SA editor bankrolls Mugabe rival, Zimbabwe state media claim
(dpa) - State media in Zimbabwe Friday accused prominent South Africa-based newspaper publisher Trevor Ncube of donating 300,000 rand (37,805 US) to President Robert Mugabe's rival Simba Makoni two weeks ahead of scheduled parliamentary polls.
Zimbabwe's official Herald newspaper said it had obtained documents showing that Ncube made the payment on February 26 through a South African bank in order to provide campaign materials for Makoni, Mugabe's former finance minister.
It was unclear how the Herald obtained the documents. Ncube, a Zimbabwean who also publishes two of the country's only three remaining private newspapers the Standard and the Independent, denied the claims, the paper reported.
Zimbabwe's electoral laws make it an offence for parties to receive foreign funding.
The newspaper said another man believed to be a South African national made a payment of 20,000 rand to the Makoni campaign on the same day.
"It does appear that you are on a fishing expedition who I am likely to vote for. May I remind you that my vote is a secret," Ncube told the Herald.
Mugabe, who has been in power here since 1980, will face Makoni and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in the March 29 polls.