Organisers of the GoFundMe campaign to buy an armored vehicle for opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa have distanced him and the party from the initiative, saying it was a private project.
The project is being spearheaded by a group called Citizens Action for Change (CAC), which introduced the initiative last year in December before Chamisa launched the CCC party.
The aim of the initiative was to raise over US$120 000 to purchase an armoured vehicle for Chamisa after his convoy was attacked by suspected Zanu-PF supporters and State security agents during his meet-the-people tours in the country’s rural areas.
In Mutare, Chamisa’s convoy was shot at on October 19, 2021, jolting the GoFundMe initiative, led by Juma Ulete, into action.
Yesterday, Ulete told NewsDay that the project to purchase Chamisa’s bullet proof vehicle was still on and that CAC had recently met Chamisa to make arrangements to hand over the funds.
“The campaign was started by citizens who were concerned over Chamisa’s safety. It was introduced way before the CCC was formed and the opposition is a mere beneficiary. The funds were only released last week after we experienced administrative hitches, which were triggered by Zanu-PF which had complained to GoFundMe in California, the United States of America that Chamisa was organising funds politically to purchase an armoured vehicle,” Ulete said.
“We are citizens who raised this money, not for a political party. We raised this money for a citizen whose name is Nelson Chamisa. We started this fundraising on October 13, 2021 before CCC was formed, hence it does not have any ties to CCC. We, as citizens, noticed that there is no even playing field in Zimbabwean politics.
“GofFundMe was supposed to give us the money around December when we reached the target, but Zanu-PF was bombarding the campaign saying why are these people politically fundraising?”
Ulete said the funds were eventually released to CAC by GoFundMe last week, and they had already met Chamisa and his security team to decide on the type of vehicle they wanted.
Zanu-PF director for information Tafadzwa Mugwadi responded by alleging that CCC always uses the ruling party as scapegoats for its failures.
“In 2018, Chamisa who was leading the then MDC Alliance ahead of the elections, swindled his supporters through another GoFundMe initiative, where millions were embezzled and never reached their election agents for whom that GoFundMe initiative had been taken. It is in their DNA, and they are always using the excuse of being in opposition to dodge accountability and transparency,” Mugwadi said.
“One wonders what kind of an alternative they are when they steal in broad daylight from their supporters. When asked to account, they point fingers at Zanu-PF as if they share bank accounts with Zanu-PF. Now, if they can be easily possessed by stealing demons and reach orgasm at the sight of US$120 000, you can imagine when they are in charge of the national cash box.”