MDC-T activist Patson Murimoga is lobbying party members to demonstrate against their leader Douglas Mwonzora on Thursday this week to compel him to account for over $6 million which he allegedly stole from party coffers.
Murimoga, formerly Mwonzora’s close ally, told NewsDay that the demonstration would be held on Thursday at Parliament Building to petition the Senate to intervene on the matter.
He is accusing the MDC-T leader and Manicaland senator of conniving with the party’s finance director, Toddy Mapingire, to loot the money, which he allegedly used to buy foreign currency on the parallel market.
Last week, Murimoga lodged a complaint with the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) and urged it to investigate why police had not yet arrested Mwonzora for the theft of the $6 million despite overwhelming evidence against him.
He said he had already notified the police about the demonstration, but was still awaiting clearance.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said: “I am not privy to issues happening in town, I am currently out of Harare.”
Murimoga said the MDC-T had always claimed it was anti-corruption and pro-democracy, hence the need to uphold those values.
“That is why on April 22, 2021, we are lobbying for party members to participate in the demonstration to demand our money back from Mwonzora. We demand the arrest of Mwonzora for money-laundering and theft,” he said.
“I have no personal grudges with Mwonzora. For a very long time, he was my closest ally. But I am a pro-democracy campaigner. Democracy has no sides. As the MDC-T party, we believe that we are a government-in-waiting. Therefore, if leadership fails to account for a paltry $6 million, what then of the other national treasures? How then can the party be entrusted with national governance when it is failing to manage its own internal accounting systems?”
Murimoga said the disappearance of the $6 million had left the party broke, adding that it was failing to settle its debts as well as pay its employees.
He said the party had not yet paid for the Zupco buses hired to ferry party members to an extraordinary congress held in December last year, which endorsed Mwonzora as the party president.
“Employees have gone for months without getting salaries. I, for instance, am a driver, but I have not yet gotten my salary for some months and that is the situation with the majority of the party employees,” Murimoga said.
He said Mwonzora demonstrated against Zanu PF over the disappearance of the US$15 billion diamond revenue, hence the need for him to be consistent on issues of accountability and transparency.
But Mwonzora’s spokesperson Lloyd Damba said the demonstration “sponsored by losers” would be a flop.
“This is not the first time we have heard of these demonstrations on social media and we do not expect them to be the last,” he said.
“Mwonzora is not fazed at all about these nonsensical sideshows which are being sponsored by malcontents and extraordinary congress losers. The president is concentrating on rebuilding and rebranding the party. The ordinary congress will settle the leadership question once-and-for-all and flush anti-revolutionaries out of the cockpit.”
On the issue of party debts, Damba said Murimoga could not comment on party finances since he did not work in the accounts department.