Monday, February 10, 2014

(NEWSDAY ZW) ‘I’m persecuted for standing up to Eddie Cross’
November 4, 2013
BY NDUDUZO TSHUMA

SUSPENDED MDC-T Bulawayo provincial administrator Nkululeko Ndlovu says he is being persecuted for standing up to Bulawayo South MP Eddie Cross after the two exchanged words over party funds.

Ndlovu was recently suspended for allegedly misappropriating $5 000, but has denied the accusations saying he gave all the party’s Bulawayo legislators money to pay polling agents in their constituencies and the MPs must account for the money and not him.

Ndlovu said the money came in two cash batches of $31 000 and $35 000 respectively.

“The problem is with the second batch. All the legislators signed for the money to pay their polling agents and I challenge any legislator who claims that I did not give them the money to come forward and I will produce evidence. On average, a constituency has 40 polling stations with three polling officers at each station,” Ndlovu said.

He accused Cross of demanding more money to pay more polling agents in his constituency than the number agreed to by the party.

“Cross misled me into giving him money to pay for four agents per station instead of three. When I then asked him to return money for the extra agents he had claimed the money for, Cross then said as a national executive member, he was not accountable to the province.”

Ndlovu said that is when they exchanged some unsavoury SMS messages in which Cross insulted him branding him “crap” and a “thief”. He said some of the SMS insults Cross sent to him bordered on outright racism.

“I know that Cross is senior to me in the party, but I was only doing my job. Cross said if he was the authority, he would fire me. So I am being charged for insubordination for simply asking Cross to return the extra money he was not entitled to.

Ndlovu said he has the text messages to back him claims.

“This is a vendetta, I never abused any funds. Even the insubordination charges against me do not hold water because the bosses are not allowed to abuse juniors. Cross was abusive when I asked him about the money and his statements bordered on racism.”

Some party sources said factions within the MDC-T were fighting for control of the administrator’s office in the run-up to the party’s national congress in 2016, hence the current chaos at the Bulawayo provincial offices.

“That office is the one that runs the party. Every communication gets in through that office and there has been so much jostling by rival factions within the party to control that office,” a source told Southern Eye.

Ndlovu said if he wanted to steal the money, he would have taken all of it since it was handed to him in cash and was never made to sign for it anywhere.

“There is actually no paper track of the money as it was handed to me in cash so if I wanted I would have taken all of it. The MPs must answer for the money.

After all some of them were fingered and even detained for abusing the $50 000 Community Development Fund and now want to tarnish my image,” said Ndlovu.

Ndlovu charged that there were elements within the Bulawayo MDC-T structures that were corrupt and hindered the progress and the growth of the party.

Cross yesterday confirmed that he instituted the audit with the Harare office as he was not happy with the handling of finances at the offices after he heard that some polling officers in three constituencies had not been paid.

He said as result the party conducted an audit in the 12 provincial structures that also resulted in the suspension of Mashonaland East administrator Gwyneth Ganya while Ndlovu failed to account for about $5 000.

“As for my conversation with him, I kept the records on my phone and that record will be seen tomorrow when he appears for disciplinary hearing in Harare. I believe these are internal matters and I do not get why he has to discuss them in newspapers,” Cross said.

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