A group of United Kingdom-based Zimbabweans have launched an online campaign to raise funds to support losing presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa’s legal costs potentially reaching $3m million.
The development comes at a time it has emerged that a former party employee is moving to attach property over a
Chamisa took to the constitutional court to challenge the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) declaration of Zanu PF leader and incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa as winner of the July 30 presidential polls.
However, the opposition leader’s bid to overturn the election results was unsuccessful as the apex court, led by Chief Justice Luke Malaba, dismissed his petition with costs.
The crowd funding initiative, on gofundme.com, titled Zimbabwe Defend Vote Legal Costs, is targeting to raise a £100 000.
So far £6 031 has been donated.
“Against overwhelming public opinion amongst Zimbabweans at home and abroad; the judgement handed by the Zimbabwe Constitutional Court went against the Nelson Chamisa,” reads a message on the campaign platform.
“Worse still, it carried a punitive condition requiring Nelson Chamisa to foot the legal costs of everyone involved. The funds required are needed as soon as possible”.
The campaign urged Zimbabweans to, “give generously, to fight this cynical ploy to silence a critical voice defending human rights, democracy and change in Zimbabwe”.
Zimbabweans back home also have an opportunity to support the cause.
“You can make a donation by card on this page or send your donation to Ecocash merchant Code 204861 (registered as NC Trust). Every little helps,” the campaign reads.
“Let’s stand together because the journey to change requires each and every one of us to play a part”.
Party deputy secretary general Chalton Hwende backed the campaign on Twitter saying; “The 2,6 million that voted for #Chamisa have been challenged by an order of costs by the Constitutional Court. They will never break our spirit.
“The MDC kindly requests for donations by all #development and #peace loving Zimbabweans to support its costs in #Concourt case and at the African Commission.”
Meanwhile, the party risks having its property seized over a labour case involving former director general Toendepi Shonhe.
The High Court sheriff has been instructed to attach party property over some $264,000 in labour damages awarded to Shonhe.
The former director general and 16 other ex-employees won a challenge at the Labour Court after they fired in 2014 over alleged links to a rival opposition outfit led by former finance minister Tendai Biti.
All 17 employees are owed $665 000, but the writ of seizure was issued last week is in respect of Shonhe’s $264,444.
The writ states that: “You (Sheriff) are required and directed to attach and take into execution the movable goods of the Movement for Democratic Change (Tsvangirai) 44 Nelson Mandela Avenue, Harare, the above mentioned respondent of the same to be realised the sum of US$264 444 together with cost of suit for the above-named applicant Toendepi Shonhe, which he recovered by a court order of this court on the 20th day of July 2017 granted by this honourable court in the above mentioned suit.”