Wednesday, April 28, 2010

(ZIMBABWE GUARDIAN) Donors stop funding Tsvangirai's newsletter

Donors stop funding Tsvangirai's newsletter
Posted: Wednesday, April 28, 2010 8:19 am

THE United States government and other Western donors have indefinitely suspended funding Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s newsletter, amid reports that they now favour a faction led by Tendai Biti, that party's secretary general.

The donors are now directing resources unofficially towards promotion of Biti's faction. The recent intra-party violence caused the restless donors to make the final decision.

Last week, MDC-T director-general Mr Toendepi Shonhe, who is allegedly linked to the Biti faction, was attacked by rowdy youths loyal to Mr Tsvangirai. The youths accused Mr Shonhe of mismanagement and supportive of Mr Biti, thereby undermining party leader Tsvangirai’s leadership.

Donors then announced they had pulled the plug and would not finance the PM’s newsletter — which was launched last year — "until further notice".

It is alleged there were fears some of the money paid for the newsletter was paying parallel Government staff in the PM’s Office.

The staff in question — whom Public Service Commission chair Dr Mariyawanda Nzuwah has already said are not welcome in Government buildings — are reportedly earning as much as US$7 000 monthly.

Observers said the latest developments were a bad omen for Mr Tsvangirai’s party.

Political analyst Professor Jonathan Moyo yesterday said: "Tsvangirai is now facing formidable challenges from within and the suspension of funding by the donor community reflects the beginning of the crumbling of his empire.

"There are four factions within MDC-T that are fighting for dominance and the (one led by a senior party and Government official) is the most serious threat to Tsvangirai.

"However, at the moment the donor community wants to continue using Tsvangirai as a cover because they feel his brand is stronger than MDC-T itself."

The newsletter, which was being co-ordinated by an official in the PM’s office Mr Andrew Chadwick was launched last year together with MDC-T’s mouthpiece The Changing Times.

MDC-T spokesperson Mr Nelson Chamisa said The Changing Times was funded by resources from the party’s investments, including a regalia shop at their headquarters.

Labels: , , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home