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'Polad financing is illegal'

by Staff reporter
05 Sep 2021 at 06:01hrs | Views
UNITED Kingdom (UK) based Law Lecturer Alex Magaisa has urged President Emmerson Mnangagwa to seek amendment of the Political Parties Financing Act (PPF Act) if he wants to use public funds to pamper members of his Political Leaders and Actors Dialogue (POLAD).

Magaisa warned doing so under the current condition was illegal as none of his cronies qualified for political funding based on the 2018 election results and giving them cars and other freebies was going round the PPF Act.

He was speaking on human rights watchdog Zim Rights' podcast.

"It is arguable that this is political party funding that circumvents provisions of the political parties financing act (PPF Act)," said Magaisa. It is indirect political party funding, the state is using public funds to support political parties that do not qualify under the PPF Act," he said.

"There would be no problem if the state wanted to do that, all it needs to do is change the law to make sure parties such as those in POLAD are clearly  taken into account and considered for political party funding under the PPF Act otherwise that law becomes redundant."

Only Nelson Chamisa's MDC Alliance and ruling Zanu-PF currently qualify for political party funding.

However a series of court challenges by POLAD member and MDC-T leader Douglas Mwonzora have ensured the recent ZWL$60 million was given to them instead.

Mnangagwa presented for use in unclear areas, top of the range 4×4 Isuzu vehicles to POLAD members who include Professor Lovemore Madhuku.

Madhuku has gone out of his way to defend the new gifts, indicating he wants more.

Added Magaisa: "The problems is that a leader or president can always create a platform that he wants where he or she is going to reward loyalists that are going to create a facade of competition with him or his party and then reward them afterwards by giving them gifts like this which are outside the PPF Act. That is unethical, unfair and opens room for all manners of electoral manipulation, I believe it is a misuse of public funds in order to advance personal and political party interests. I do not think this is the way to go where one of the parties decides that they are going to buy cars, buy suits, allocate land or give whatever gifts they want to give to political players."

"That is personalising institutions, making the PPF Act redundant and I do not think it is fair. This is how institutions end up collpasing, they become comproimised because they are respomnding to the whims of an individual. I believe the gifts that were given to members of POLAD were retrogressive," he said.

POLAD was formed following recommendations by the Kgalema Motlanthe Commission on the 1 August killings but has not been recognised as a proper platform for dialogue between Mnangagwa and opposition.

The absence of popular Chamisa has been its major downfall.

Source - newzimbabwe