Analysis: Are opposition players using arrests as fundraising?

by | May 3, 2021 | Crime & Courts, Local News, Politics | 0 comments

Hosia Mviringi

Cecilia Chimbiri, Netsai Marova and Joana Mamombe are in jail for various crimes that include physically abusing a police officer, faking an abduction and violating bail conditions among other crimes.

Many uninformed people believe the narrative that the trio is being victimised by the state, yet there is a bigger story behind their activism.

A closer look at the circumstances reveals an interesting tale.

There are those who are quick to open their palms to trinkets everytime something happens and it appears they are back in business.

Freeman Chari is one of a multitude of MDC activists who fled the country using fictitious tales and found refugee in the United States of America.
The man has been at the forefront of raising funds to finance various activities of the MDC Alliance in Zimbabwe, literally becoming a resource funnel for financing some of the most destructive covert and overt activities by the MDC Alliance in recent years.

The latest moves by Freeman Chari are aimed at raising money from unsuspecting Zimbabweans in the United States, and the wider diaspora for onward transmission to the MDC Alliance under the guise of raising money to support incarcerated MDC Alliance activists.

It is no longer a secret that the MDC Alliance coffers are dry as the party has hit a hard patch in recent times, due to donor fatigue since the formation of the movement in 1999.

Therefore, it is most telling why most actions by their activists are all but calculated desperate moves to curry for donor sympathy in the vain hope that the party’s dying fortunes can be resurrected.

Chari, and a few others in the opposition circles are running a fundraising campaign in which they are raising money for those they term ‘political prisoners.’

In an interview with this publication, Chari could not explain the criteria used to identify purported beneficiaries or outcomes from his latest opaque (GofundMe) crowdfunding effort.

“This has nothing to do with MDC Alliance. It is to help more than 28 Political prisoners in Zimbabwe and others to come.
Currently you have people like Makomborero Haruzivishe, Last Maengahama, Joanna Mamombe, Cecilia Chimbiri, Netsai Marova in Harare etc. There are others in Marondera who were arrested for the 2019 Fuel demo and one in Whwawhwa. There are about 10 Mthwakazi Republican Party supporters arrested in Bulawayo etc.
We are looking to support all those who stand up for their rights and are persecuted for that(sic),” said Chari.

However, this is a tired story which has been told over and over, including by the United States embassy in Harare.

It is all very clear that this is a party fundraiser disguised as a benevolence fund towards incarcerated activists.

Extensive investigations by this reporter revealed a looting spree within the Civic Society, with prominent leaders and opposition politicians implicated in the looting of proceeds of purported socio-political change initiatives.

In a similar fashion, another solidarity initiative for Joana Mamombe, Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova, had its funds garnished by one Maureen Kademaunga, while the beneficiary victims and their families continue to languish.

Freeman Chari was at pains explaining why they could not combine efforts and mobilise the funds collectively.

“I don’t control people’s thoughts. The money is not being raised in anyone’s name. Check the fundraiser. The fact remains, something has to be done. We account to those who donate, those who don’t can sit and watch,” he said.

Questions have been asked of the approach by the opposition party and its appendages.
Why would members of the same opposition party run separate fundraising initiatives concurrently purportedly for the same intended beneficiaries?
The MDC Veteran Activists Association raised a substantial amount of money in previous initiatives for the similar purposes, but the money raised remains unaccounted for.

Dirk Frey and Charles Nyoni are said to have inappropriately benefitted from proceeds of the Itai Dzamara Trust where they were trustees, while Itai’s wife and kids are living by the string.

#Tajamuka’s Prosper Mkwananzi bought big cars and enjoyed himself with various ladies, using donated proceeds of a protest movement.
These are scandals of epic proportions which continue to be replicated.

Poor activists are driven to extremes so that once they get arrested, movement leaders and fellow activists remain outside cashing in on the activists’ plight.

There is no such love as would condemn a fellow activist to prison, while one uses their name for financial gain.