A pro government newspaper,Herald, in Zimbabwe has accused the European Union, Britain and the US government for allegedly funding efforts to discredit the forthcoming harmonised elections, documents in our possession reveal.
The paper claims that its investigations show that the United States Department of State has been making huge deposits into quasi-political groups masquerading as NGOs to prop up the MDC-T campaign while the department’s development aid arm, USAID has been sponsoring the Zimbabwe Election Support Network to come up with a negative report on the harmonised elections in anticipation of an MDC-T defeat.
The strategy is two-pronged. While the Department of State is pouring money into the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition to campaign for MDC-T, USAID is preparing for an MDC-T loss by availing money for drafting a damning, unempirical and biased election report aimed at discrediting the elections.
The US State Department made two separate deposits into a Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition local account on January 23, 2013 (US$264 684) and June 24 2013 (US$187 978,04) to finance the so-called Feya Feya campaign which is designed to lure voters to the MDC-T under the guise of a campaign for peaceful, free and fair elections.
The EU, on the other hand, through non-governmental organisations, Humanist Institute for Co-operation (Hivos) and International Media Support (IMS) has also availed $ 736 530.00 to ZESN to carry out a quasi-election monitoring exercise whose intended purpose is to “authenticate” the Western stance that the elections are not free and fair if the MDC-T loses.
The money was paid in four tranches on April 17 2013 (US$168 258 and US$199 993-00), July 10, 2013 (US$168 258) and 11 July 2013 (US$199 993).
The British Embassy also joined the fray and availed US$156 000 on January 30, 2013 and US$161 000 (February 13, 2013) to Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition for the MDC-T campaign.
On February 23, 2013, Morgan Tsvangirai met with British Ambassador Deborah Bronnert and DFID director where he begged for election funding.
Tsvangirai, in a two-page paper prepared by Jameson Timba, said, “I know that Jameson Timba, Elton Mangoma and Tendai Biti have spoken with you in recent days about desperate need for financial support to help level the playing field. We have agreed to share our strategy with you- any potential donor to our cause will wish to be clear what they are contributing to.”
He further exhorted Bronnert to avail funds saying: “I understand this is a tricky issue, but we know that if we can fund more effective organisation and communication, especially in the rural areas, we will prevail in the elections when it comes”.
As a result of the meeting, the British Embassy availed tranches of money to the MDC-T through the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition using a conduit called the Global Advocacy Campaign (GAC) which is managed by Macdonald Lewanika, the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition director and Mr Timba.