The Douglas Mwonzora led Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) says there is nothing new in the party’s leader receiving an executive vehicle from the Government.
This followed widely circulated social media reports alleging that Mwonzora had received a farm and a Mercedes Benz from government as a reward for his role in the ‘decimation’ of opposition politics in the country.
Responding to the allegations MDC national spokesperson Witness Dube said Mwonzora was not the first to get the vehicle from government with previous leaders of the opposition in parliament getting the same perks.
“The Leader of the Opposition in Parliament always has an executive position that entails having extra responsibilities and therefore extra tools to carry out those benefits. And Mwonzora is not the first such Leader of the Opposition in Zimbabwe to be equipped as such. Gibson Sibanda was leader of the Opposition in Parliament and he was afforded peck commensurate with a government minister.
“Thokozani Khupe was same from 2013 to 2018, and she was afforded the same status. She received a diplomatic passport as Leader of the Opposition before the same were afforded all MPs starting in 2018. She was given a Land Rover Discovery 4 (AEI***), for the same position on top of her Ford Everest ADJ*** as Member of Parliament. She was also allocated a housing stand in Borrowdale for the same position which she disposed.
“She earned a salary at the level of Leader of the House, who was Lovemore Matuke at the time, who was elevated to the same status as Khupe. They took cars on the same day, same type, on top of their parliamentary cars, and it was never considered as being pampered. Position of Leader of the Opposition in Parliament is for the most senior parliamentarian from the Opposition, and Mwonzora is leader is leader of all Opposition in Parliament, including CCC. This is because MDC Alliance has more MPs that CCC, so it is Mwonzora who supervises all Opposition MPs, which takes his duties way beyond being Senator for Manicaland,” said Dube.
He added “In short, such a position predates Mwonzora, so do the tools or packages. It’s standard across democracies in Africa and the world, and will be due to the next official leader of the opposition in parliament, seeing that Mwonzora will by all realistic accounts in the MDC be our presidential candidate in the 2023 elections, and not a parliamentary candidate as to stand a chance for the same position. On the farm, Mwonzora applied for and got a farm back in 1998, before the formation of the MDC. His first project on it was goat rearing, and he has done many other ventures including a bit of gold mining. He has no other farm that he got after this one in 1998. The whole issue of him being pampered with a farm is a creation of misinformed people trying to tarnish his image.”