Zimbabweans raising funds to buy a bullet-proof vehicle for Movement for Democratic Change Alliance leader, Nelson Chamisa, have surpassed their target of US$120,000.
The initiative done on the crowd-funding platform, GoFundme, has so far generated US$122,000 with donations drawn from the United States, Britain, Canada, Australia and other countries.
The fundraising campaign organizer identified only as T. Basvi and five members of his team raised a total of US$47,785 from 1,092 donors. Other donations were made by people who visited the GoFundMe platform without help from the team.
Basvi, who posted the fundraising initiative in October after Chamisa’s convoy was pelted with missiles by suspected Zanu PF activists in Masvingo, was unreachable for comment Friday evening.
The initiative has set social media on fire with some people commending Basvi for raising funds to buy Chamisa’s vehicle while others are slamming the move as an ill-informed decision likely to be targeted by Zimbabwean authorities as a political scheme meant to revitalize the MDC Alliance.
On Twitter, Thabani Mpofu, who is Chamisa’s attorney, said, “It’s not about a car. Its about citizens who have decided to take over. Citizens who now know that they can speak with one voice. Citizens, who are ready to run someone out of town. From Citizens Convergence for Change to Citizens Action for Change. This is symbolic.”
But Information Secretary, Nick Mangwana, sounded skeptical about the fundraising scheme on the same social media platform.
He posted a photo of vehicles abandoned at what looks like Customs premises with a caption which reads, “This country has a history of respecting its lawyers (sic), and foreign cars that break our laws or cars that illegally find themselves on our roads face a certain fate.”
Outspoken MDC Alliance vice chairperson, Job Sikhala, immediately shot back by attacking the ruling party.
He said, “Hakuna vanhu vane godo in the whole world se hochi dze ZANU PF. Vaihumana kuti MDC Alliance supporters will not support our President’s motor vehicle fundraising agenda After it exceeded the target by miles kwayi nyweeee nyweee political parties finance act Muri mipurwa yavanhu (There is no one in the whole world who is as jealous as Zanu PF pigs. They were gossiping that MDC Alliance supporters will not support our President’s motor vehicle fundraising agenda After it exceeded the target by miles now they are talking about the Political Parties Finance Act. You are monitor lizards.)”
Political parties are not allowed to receive funding from foreigners.
A person identified as Africa Conservative had this to say in the Twitter thread generated by Cde Treasure Basopo. “What is significant/symbolic about fleecing 3,000 people of their money? Anway, I hope it is a comfortable ride. Some people didnt send relatives money for Christmas this year because of Chamisa’s bango.”
Hulu kani Bhila also blasted the fundraising initiative. He wrote on Twitter, “So it’s possible to galvanise people to buy you Chamisa, a car, but you cannot do the same to develop Hre and Byo where people gave u a mandate in 2018? Rubbish is Chamisa.”
But Jessica Jeraldine praised Chamisa’s followers for raising funds for him to buy a bullet-proof vehicle. “It gave us an opportunity to unite, to disintegrate barriers between us, to be Zimbabweans- it felt like home, family gathering.”
A person identified only as John shared the same views. He said, “Well said, our next target as citizens must be a fundraising campaign for the elections and our polling agents as citizens action for change!!”
Rukudzo Kahlari also echoed Jeraldine’s sentiments saying, “And all this paining them, now is time to up the ante and mobilise not only funds but human resources, intellect etc for change…”-VOA