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Zimbabwe Opposition Factions Circle Issue Of Public Party Funding


Spokesmen for two rival factions of Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change said they are looking to establish an arrangement under which the groupings can equitably share Z$260 million in public financing due the party as a whole.

Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa, as leader of the house, is soon to disburse a total of Z$650 million to the country's political parties, some 60% of which will go to the ruling ZANU-PF party and 40% or about Z$260 million to the opposition.

Controversy flared last year at this time when Chinamasa disbursed the opposition's allocation to Welshman Ncube, formerly secretary general of the united MDC and then as now secretary general of the so-called pro-senate faction. This left the faction led by MDC founding president Morgan Tsvangirai empty-handed and fuming.

Chinamasa's one-sided distribution to the pro-senate faction - whose decision to field candidates in the November 2005 senate election which Tsvangirai wanted the party to boycott - was perceived by many as a tactic to exacerbate MDC divisions.

But Deputy Information Secretary Abednico Bhebhe of the pro-senate faction, which is now identified with its president, Arthur Mutambara, told Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the factions could reach a deal on fund sharing.

The secretary general of the Tsvangirai opposition faction, Tendai Biti, said that the two formations are in the process of working out their financial issues.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...

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