The ruling ZANU PF and opposition MDC-T led by Douglas Mwonzora are set to share the $200 million budgeted this year under the Political Parties (Finance) Act, in proportion to their vote, giving Zanu-PF just over 70 per cent of the total.
Zanu-PF will get over $140 million while the MDC-Alliance will get about $60 million for its almost 30 per cent votes won.
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The State funding of parties that obtain reasonable support in elections, at least five per cent of the votes cast, was designed to ensure that they can function properly and are not tempted to look for dubious or foreign sources of finance.
In a general notice published in the Government Gazette yesterday, Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi announced that $200 million had been allocated this year and that the two parties had qualified. He said:
This money shall be disbursed to political parties that qualify in terms of subsection (3) of section (3) of the Act as follows
(a) (one hundred and forty million and sixty thousand dollars ($140 060 000.00) shall be paid to the Zimbabwe African National Union (Patriotic Front ) ZANU (PF) which received 70.03% of the votes cast; and
(b) fifty-nine million nine hundred and forty thousand dollars ($59 940 000) shall be paid to the Movement for Democratic Change-Alliance (MDC-A) which received 29.97% of the total votes cast.
The development has infuriated MDC Alliance led by Nelson Chamisa which believes it should be receiving the money since Chamisa contested the 2018 elections, not Douglas Mwonzora.
MDC Alliance Treasurer-General, David Coltart – a former Education Minister – also questioned the timing of the disbursement of the money. He said:
So in the same week the IMF in essence gives ZANUPF US$1 billion with no strings attached, ZANU-PF arranges to transfer Z$60 million due to MDC Alliance to ZANUPF’s surrogate MDC T. And the international community remains mute.
The development revokes memories of the 2020 Supreme Court ruling on the MDC leadership crisis that noted that the MDC-T outfit then led by Thokozani Khupe was the party that had entered into the 2017 MDC Alliance.
The Court said as a result, the MDC-T was entitled to receive the Political Parties money no matter who is in charge much to the annoyance of the outfit led by Chamisa as it feels robbed.
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