THE recent recall of 21 rebel legislators from Parliament has cost the opposition MDC-T led by Morgan Tsvangirai over $600,000 in political party funding provided by the government.
Tsvangirai’s party successfully pressed for the expulsion from Parliament of the 21 lawmakers who had revolted and formed the MDC Renewal in April last year.
The main opposition party, which had 91 MPs in parliament, is now left with 70.
Political parties finances are given annually to in proportion of seats in parliament and MDC-T and Zanu PF are the only parties enjoying the privilege.
A senior MDC-T party official and National Executive Council member told NewZimbabwe.com that although the party welcomed the expulsion of the “rebels” the party has been “hard hit” by resultant massive reduction in funding from government.
“We have lost at least $200,000 from the treasury in the form of political party funding and this translates to something like $600,000 from now until 2018 when we go for elections,” said the official.
The MDC-T had also seriously considered withdrawing all the legislators from Parliament but abandoned the decision after realising its financial impact.
The national executive member who spoke to NewZimbabwe.com said they were forced to reverse the decision after realising they would completely lose out on government funding.
Party’s spokesperson Obert Gutu confirmed having lost out on political parties funding due to the expulsion of the 21 lawmakers but could not be drawn to reveal the figures.
“I am not sure by how much, exactly, our grant from Treasury will be reduced as a result of the recent recalling of the 21 former MDC-T Members of Parliament,” said Gutu.
“I will have to check with the office of the MDC-T Treasurer-General on that one. They will to do the calculations and, thereafter, furnish us with the exact figures.”
Gutu however refuted allegations that the party had decided to withdraw its MPs from parliament but said that it was an ongoing debate within the movement.
“The MDC-T is a democratic party where cadres are always debating various topical issues,” he said.
“As a party of excellence, we have inculcated a culture of peaceful and democratic debate within our organisation.
“This is the reason why you find that my Facebook Wall is always a theatre of very serious and interesting debate, especially around issues of good governance and the rule of law.”