THE cash-strapped opposition MDC led by Welshman Ncube has directed its members to start paying monthly and yearly subscriptions ranging from $1 to $72 to “foster a spirit of party ownership”.
BY NQOBILE BHEBHE
According to an internal memo seen by Southern Eye, the funds would cover the party’s administration costs, both at provincial and national levels.
Acting treasurer-general Theresa Muchovo dispatched the memo, which she said followed a resolution of the party’s standing committee.
The opposition MDC-T led by Morgan Tsvangirai has also issued a similar directive to its members.
Muchovo said MDC MPs would fork out $72 per annum while councillors would pay $36 for the same period.
“Subscriptions paid in each province shall be shared with the national office at a ratio of 60% for the province and 40% for the national office,” she said.
“Money collected is expected to contribute towards the running of the provinces, including the funding of party programmes and activities.”
MDC national spokesperson Joshua Mhambi said there was nothing amiss with members paying subscriptions as the party was striving to be self-reliant.
“There was a plea from members for such a development. They said it would create a sense of ownership among members,” he said.
“All associations have some form of subscription by members. We don’t want to be dishing out membership cards for free like promotional flyers at supermarkets.”
Mhambi said the key issue on subscriptions was that 60% of amounts collected would remain in provinces, in line with the party’s devolution thrust.
“Again as per our devolution thrust, not all of the funds will be shipped to the national office,” he said.
“Sixty percent will remain in provinces and the rest submitted to the national office.
“It’s devolution and that should cascade to the national government.”
According to Zimbabwe’s Constitution, political parties with parliamentary seats are entitled to government financial support under the Political Parties Finance Act to prevent a situation where they are foreign funded.
Based on the Act, funding for political parties by the State is provided to any party with a 5% threshold of the vote, (Electoral Act 2:13).