MDC Warns Embassies, Enraged By Zanu (PF) Vote Buying

The Morgan Tsvangirai led MDC said in statements it had been dismayed to learn that the Lybian embassy had donated nine tractors and other farming implements at a function in Chegutu on Wednesday and that Zanu (PF) politicians were using food, acquired by the Inclusive government, to campaign for their party.

Mugabe himself has been distributing millions worth of agricultural inputs in a move described by critics as a desperate attempt to win voters who deserted him in 2008 in favour of Tsvangirai and the MDC. Zanu (PF) ministers have been doing the same distributing goodies, agricultural equipment and food to starving villagers in the rural areas.

Zimbabwe is expected to hold elections later this year after the completion of the constitutional process which has been marred by violence and intimidation by Zanu (PF) supporters. There are fears that Zanu (PF) is planning a war like campaign to retain to power and are said to be prepared to use violence reminiscent of the 2008 post March elections to force people to vote for them.

The MDC on Wednesday castigated Zanu (PF)’s tactic of vote buying saying they were going against the dictates of the Global Political Agreement (GPA).

“The MDC is dismayed by countrywide reports of partisan distribution of agriculture inputs by Zanu (PF) politicians and Cabinet ministers, which represent a sad and stark reminder of a culture of patronage and use of food and poverty as instrument of control and a political weapon.

“Using such base tools for political purposes is against the letter and spirit of the Global Political Agreement, much as it is a form of violence against the majority who are on record as having been impoverished by Zanu (PF)’s history of tyranny and dictatorship.

“What makes this practice disconcerting is that the food, seed and input packs were either sourced by the Inclusive Government or procured with resources from the national budget to which all Zimbabweans contribute through their taxes. The MDC calls on Zanu (PF) to stop this criminal abuse of critical national supplies and make allowances for an open distribution of essentials  to all those interested in farming for the restoration of our food reserves and food security,” said the MDC in a statement.

“What is clear is that Zimbabweans can never allow themselves to be dragged to the pre-2008 era. Their collective wisdom, experience and their new life they are enjoying today, thanks to the MDC, have left an indelible mark in their political behaviour.

“The people, coming out of two indisputably, memorable Christmas and New Year breaks made possible by the MDC’s entry into government in February 2009 — know that the past was hell on earth, marked by an energy sapping war imposed by Zanu (PF); they know of the hunger and disease they endured; and they have not forgotten the story of a total collapse of their existence caused by Zanu (PF) greed, avarice and corruption,” added the statement.

“It cries foul when other parties merely receive unsolicited endorsement and solidarity messages from foreigners and numerous universal human rights defenders.”

MDC said in its statement that while the state broadcaster, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, brazenly announced that the donation was purely for Zanu (PF), the state press tried to down-play the partisan nature of the gifts despite the appearance of Webster Shamu, a Cabinet minister, donning a shirt labelled Zanu (PF).

Zimbabwe’s strict laws forbid external funding for political parties.

The MDC has been accused several times of being a recipient of Western support. The party said there was abundant evidence showing that the MDC T was wholly indigenous.

“We were further dismayed by the involvement of Munyaradzi Kajese, a civil servant and Zimbabwe’s chief of protocol, in the sourcing of the Chegutu tractors on behalf of Zanu (PF). Kajese’s contract with government binds him to serve all Zimbabweans in their diversity. Once again, we urge the people of Zimbabwe to rise to the moment and demand access to any foreign donations given to the nation in their name and use them for collective good,” it said.

Meanwhile Zanu (PF) is claiming it is broke and is surviving on bank overdrafts which, as of December 2010, attracted interests and other bank charges of nearly US$1 million.

The party, which unconfirmed reports say its politicians are raking in millions of US dollars through mining diamonds in Marange and other deals, is sitting on a US$3,5 million debt, according to a financial report released at its December conference in Mutare.

The report said the party had failed in 2010 to generate reasonable revenue from the sale of membership cards and subscriptions.

A paltry US$166 000 was received from the sale of membership cards and subscriptions last year

The report prepared by the party’s Finance department headed by David Karimanzira show that US$1 171 200 was used last year to pay the about 180 employees and the amount represented a 102 percent increase from 2009.The party last year froze recruiting about 142 employees to fill vacant posts because it could not afford to pay the workers.

The document also showed that the party used about US$500 000 in hosting high level meetings of organs such as the politburo, central committee and national consultative assembly.