Political parties refuse govt. funding
By Bryan Chafwila
Political parties have objected to the 2017 Political Parties Bill, which provides for (A) the establishment and management of a political parties’ Fund to give financial support to political parties with seats in the National Assembly, says Minister of Justice, Given Lubinda.
Commenting on the submissions made to his Ministry by 57 political parties who attended a 3-day forum to discuss the Political Parties Bill, 2017 at Mika Hotel in Lusaka, spearheaded by the Zambia Center for Inter-party Dialogue (ZCID), Lubinda stated that it was obvious that almost all parties, except PF had strongly objected to the Political Parties Bill.
Lubinda also stated that political parties were free to continue making submissions to the Bill either directly to him or to the ZCID.
The event was attended by 57 representatives from political parties.
But People’s Party President, Mike Mulongoti together and Eric Chanda of the 4th Revolution Party (4R), in a strong worded statement argued that there was no way their parties would spend time and resources in deliberating on how to get government funding when hospitals had no drugs, when University of Zambia (UNZA) students could not access bursaries for their education.
“Let them (govt) think of funding UNZA students and, also purchase drugs for our health centers because us we are able to manage on our own,” retorted a visibly annoyed Chanda.
Meanwhile, drama ensued when Mike Mulongoti told PF Deputy Secretary General, Mumbi Phiri that their time in power was almost coming to an end, at which Mumbi Phiri reacted sharply.
The presence of Mumbi Phiri did not sit well with Revolutionary Party President (RP), Mubita Wakumelo who said that ‘people like Mumbi Phiri, a cadre for PF needed to be disciplined and not allowed to attend such functions’, a sentiment that Mumbi Phiri took as an act of provocation.
And in response to the attack, the PF Deputy SG defended herself by stating that she had not done anything wrong, neither was she a cadre and that she has a way of joking with Mulongoti, whose son she said was married to her daughter.
On 8th August, 2017, Hon Lubinda officially launched the Consultative Process on the Draft Parties Bill, 2017, which is a working document that has been drafted to provide a platform on which to engage stake holders to comment on the Clauses of the Draft Bill, as provided for under Article 60 Sub Article 4 of the Newly Amended Constitution of Zambia.
The Draft Political Parties Bill, 2017, is a Bill, which, after presentation to Parliament, will provide for issues such as: A, the establishment and Management of a Political Parties’ Fund to provide financial support to political parties with seats in the National Assembly.
Under Section (B), the Bill seeks to provide for accounts of political parties which are funded under the Political Parties Fund and the submission of audited accounts by political parties; and (C) the source of funds for political parties, with (D) providing for the maximum amount of money to be used for campaigns during elections; and finally under (E) provide matters incidental to matters specified in the Clause.
Following a request by the ZCID to have the number of days extended in which political parties could make their submissions on the matter, Hon. Lubinda submitted that he has given a deadline of 15th September, 2017 as the date for making submissions.