Tshabangu-Ncube faction wins battle for political party funds

Source: Tshabangu-Ncube faction wins battle for political party funds | The Sunday Mail

Tshabangu-Ncube faction wins battle for political party funds

Debra Matabvu

THE Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) faction led by Professor Welshman Ncube has won the battle to secure the opposition party’s share of Government funds allocated under the Political Parties (Finance) Act.

Multiple CCC factions had been locked in an intense fight for the funds for months, lobbying Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi to deposit the money into their respective bank accounts.

It is understood that rival factions led by Messrs Jameson Timba and Promise Mkwananzi had previously approached the Government for a share of the cash.

They all claimed to be legitimate leaders of the opposition political party.

However, last week, Prof Ncube’s group emerged as the bona fide recipients after its secretary-general, Senator Sengezo Tshabangu, was appointed leader of the opposition in Parliament last week.

Speaker of the National Assembly Advocate Jacob Mudenda also rescinded appointments of CCC legislators to various parliamentary committees after noting that their secondment by Mr Timba was unprocedural.

In an interview with The Sunday Mail, Minister Ziyambi said disbursement of the funds will be made “soon”.

“There were delays (in disbursing the funds) because the Minister of Finance (Economic Development and Investment Promotion, Professor Mthuli Ncube) was not available,” he said.

“Once the processes have been completed, we will disburse the funds soon.

“The recipient of the funds was determined (in Parliament) and it is the opposition (faction) with the majority of members in Parliament.”

Only the ruling party ZANU PF and CCC qualify to receive a share of the funding in terms of the Political Parties (Finance) Act.

Parties that receive at least 5 percent of the total votes cast in the general election qualify for State funding.

Each party’s share is proportional to the number of National Assembly seats they secured in the previous election.

Constitutional law expert Professor Lovemore Madhuku said the funds are disbursed every financial year over five years.

“They ought to be disbursed every Government financial year and should be disbursed within the budget cycle,” he said.

“The funding is approved by Parliament and must be allocated within each budget cycle.”

In January, CCC leader Mr Nelson Chamisa quit the party in a huff owing to internecine fights, plunging the political outfit into further turmoil.

Multiple factions then emerged within the party, with several officials claiming proprietorship.

The Political Parties (Finance) Act stipulates that every political party shall be entitled to receive from the State funding payable to it in terms of the Act annually.

It reads: “The minister shall, as soon as is practicable, and in any case no later than 30 days after the beginning of the financial year, publish, with the approval of the minister responsible for finance, a notice in the Gazette specifying the total amount of money appropriated for all political parties and the amount that shall be paid to each individual political party in terms of this Act.”

It adds: “Each political party whose candidates received at least 5 per centum of the total number of votes cast in the most recent general election shall be entitled to the same proportion of the total moneys appropriated as the total number of votes cast for its candidates in the election bears to the total number of votes cast for all its candidates in that election.”