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Chamisa's broke candidates send out begging bowl

by Staff reporter
22 Jul 2023 at 14:10hrs | Views
A number of aspiring Members of Parliament under the cash-strapped Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) have sent out a begging bowl to its supporters to raise money to fund their campaigns after being sidelined from government funding.

The crowdfunding was initiated after the government stopped the party from benefiting from the Political Party Funding Act. Legally, funds should be issued to parties in proportion to votes secured in the latest general election, provided they got at least 5% of the vote.

The majority of them have set up their bowls on an online campaign to solicit funds from well-wishers to purchase campaign material.

The opposition party which was formed last year has resorted to crowdfunding to oil its electoral campaigns.

Candidates have been raising their own funds due to financial challenges in the Nelson Chamisa-led party.

The aspiring candidates have reached out for financial aid from the public, both local and the diaspora.

It is not clear how the donations will be accounted for and there is a high risk that the cash will fall into the wrong hands.

Results released by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) after the disputed July 2018 polls say Chamisa received 2,151,927 (45.07% of the total votes cast) to President Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zanu-PF's 2,456,010 (51.44%). Fringe parties received the rest and none of them accounted for at least 5% of the vote cast.

However, Chamisa lost MDC Alliance to Douglas Mwonzora who has been receiving Z$60m (about US$428,000 or R6.17m).

The ruling party, Zanu-PF, has been receiving Z$140m (about US$1m or R14.4m) under the same facility.

Since July 2018, it hasn't been rosy for Chamisa. His political crime was refusing to endorse President Emmerson Mnangagwa as the legitimate election victor, even after his court challenge faltered.

As such, Mnangagwa put together the Political Actors Dialogue (Polad), which the MDC-T belonged to, whose mandate is to "sanitise" Zanu-PF's disputed electoral claim.

Then a series of court challenges against Chamisa by the MDC-T were mounted as he also lost control of the party's headquarters, Morgan Tsvangirai House. Now without offices in Harare or money for programmes, Chamisa is fighting an uphill battle. But the crowdfunding initiative could go a long way.

On the other hand, Zanu-PF has set up its own fundraising team composed of business people and rent-seekers associated with the party. They are tasked with raising US$140m (about R2bn).

Source - online
More on: #CCC, #Bowl, #Begging