ZANU-PF and MDC-T will share $6 million allocated to political parties by Treasury under the Political Parties Finance Act. Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa set aside the $6 million in the 2016 National Budget he presented in Parliament last Thursday. The figure is double the $3 million allocated this year. 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-T in the July 31, 2013 watershed elections, which was widely given a clean bill by local and international observers.
In the Presidential poll, President Mugabe swept aside the challenge of MDC-T’s Mr Morgan Tsvangirai, getting 61,09 percent of the vote to the latter’s 33,94 percent.
The revolutionary party went on to increase its presence in Parliament after it won several by-elections that were held following adecision by MDC-T to recall 14 legislators, who had crossed th floor.
Zanu-PF won 160 out of the contested 210 National Assembly seats in the July 31, 2013 elections, with MDC-T garnering 49. One seat went to an independent contestant.
A rough calculation shows Zanu-PF will get about $5 million of the $6 million with MDC-T set to receive $1 million.
MDC, led by Professor Welshman Ncube, which benefited from the money over the last two parliaments, misses out this time as it failed to secure the threshold stipulated for a political party to be eligible to benefit.
Under the Act, only a political party that secures 5 percent of the total votes cast can benefit from the fiscus. 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 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 elec- tions.
However, the court said it would be “irresponsible and dangerous for Government if all political parties were to be funded” from the fiscus. 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 getting money from NGOs based in Zimbabwe. Many countries, for example the United States, do not allow political parties to receive foreign funding.
Source: The Herald