HARARE – Zanu PF and MDC-T will next year share the $500 million Treasury allocated under the Political Parties Finance Act with the split based on the number of constituency seats in the National Assembly.
According to Treasury’s blue book, which goes into the ultra-fine detail of how the Budget is spent, qualifying political parties have been allocated $500 million, with the threshold being five percent of the total votes in a general election.
Only Zanu PF and MDC-T led by Senator Douglas Mwonzora qualify.
Zanu PF is set to get away with the largest share of the money given that it enjoys a comfortable two thirds majority in the National Assembly.
A rough calculation depicts that Zanu PF will get almost $400 million while MDC-T will pocket at least $100 million.
The Mwonzora-led MDC-T assumed the status of official opposition after the Supreme Court nullified in a civil case the elevation of MDC-Alliance leader Mr Nelson Chamisa to the party leadership.
The court had to work with the MDC-T’s own constitution in the civil action, and found that under that party’s own rules Mr Chamisa was not the party leader.
The party was told to run a proper congress under its own rules to settle its leadership, and that was won by Senator Mwonzora who took over from Dr Thokozani Khupe who was the interim leader following the law suit.
The finding in a High Court civil suit that the MDC-Alliance was simply an electoral pact, not a proper political party that had superceded the parties that formed the pact, allowed the MDC-T to insist that those successful legislators and councillors nominated by the MDC-T in the pact lists had to either accept the legal position of the MDC-T or be recalled.
Since then, the MDC-T has been receiving the opposition share of the Government funding under the Political Parties Finance Act.
Government promulgated Political Parties Finance Act after it emerged that some opposition parties were receiving funding from foreign governments and organisations as party of covert operations to achieve regime change.
Political parties can now receive lawful funding through Government grants under the Act, sale of party cards, fundraising activities and from its members.
Government has since gazetted the Private Voluntary Organisation’s Amendment Bill that prohibits Non Government Organisation’s from campaigning for political parties or candidates.
The Bill, now before Parliament and is set to be subjected to public hearing by Parliament came after it emerged that civic society and NGOs were being used as conduits for illegal activities by some political parties and hostile foreign agencies. – Herald