THE MDC-T has once again sent around the begging bowl, clearest indication that the party is broke and is reaching out to its members to bankroll it.
In an advertisement, the party is asking members to donate $1 each through an EcoCash number to allow it to “finish what we started”.
“By sending just $1 to the EcoCash number above, always remember you are taking part in a journey to real change,” reads the advertisement.
It has been, for months, rumoured that the MDC-T is literally broke and its leader Morgan Tsvangirai is now living on handouts.
Recently, it was reported that MDC-T was failing to pay salaries and severance packages for its former workers, indications that the party had reached rock bottom.
The party was reportedly dumped by donors after last year’s elections, with some of the funders choosing to back MDC-Renewal, a splinter group fronted by former MDC-T secretary-general Tendai Biti.
MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu initially professed ignorance on the advertisement, but pressed further, he said this was a perfectly legitimate way to raise money.
“The $1 donation was an appeal made several months ago requesting members to bankroll the party,” he said.
Gutu said the party could survive on its own without donor funds.
“The party does not have to rely on donor funds to run its activities and programmes,” he said.
“We are a home-grown political party benchmarked on the principles of social democracy and pan-Africanism.”
Gutu said MDC-T had its own funding sources that enabled the party to function.
“We get our funding from the money due to us in terms of the Political Parties Finance Act as well as from the underwriting fees and subscriptions made by party members,” he said.
The government failed to release the MDC-T’s financial quota from the Political Parties Finance Act last year, further compounding the party’s position.
Ahead of last year’s congress, MDC-T legislators were asked to contribute $50 per month each to help with the upkeep of the party leader, it was reported.
The MDC-T split following differences between Tsvangirai and a faction led by former deputy treasurer-general Elton Mangoma and Biti.
Since then, several MPs have defected from the MDC-T and joined the MDC-Renewal.
Six councillors from Bulawayo dumped the MDC-T officially, although it is believed up to 14 are on their way out.