HARARE – Former vice president Joice Mujuru’s National People Party (NPP) is seeking $4,8 million in donations to fund its campaign for the forthcoming 2018 elections.
This comes as opposition parties have hit hard times, with the Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC recently admitting it was going through financial difficulties and desperately awaiting a $2 million-plus payment through the Political Parties Finance (PPF) Act.
The NPP sent the SOS during the party’s national executive council meeting in Harare recently, with its national chairperson Dzikamai Mavhaire telling the Daily News that they needed financial capacity to withstand the well-oiled Zanu PF machinery in the approaching 2018 polls.
“The parties that receive money through the PPF Act are Zanu PF and the MDC. We finance ourselves. So we must raise our own funds. At the moment we have a target to use that money for our campaigns,” he said.
“Every political party is self-financed. Some of us came from National Democratic Party and then from Zapu. We used to self-finance our activities,” said Mavhaire, a former Zanu PF politburo member.
Provisions of the PPF Act prescribe that political parties that secure at least five percent of the total votes cast are entitled to funding from Treasury.
Given recent election results, only Zanu PF and the MDC qualify for the funding.
However, Treasury has been unable to release the funding because of poor revenue inflows that have resulted in government staggering salary payments for civil servants.
Mavhaire — a former Energy minister in President Robert Mugabe’s Cabinet — said he was confident NPP will secure the $4,8 million from its membership.
“That’s the minimum…we know our people, the population that we have and the responses that we are getting, we will get there,” he said.
Earlier on, Mavhaire had indicated that many NPP members dumped the party owing to its financial position, saying “when we formed this party people thought that they will take the top posts, some thought they would make a lot of money but when they saw that there was none of that, they left”.
In MDC’s case, the party sent an SOS to members of the public and its traditional donors to lend a helping hand.
The party’s spokesperson, Obert Gutu, confirmed to the Daily News that they had fallen on hard times.
Gutu said Treasury had been extremely uncooperative when it came to disbursing money owed to the MDC, suggesting Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa and his team could be withholding payments to cripple their rivals.
“We last received money from Treasury several months ago and naturally, this adversely affects our operations as a political party,” said Gutu.
“However, the MDC is a massive organisation with millions of supporters who have been bankrolling the party’s operations. We are the best hope for the people of Zimbabwe and I would like to take this opportunity to most sincerely thank all our supporters and other stakeholders for solidly standing with us through thick and thin,” he added.
Recently, the Deputy Sherriff raided MDC’s Harvest House headquarters and attached an assortment of furniture over a $108 000 debt owed to ex-workers.
The party is also struggling to pay its workers, including complying with statutory obligations such as payments to the National Social Security Authority. – Daily News