10 December 2012

Zambia: Central Province Rejects Political Parties' Fund

THE establishment of political parties' fund as recommended in the First Draft Constitution of Zambia has been rejected by the Central provincial conventional delegates with many opposing that it will be a waste of resources.

Some delegates said political parties should always be ready to sustain their operations and that establishing a political fund would create laziness and would also be a drain on the tax payers' money.

The delegates were discussing Article 88 on the legislation on political parties' clause (c) which outlines the establishment and management of a political fund which shall provide financial support to political parties with seats in Parliament.

The delegates argued that establishing a fund would create laziness as political parties are supposed to have the financial muscle.

Others said that it was better to empower institutions such as councils to rehabilitate roads instead of funding political parties.

ZDDA president Charles Kafumbo representing his party said his political party has always contested general elections since 1991 and was sustaining itself arguing that establishing the fund would create laziness among political players.

"People may refer to us as small parties but since 1991 we have survived on our own and we should not allow political parties to be lazy knowing that they will be funded by the Government," he said.

The clause was subjected to a vote and the majority of the delegates voted against establishment of the fund and ordered that it should be deleted from the Draft Constitution.

Meanwhile, the delegates have recommended that the access to media clause as contained in the Draft Constitution should be maintained.

During debate, the delegates said in the past some political parties had been denied fair coverage hence the need for legislation to protect both the practitioners and news sources.

Delegates noted that the media played an important role in informing the public and should avoid publishing misleading news items.

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