have been told by the central intelligence that there is going to be a run-off, so we are taking this money and going to bank it in Botswana. Tsvangirai, when we came back from the elections, he then said guys take from that stash $5 million so that we build a new party, they then accused him of being old and they started demanding leadership renewal. So those thieves now want to come back and lead us, we know their lies,” Mwonzora said.
At the time Elton Mangoma was deputy treasurer general and was expelled from the party after he challenged Tsvangirai over alleged misappropriation of party funds.
Mangoma left MDC-T together with then party secretary general Tendai Biti to form the MDC Renewal later morphing into the People’s Democratic Party after the two failed to find common ground.
MDC Alliance secretary general Chalton Hwende yesterday dismissed the allegations saying Mwonzora was a habitual liar you actually left the MDC worse off.
“Mwonzora was the secretary general from 2014 to 2019 why did he not raise these issues. Why did he not report it to the police then or even raise the issue of stolen money in the standing committee or national council? He did not do so because he is lying, everybody knows Mwonzora is a habitual liar,” Hwende said.
He said MDC lost most of its assets when Mwonzora was secretary general.
“The last secretary general to buy cars for the MDC was Tendai Biti. It was actually under Mwonzora that we lost our assets, 62 cars were attached as Mwonzora was at the helm. We accumulated massive debts which we had now cleared. He never had any plan to settle debts. Under his leadership the workers at MDC were owed months and months’ salaries,” Hwende said.
Mwonzora warned that he would lead an asset retrieval onslaught against his former colleagues, a move Hwende said was a Zanu PF sponsored project.
“Does he know US$23 million, tell me how one can move such money across borders without raising alarm. This is just a Zanu PF plot to create factious allegations so that they arrest the leadership of the MDC Alliance, they have failed to win the people now they want to jail their leaders, this will come to an end,” Hwende said.
The MDC-T is currently in a bitter wrangle over ownership of assets against the MDC Alliance following a Supreme Court ruling which declared Chamisa an illegitimate leader of the opposition party.
The Marondera meeting was not short of skirmishes as party members loyal to Chamisa tried to disturb the proceedings through violence.
However, police were called in to quell the skirmishes resulting in three people being arrested.
Mwonzora was accompanied by Elias Mudzuri and Morgen Komichi among other party leaders.
The Marondera meeting held at the party’s provincial headquarters in Morningside suburb attracted a lot of people.