Joseph Madzimure Senior Reporter
Government is still to disburse funds to political parties under the Political Parties (Finance) Act as it remains seized with availing basic commodities and cushioning citizens from the obtaining economic challenges.
This was said by Secretary for Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Mr Nick Mangwana yesterday.
The remarks come after MDC-Alliance, which was recently thumped by ZANU-PF in the Lupane East by-election, and two council seats in Nkayi and Bubi, claimed that it lost because it had no money to fund its programmes.
But Mr Mangwana yesterday said no political party had received funds under the Political Parties (Finance) Act.
“Government wishes to advise the public that it is yet to disburse funds to political parties under the Political Parties (Finance) Act Chapter 2:11.
“Treasury is presently seized with the importation of basic goods and prioritising the cushioning of the general public from the current economic challenges. When the funds to finance political parties are available, they will concurrently be disbursed to all eligible political parties. This is expected to happen within the next few weeks,” said Mr Mangwana.
According to the Political Parties (Finance) Act, the State is obliged to provide funding to political parties that get at least 5 percent of the vote in a general election.
Informed sources told The Herald yesterday that the MDC-Alliance could be broke after its account was allegedly garnished for failing to pay creditors who provided them with campaign material during last year’s harmonised elections.
Other sources said the MDC-Alliance has been dumped by most foreign donors, especially from Europe due to allegations of abuse of funds.
MDC-Alliance spokesperson Mr Daniel Molokele has indicated that the party has now turned to its leaders for financial support while treasurer-general Mr David Coltart and Mr Hwende, have been tasked with exploring other avenues for raising money for party activities.
The MDC-Alliance’s drubbing in recent by-elections has opened a can of worms with some officials baying for secretary-general, Mr Chalton Hwende’s blood.
Mr Hwende is accused of incompetency, which has seen the party losing by-elections to ZANU-PF.
So open is the rebellion that some disillusioned supporters are calling on Mr Hwende’s ouster so that he is replaced by former secretary general, Mr Douglas Mwonzora.