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Mwonzora skeletons tumble

by Staff reporter
27 Dec 2020 at 08:30hrs | Views
ASPIRING MDC-T leader Douglas Mwonzora was yesterday exposed by one of his top allies who described him as "a deceitful and crooked trickster" as the fight for the presidency reaches a chaotic climax ahead of the party's extraordinary congress expected today.

Partson Murimoga, who was behind the first lawsuit challenging the late MDC founding leader Morgan Tsvangirai's appointment of Nelson Chamisa and Elias Mudzuri as his co-deputies alongside Thokozani Khupe in 2016, claimed that Mwonzora was behind the court action.

Murimoga lost the lawsuit after the High Court ruled that he was not qualified to challenge Tsvangirai's appointments. But a year later, party activist Elias Mashavira used the same arguments to successfully challenge Chamisa and Mudzuri's appointments at the same court.

In March this year, the Supreme Court rejected an appeal by Chamisa's MDC Alliance and went on to reinstate Khupe as the MDC-T leader before ordering an extraordinary congress to elect Tsvangirai's successor.

After the ruling, Mwonzora, who was the party's lawyer in defending Murimoga's case, abandoned the MDC Alliance to side with Khupe. The two have been using the Supreme Court judgement to launch a vicious onslaught against Chamisa and his camp, including recalling the party's legislators and councillors from their seats.

The stunning Murimoga revelations shed new light on the tussle for the control of the country's main opposition party and will raise fresh questions about Mwonzora's character, even as he claims that winning the MDC-T presidency would be part of his agenda to restore Tsvangirai's legacy.

Murimoga told The Standard that he had decided to speak out because the runup to the congress had revealed Mwonzora's true colours. He said he was afraid that the opposition party would fall into wrong hands.

He claimed the MDC-T secretary-general, whom he described as a "cunning and dishonest politician", had squandered party funds, adding that this was making it difficult for the party to hold a credible congress today.

Murimoga said Mwonzora was not happy after Tsvangirai elevated Chamisa ahead of him despite the fact that he had beaten the former ICT minister for the post of secretary-general at the 2014 congress.

"I was sent by Mwonzora to make the court application," he said. "I believed in constitutionalism and I agreed. Mwonzora could not do the application because of his position. We used Zivanai Macharaga as our lawyer.

"He asked me to do it. As you know, I was very close to him. I was his campaign manager in 2014 when he beat Chamisa.

"I also composed his campaign song and we jointly composed two albums that include the popular Tsikamutanda track. I campaigned for him then, but now I don't have anything good I can tell the people about him."

Murimoga said he had learnt the hard way that Mwonzora was a sly politician, who could not be trusted with the party's finances as he had failed to pay back some monies that he borrowed from him over the years.

"We were very close to each other, but I have realised that Mwonzora is not honest. He is a crook who doesn't honour promises and he is too scandal-ridden," he charged.

"He is bad at managing finances. In 2016, he drove to Bulawayo to borrow US$2 000 to avoid arrest after abusing trust funds; he has not paid back the money up to now.

"He even fails to manage his law firm. He drove to come and borrow US$300 from me to renew the licence for his legal firm and I struggled to recover the money. He was no longer picking my calls and I had to use one MP's mobile number."

Murimoga said he was not supporting any of the candidates gunning for the MDC-T presidency today, who include Elias Mudzuri and Morgen Komichi, but he reserved most of the criticism for Mwonzora.

"I don't support either Khupe or Mwonzora as I stand for the constitution," he said.

"I don't hate Mwonzora, but what I saw in him does not inspire confidence; he can't be a leader. If he is made to head a burial society, not a single corpse will be buried.

"His life is a mess and he can't surely be a leader. I worked with him. At the moment, Mwonzora is staying at a hotel and it's possible that he is using the party monies that he is failing to account for."

In the run-up to the congress that has been postponed twice since the Supreme Court ruling, Mwonzora has been accused by his rivals of squandering US$60 000 in party finances.

The MDC-T got the money from the government under controversial circumstances as the MDC Alliance insists that it is entitled to the funds under the Political Parties Finance Act being the party that sponsored legislators in Parliament.

But Mwonzora rubbished the allegations, telling The Standard that the accusations that he abused party finances were part of mudslinging by his rivals ahead of the congress.

"The (claims) are just false and malicious," he said. "It's part of the mudslinging that has characterised this congress. How on earth can one person withdraw money from the (party) account?

"These falsehoods are being peddled by people who are afraid of losing at congress. The good thing is that MDC-T people see through this rubbish."

MDC-T acting spokesperson Tapiwa Mashakada said the congress was going ahead as planned and once again dispelled claims that party finances had been abused.

Chief Ndlovu, the party's deputy treasurer, accused Mwonzora's camp of squandering money meant for transport for congress delegates. He said the party's coffers had been milked dry.

Mudzuri last week also said the congress was being threatened by the abuse of party funds.

Source - the standard

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