As the national debate over the US$40 000 loans given to Members of Parliament (MPs) rages on, Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) president, Nelson Chamisa, claims that the loan facility is an attempt by President Emmerson Mnangagwa to bribe legislators to campaign for him in the upcoming elections.
Chamisa claimed the loans were an attempt by the president to prevent a ‘bhora musango’ within the ruling party, in which Zanu PF party members vote against Mnangagwa while supporting Zanu PF parliamentary and local government candidates in 2023.
In a video clip captured by a local publication on Wednesday, Chamisa expressed his displeasure with his own party legislators for accepting the loans at a time when the general populace was struggling.
“But it’s not so much about the CCC, it’s much about Mr Mnangagwa, trying to avert a ‘bhora musango’ within Zanu PF because he feels the MPS are going to vote for themselves and not campaign for him but campaign for Mukomana (referring to himself),” he said.
“So, to try and oil the palms of the MPs, they couldn’t do it only for Zanu PF (MPs) from what I have investigated and I got a report this afternoon, they also had to do it for CCC.”
However, Chamisa stated that CCC legislators were supposed to have rejected the loans on principle.
“CCC MPs were not supposed to drink from this poisoned chalice. They have joined the pioneer column, they have joined the gravy train and they have crossed the line,” he said, noting they would be punished by the electorate.
“I’ve told them that if you don’t act accordingly, you know what it means. The citizens are waiting for you and they are going to punish you heavily.”
The opposition leader noted he did not support the loans nor MPs accepting it, saying the Parliament was not a bank that provided financial assistance.
“I don’t agree with it, I don’t encourage it, I don’t support it, I don’t believe that people must be talking about their welfare when the nation is struggling the way we are struggling. I went to the hospital, US$ 40 000 will do so much just to transform the outlook of our hospitals, in terms of linen and beds that are broken,” Chamisa said.
“It’s a pathetic situation, the toilets are not functioning. There’s nothing, not even boreholes, no water but if you take US$40 000 it will do wonders. For Parliament to want to behave like a bank or the government to turn itself into a bank that is giving loans, for me, defeats any logic.”
Chamisa went on to say that he had discussed with MPs about this behaviour because the money was a “bribe.”
“In fact, to call it a loan, is to be very nice. This is a bribe disguised as a loan, a donkey is a donkey, even if it looks like a horse. No. Let’s call spade a spade. You can’t call a lion a cat. It is a lion. If it’s a cat, it’s a cat. Don’t try to confuse the terms. Yes, I have engaged MPs,” said the opposition leader.