Namibia: Political Parties Gobble Up Over N$400m Since 2000

13 November 2019

The government forked out close to N$400 million from 2000 to 2016 to fund the operations of registered political parties represented in parliament.

However, a huge portion of the money allocated to political parties had not been accounted for after most of the parties receiving state funding failed to provide audited financial statements to parliament over the years.

These figures were released on Tuesday in Windhoek during the launch of an Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) report on political parties' funding.

The ruling Swapo Party has been the biggest beneficiary of state funding, getting more than N$330 million of these funds from 2000 to 2016.

IPPR research associate Rakkel Andreas said on average the government has been paying out at least N$19 million to political parties each year between 2000 and 2014.

For the past five years, the state paid out roughly N$116 million annually to political parties in parliament.

"This represented an almost 600% jump in annual spending on political parties, compared to the average for the preceding 15 years,"

In fact, the escalation in spending was so considerable that the ruling party's allocation for the 2015/16 financial year alone was greater than the total "funding all other parties have received over the last ten years combined," she said.

Andreas said there was a need for the Electoral Commission of Namibia and relevant stakeholders to formulate a political parties funding monitoring framework to enhance accountability. She said this was necessary because the parties were getting taxpayers' money.

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