BULAWAYO – A citizen-led initiative to buy an armoured car for Zimbabwe’s main opposition leader Nelson Chamisa has raised US$83,000 of a US$120,000 target in just over a month.
Chamisa’s convoy was reportedly targeted by Zanu PF supporters in Masvingo and Manicaland last month in what his MDC Alliance party said were “assassination attempts.”
Within days, concerned Zimbabweans had set up a GoFundMe page called ‘Let’s Replace the People’s President’s Car,’ aiming to raise US$120,000.
On Thursday, over 2,200 individual donors had donated to the fund, the highest a US$2,500 contribution by a Tino Mudzekenyedzi.
The originator of the page, one T. Basvi wrote alongside the request for donations: “It is clear that the regime wants to continue to frustrate democracy by attacking the main opposition.
“The recent attacks showed that the regime wants to injure or cause serious harm to Advocate Nelson Chamisa.
“We want to send a clear message of solidarity by replacing Chamisa’s vehicle which was destroyed during the recent attacks orchestrated by the regime in Masvingo.”
MDC Alliance spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere said: “From a personal perspective it’s absolutely great that Zimbabweans, especially those in the diaspora, are converging to play their part to help the democratic struggle back home.
“This being a citizen initiative, and not a party project, I hesitate to speak with authority about it. The organisers have spoken eloquently about their intentions and the cause appears noble, deserving of all our support.”
The fundraisers say the money will be managed by an “audited committee”. They have not said what type of vehicle will be purchased, or from where.
Chamisa’s predecessor, the late Morgan Tsvangirai, once had a South Africa-registered BMW X5 armoured car but it was seized by police in Lupane who said it was not properly imported. The vehicle remains rotting away at a police station there.
Visit the Let’s Replace The People’s President’s Car GoFundMe page: https://gofund.me/c41fc093