COMMITTEE of Citizens executive director Gregory Chifire has alleged that the resumption of funding by the Netherlands Institute for Multi-party Democracy (NIMD) to Zambia Centre for Inter-party Dialogue (ZCID) is just a smokescreen meant to hoodwink Zambians into thinking that the institute is providing technical support to all political parties, which is not the case.
Mr Chifire charged in a walk-in interview yesterday that the truth of the matter is that NIMD is trying to use ZCID to directly fund the Patriotic Front (PF), whose member Sylvia Chalikosa has taken over the reigns of the organisation.
Mr Chifire alleged that NIMD regional director Jasper Veen and opposition political parties took advantage of the absence of MMD national secretary Katele Kalumba and ZCID secretary Newton Ng’uni to hold a meeting at Rhapsody at Arcades Shopping Centre in Lusaka last Wednesday.
He said Mr Ng’uni and Dr Kalumba would not have agreed to sign an agreement with NIMD as the modalities of the funding are not transparent.
He alleged that some of those in attendance at the meeting included United Party for National Development secretary general Winston Chibwe, Mr Veen, Ms Chalikosa and MMD member Creda Bweupe.
Mr Chifire alleged that Mr Veen has been seen at the home of PF vice-president Guy Scott, whose sister is married to his (Veen’s) friend.
Mr Chifire also wondered why NIMD has not responded to issues raised by his organisation in April, that it was directly funding a named political party, despite promising to clarify the issue.
He said the resumption of funding has not been done in good faith, and challenged NIMD to state its position on earlier queries.
On Friday, NIMD and ZCID held a joint press briefing at which they announced that they had resumed their partnership.
An e-mail has been sent to Mr Veen, who returned to the Netherlands on Saturday, and his response is being awaited.