15 February 2014

Zimbabwe: Tsvangirai Will Be Jailed This Year - Zanu-PF Activist

Photo: Trevor Davies/IPS
MDC-T youths at a rally before the 2013 polls.

OPPOSITION MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai's troubles appear to be mounting by the day with the ruling Zanu PF party said to be plotting his arrest "before the year is out", it has emerged.

The arrest bid was revealed Zanu PF activist, Goodson Nguni, at a public debate organised by the Ethics and Accountability Forum (EAF) of Transparency International Zimbabwe (TIZ) in conjunction with Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition on Thursday.

Nguni said the MDC-T leader would likely be arrested over allegations of misappropriating party funds later this year.

"The MDC and Tsvangirai are more corrupt than anyone else in the country because we have it on record that he misappropriated party funds. We (Zanu PF) did not say. Bennett (Roy) and Mangoma (Elton) made the revelations and I can assure you we will arrest him this year. We will do that this year," declared Nguni.

"We also know that he (Tsvangirai) has cases of double dipping," Nguni added, in apparent reference to allegations the former premier may have misappropriated $1,5 million in public funds during the upgrade of his official residence in Harare.

Last month MDC-T deputy treasurer general, Elton Mangoma, penned a stinging proposal urging Tsvangirai to resign, arguing his lack of accountability was undermining the party.

Mangoma expressed concern over the alleged misuse of party funds and questioned how Tsvangirai planned to clear his name over the allegations.

"How will we put closure to the question of misuse of funds, and ensure that our friends regain confidence that donations will be channelled to the people's project going forward?" Mangoma queried.

James Maridadi, the MDC-T's Mabvuku-Tafara legislator jumped to Tsvangirai's defence arguing that his alleged abuse of party funds did not affect the general population as it was not taxpayers' money.

Maridadi said instead it was President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF who had cultivated a culture of impunity in the country.

The former broadcaster reminded the gathering that despite President Robert Mugabe publicly accusing former Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) boss Goodwills Masimirembwa of corruption over the sale of diamonds in Marange nothing was ever done against the official.

Maridadi said the lack of action has encouraged senior Zanu PF officials including Vice President Joice Mujuru to try and intimidate the media over corruption.

"If Tsvangirai abused MDC funds that should not be an issue for government because that is a private affair, the same if Mbada Diamonds company, for example, chooses to pay its executives any amount that does not affect government," said Maridadi.

"But now, we have a party that breeds corruption and can do anything to protect corrupt officials to the extent that an acting President has the guts to stop the media from reporting corruption."

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