‘Political parties must disclose source of campaign funds’

Political parties and their candidates must disclose the source of their campaign funds in order to promote transparency and accountability in the political arena.

With the country set to hold its polls on August 23, political parties have started canvassing for votes.

Finance Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube who is vying for the Member of Parliament for the newly constituted Cowdray Park constituency, has set tongues wagging after he embarked on several projects including drilling boreholes and rehabilitating roads.

The source of funds has been questioned with some speculating that he could be using state funds to roll out his campaign.

“Absolutely, candidates need to disclose their funds, we are talking about the issue of transparency and accountability and because of that it is necessary for them to do so, we have a situation where we have a situation where corruption strive, so if we want to eradicate issues to do with corruption, lack of transparency and accountability, this is where we start, we have to start with the political candidates and it has to cascade down to the citizens,” said a participant on This Morning on Asakhe, a CITE Twitter Spaces programme.

The participant with the Twitter username, Boss Salani, said the disclosure of sources of funds will give supporters confidence to vote for certain candidates.

“We saw what happened with the gold mafia documentary and as a result of that what we know for certain is that people like Brother Paul who were in that documentary were obviously mentioning issues of how they finance governments regimes from different African states and  thus not to say Zimbabwe is  not the same, we  need to know where Zanu-PF gets its money from, their campaign monies, yes they will say it is our membership subscriptions but how do we know that for certain without us being able  to see those accounts to see who funds them.”

Another participant, James from Gwanda said the disclosure of campaign funds will enable citizens to know who supported the candidate and what interests they harbour.

“They should disclose who is funding them because, at the end of the day, the country will be sold, you can be held at ransom because we have been financed by a certain individual or an organisation that says when you come into power you need to influence certain policies that might as well support our companies, get us tenders along the way and these are the things we need to avoid.”

Fainos Kamunda said the challenge will be getting Zanu-PF to account for their funding.

“The issue is on their subscription, I don’t think they made US$2 million through subscription in the past year, so where are they getting the money to buy all these vehicles for campaigning and it’s a lot, I don’t think we will get enough from Zanu-PF but as for other political parties I agree they will need to come out and say this is how we get the money,” said Kamunda.

Another participant, Bekithemba also said in terms of transparency in a normal democracy, political parties should reveal their source of funding.

“We need to know who is funding who and what influence are those funders going to give to the guys coming into power.”

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