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‘We’ll be guided by law on political parties funds’

When distributing the budgeted funds for political parties, with Zanu PF and CCC being the two who qualify, the Government will be guided by the law and even by the courts if the CCC factions need to fight over which one gets the cash, a Cabinet Minister has said.

Treasury has over the years been allocating money to political parties that qualify to receive Government funding under the Political Parties and Finance Act.

While Zanu PF and CCC are the two who qualify this year, of late there has been a dispute between who is the legitimate representative of CCC between its interim secretary general, Mr Sengenzo Tshabangu, and another rival camp led by Mr Nelson Chamisa.

Since the party has no proper structure, there could well be disputes over where the political funding should go.

Mr Tshabangu has since written to Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi that he was the one entitled to receive the money, while Mr Chamisa has sought to assert his authority on the party.

Mr Tshabangu has recalled several Members of Parliament and councillors after Parliament declined to meddle in the opposition party’s internal bickering.

The Chamisa-led faction has sought to discredit Mr Tshabangu saying he was an imposter something that has set a bruising legal battle before the High Court.

By-elections have since been held with another one set for next month after Mr Tshabangu recalled several legislators and councillors.

In an interview, Minister Ziyambi said Government will be guided by what the law provides in terms of distribution of the money.

“The political parties in Parliament are identifiable.

“We have Zanu PF and CCC, so in that process we will gazette how much has been allocated and what each party is entitled to. We will then ask authorised representatives of the said parties to submit names and account numbers where the money will be deposited,” said Minister Ziyambi.

If there was more than one receipting name and account from any political party claiming to be legitimate representative of the organisation, Government would not take sides and would allow the CCC to fix the issue or fight it out in court between themselves, the Government then following whatever the court ordered.

“We will not release money if there are disputes, but will allow them to fix their issues. If it means they go to court we will comply with whatever the court would have ruled,” said Minister Ziyambi.

The money is disbursed based on the percentage of votes the two parties received in the August 23, 2023 harmonised elections.

For a political party to qualify, it should have garnered at least five percent of the vote in a general election which is why only two of the contesting parties qualified.

The Government promulgated the Political Parties Finance Act after it emerged that some opposition parties were receiving funding from foreign governments and organisations as part of covert operations to achieve regime change.

Political parties can now receive lawful funding through Government grants under the Act, the sale of party cards, fundraising activities, and from their 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, from funding them and from being a conduit for funds.

The Act 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

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