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A visit to Europe by top opposition MDC-T officials appears to have put some noses in the Zanu PF administration out of joint.
Information ministry secretary George Charamba who also doubles as President Robert Mugabe’s spokesperson told the state media that Harare could suspend re-engagement with the European Union (EU) over the bloc’s alliance with the MDC-T.
In addition, Charamba also warned that the government would scrap State funding of political parties if the MDC-T continued to collect largesse’s from its western allies.
MDC-T secretary general, Douglas Mwonzora earlier this week told NewZimbabwe.com that he would lead a party delegation to Europe.
Making clear they were travelling at the invitation of the host countries, Mwonzora sad the trip would cover England and Norway as well as Australia.
“The four day visit has been made possible by the hosts’ countries which have invited us.
“We are also going to take that chance to meet with our party structures in these countries and intensify our 2018 political campaigns which have already started in earnest,” said Mwonzora.
Charamba has, somehow, concluded that the trip is aimed at seeking a war chest for the 2018 elections.
He warned that the Zanu PF government would respond by scrapping state funding for political parties under the Political Parties Finance Act.
“There are three things we are worried about with the move taken by MDC-T,” Charamba told the Herald newspaper.
“Firstly, we are worried by the issue of external funding because the whole essence of funding political parties from the fiscus is to develop politics loyal to the nation.
“When we have foreigners funding local political parties, we have the reason to revise legal parameters that govern the funding.”
Again, by inviting the MDC-T, Britain and Norway were putting at peril ongoing re-engagement efforts between Harare and the EU.
Brussels slapped Harare with sanctions nearly 15 years back, accusing Mugabe of cheating at elections and brutalising civilians, allegations the Zanu PF strongman rejects.
The EU has lifted most of the sanctions leaving only Mugabe and his wife Grace banned from travelling to European capitals.
The block has also been actively re-engaging with Harare and restoring some developmental assistance.
Charamba said the government could put the rapprochement on ice if Britain interferes in local politics by financially backing the opposition.
“We also have political-cum-diplomatic processes underway,” he said.
“When you have overtly hostile stance hinted by MDC-T, we have to reassess our own re-engagement efforts with the EU.
“Surely the EU cannot run with hares at the same time hunting with the hounds.
He added: “… are we surprised by the move by MDC-T? Not at all.
“The essence of MDC-T politics has always been external. MDC-T has proved to be a true proverbial chip off a corrupt block.”source-newzimbabwe