The leader of opposition MDC-T, Douglas Mwonzora has reportedly demanded an audit of party funds amid reports that some senior officials converted $4 million party money to personal use.
NewZimbabwe reports that during the recent party’s standing committee meeting, Treasurer-general Tapiwa Mashakada and finance director Tody Mapingire were openly accused of diverting the funds to private use.
Insiders told the publication that, Mwonzora, whose party is battling to pay utility bills, last week demanded an internal audit of party books. Said, anonymous insiders:
Mwonzora has since demanded an internal audit and also asked Mashakada to present to him bank statements from the day MDC-T received government funding to the date of last payment made.
MDC-T national chairman Morgen Komichi confirmed the development saying transparency was a fundamental principle in the party. He told NewZimbabwe:
We are a party of transparency and accountability, we must be able to account for every single dollar we received and in that vein, we are, indeed, expecting a report on how that grant was used in the next meeting.
Mashakada, however, denied the allegations of misappropriating party funds, saying they were part of a smear campaign to soil his image. He said:
All those things you are running with are complete fabrications. I don’t want to go into internal politics, but there are people attempting to soil my image because they want my position.
Reports suggest that Mashakada allegedly connived with Mapingire and created vouchers for which they sought approval from party secretary-general Paurina Mupariwa.
The two then diverted the money to proxies’ accounts.
Mupariwa would approve the payments in line with the party’s constitution, but since she is not yet a bank signatory, she would trust Mashakada to do the transfers to suppliers.
It is further alleged that the money was withdrawn into proxies’ accounts and as a result, the party is deep in debt.
The MDC-T has been embroiled in a fight over money advanced to the party by the government under the Political Parties (Finance) Act since Mwonzora took over as the leader in December 2020.
Previously, a number of senior party officials made statements including vice-presidents Thokozani Khupe and Elias Mudzuri, Komichi, accused Mwonzora of stealing $6 million, an allegation the party leader denied might be abused again.