Monday, October 24, 2005


MDC 'got illegal foreign funds'.

Leader Morgan Tsvangirai denies the MDC received the funds. An MP from Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change says his party received $2.5m in foreign funds.
MP Job Sikhala says the money, from Taiwan, Ghana and Nigeria, is the real cause of current divisions in the MDC. MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai denies his party received the foreign donations, which are forbidden under Zimbabwe law.
The MDC is currently divided over Senate elections next month. Mr Tsvangirai has announced a boycott, while some officials want to take part. "It's true and I can confirm that the Movement for Democratic Change received funding from Ghana, Nigeria and Taiwan," Mr Sikhala told the AFP news agency, following earlier reports in the state-owned Herald newspaper. "All this fighting in the party is over money," he added.
Mr Tsvangirai's spokesman William Bango said Mr Sikhala was "out of line" for making the allegation about the funds. "Mr Tsvangirai knows nothing about the alleged funding. He is surprised that Sikhala would make such false allegations," William Bango told AFP. Zimbabwe's Political Parties Act outlaws the foreign funding of political parties. Senate elections were called after a recent constitutional change reintroduced an upper house into parliament. Government critics say the change was introduced to strengthen the hold on power of President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party.
The MDC believes violence and fraud have made previous elections unfair. Zimbabwe has had a single-chamber parliament since 1987, when Mr Mugabe abolished the Senate. But the government now says the reintroduction of the Senate will boost the authority of parliament. The Senate will comprise 10 traditional chiefs, 50 senators elected on a constituency system and six appointed by the president.


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