MDC trapped in debt, party’s financial woes mount
The main opposition MDC-T is reportedly mired in heavy debts, a development likely to compromise its election preparations with some of the debtors threatening to attach the party’s assets.
Last year alone, the party lost a significant portion of its office furniture at its Harvest House headquarters in Harare to credotors.
According to documents gleaned by NewsDay, the party owes Harare City Council more than $264 000 in unpaid rates, while party employees have reportedly gone unpaid for several months.
Party insiders blamed MDC-T treasurer-general Theresa Makone and secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora for failing to mobilise adequate funds for the smooth running of the party.Party spokesperson Obert Gutu confirmed yesterday that the MDC-T coffers were running dry, but attributed it to the general economic challenges in the national economy.
“The liquidity crunch that is wreaking havoc in Zimbabwe is sparing no one, the MDC included. It is not a secret that just like any other organisation operating in Zimbabwe at the moment, the MDC has got its own share of financial woes,” Gutu said.
“However, we are managing to get by and, in fact, we have structured an arrangement with various creditors to enable a payment plan to be effected to liquidate our debts. It is business as usual at Harvest House and indeed all activities are proceeding well.”
Gutu said the party was owed more than $2 million by the government in terms of its resource allocation under the Political Parties Finance Act. He said once they receive the money, it would go a long way in paying creditors.
But some party officials were demanding answers from Makone.
“We cannot continue on this path. If our leaders are failing to manage the party, they must give way to others who are capable. We are going for elections and those creditors might come and attach more property, including the party headquarters,” said an official at the MDC-T headquarters.
“That would be bad and the electorate will see us as disorganised. This must be mitigated and we are demanding answers now. The matter will be brought to the national leadership’s attention and if we fail to get solutions, then we might call for replacements.”
Efforts to contact Makone for comment were fruitless yesterday.