Zanu PF, MDC-A to share $25 million Mrs Mabiza

Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
Zanu-PF and MDC-Alliance will share $25 million allocated to political parties by Treasury under the Political Parties Finance Act.

Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube set aside the $25 million in the 2020 National Budget he presented in Parliament last month.
The figure is higher than last year’s allocation of $12 million.

Zanu-PF will get the lion’s share of the money after it secured more than two-thirds of parliamentary seats as it trounced MDC-Alliance in the July 30 2018 watershed elections, which were widely given a clean bill of health by local, regional and international observers.

A rough calculation shows that the revolutionary party is set to pocket almost $17,5 million with MDC- Alliance taking home about $7,5 million, given its paltry seats in the National Assembly.

Zanu-PF won 145 of the 210 seats in the National Assembly against MDC-Alliance’s 63.
The remaining two seats were won by the National Patriotic Front’s Masango “Blackman” Matambanadzo (Kwekwe Central) and independent candidate Mr Temba Mliswa (Norton).

The Permanent Secretary in the ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Mrs Virginia Mabhiza confirmed the allocation yesterday.

“Yes, political parties were allocated about $25 million in the Blue Book. We have not yet made calculations to establish how the money would be distributed once it has been disbursed,” said Mrs Mabhiza.

Under the Political Parties Finance Act, only a political party that secures 5 percent of the total votes cast can benefit from the fiscus.

Political parties have, however, expressed concern at the piecemeal disbursement of the funds as Government grapples with limited fiscal space.

Small political parties have in the past asked Government to extend financing to them but their pleas hit a brick wall when the Constitutional Court dismissed their application.

The Zimbabwe Development Party, led by the late Mr Kisinoti Mukwazhi, approached the Constitutional Court in January 2013 seeking an order to compel Treasury to release funding to all political parties participating in national elections but the application was dismissed for lack of merit.

In its ruling, the Constitutional Court said it would be “irresponsible and dangerous for Government if all political parties were to be funded” from the fiscus as that would mean even fly-by-night parties would be funded.

Government enacted the Political Parties Finance Act in 2002 after it emerged that some political parties were getting funding from hostile foreign governments and non-governmental organisations.

Some parties have tried to circumvent the law by using NGOs based in Zimbabwe as conduits for getting funds from foreign entities.

Many countries, for example the United States, do not allow political parties to receive foreign funding.
Political parties therefore should get their funding from the Government, donations, selling membership party cards and fundraising activities.

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