Takunda Maodza Assistant News Editor
Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF) yesterday denied receiving British funding, saying it was its foreign province made up of Zimbabweans in the Diaspora that provided resources it alleges were abused by senior party officials, including Messrs Didymus Mutasa and Rugare Gumbo.
This was after its leader Dr Joice Mujuru unwittingly divulged the party’s source of funds during a meeting with supporters in Bindura on Monday.
The Herald has a recording of the meeting in which Dr Mujuru clearly accuses Mr Mutasa and Gumbo of abusing money from Britain.
She is heard saying: “The whole story reached Britain. It was from Britain where they (Mutasa and Gumbo) got resources, money. Money that was supposed to fund the party, but I did not get a cent.
“One pondo zvayo tsvuku handina kumboiona. Mutasa would receive the money . . . it caused a lot of talk within the party. We told them (Mutasa and Gumbo) that funding must follow procedures, but as senior as they were, they did not listen.
“When we started the party, I had said let us build the party using money from our own pockets.
“There are no more donors giving huge amounts like what happened to Tsvangirai at Banket. Those farmers (who were captured on television giving Tsvangirai money in 2000) are no longer there.
“They have left. Those that used to give him money are now sceptical whether it is being used for its purpose.”
But yesterday ZimPF tried to disown Dr Mujuru’s utterances on foreign funding as a creation of The Herald.
In a statement, party spokesperson Mr Jealousy Mawarire said: “The fact stated by our president Dr Joice Mujuru at her address of Mashonaland Central PEC meeting that The Herald newspaper claims to have on record, is that expelled former member Didymus Mutasa used to get funding from members of our 11th province, which is the Diaspora, to fund his nefarious activities which were aimed at destroying our party from within.
“Zimbabweans in the Diaspora, particularly some of our innocent supporters in the UK, fell for this project and contributed financially to Mutasa’s activities, albeit, without knowledge of what these activities meant to achieve.
“This is the funding that Dr Mujuru referred to. It was not coming from the British, but was coming from Zimbabweans domiciled in Britain who, as citizens of this country, are free to join any political party of their choice and this freedom includes even financing the activities of the political party.”
But in the recording in possession of The Herald, Dr Mujuru never states that the funding was from Zimbabweans in the Diaspora.
She goes further to state that abuse of foreign aid by political parties like the MDC-T caused sponsors of opposition parties in Zimbabwe to be reluctant to fund their activities.
Dr Mujuru is heard saying: “Vacho vaipa mari (the British donors who used to give money to Mr Tsvangirai) vakaona mari yacho isi kuseenzwesa, nokuti ndo complain yavari kupa. Kuti hatimbokupai mari. Vakatanga ndovakachenjedza. Those old man (Gumbo and Mutasa) never, ever gave me a dollar up to today. Havana!”