Government has disbursed a total of $6,5 billion to Zanu-PF
and MDC under the Political Parties Finance Act ahead of next
month’s parliamentary election while the State has invited
local organisations and eminent persons to observe the poll.
The Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Cde
Patrick Chinamasa told Newsnet last night that Zanu-PF
received $3,380 billion while MDC got $3,120 billion.
The two political parties are the only ones that qualify for
State funding. In the 2000 parliamentary election, Zanu-PF
won 52 percent of the vote while MDC won 48 percent.
The other party in Parliament, Zanu (Ndonga), has only one
seat and does not qualify for State funding.
Under the Political Parties Finance Act, political parties,
which meet the required threshold for funding by virtue of
their representation in Parliament, receive State funding.
The Act prohibits Zimbabwean political parties from receiving
foreign funding. Government came up with the law to ensure
political parties get some assistance from the State and not
rely on foreign funding, which gives outsiders a leeway to
interfere in the internal politics of the country.
The money should go some way in assisting the country’s two
major political parties in their campaign and preparations
for the election set for March 31.
In a related matter, Government has invited local
organisations and eminent persons to observe next month’s
Those wishing to observe the election have been invited to
submit their names together with the constitutions of their
organisations to the Ministry of Justice, Legal and
Parliamentary Affairs on or before February 18.
In a statement yesterday, Cde Chinamasa said accreditation
would be done by the Electoral Supervisory Commission upon
production of a letter of invitation from the ministry, a
national identity card and the required fee of $100 000 per
The minister said all organisations wishing to observe the
election should provide a contact person and telephone
"All accredited observers will be expected to furnish the
Electoral Supervisory Commission with a report after the
closure of the polls, before the counting and a further final
report within 14 days after counting," Cde Chinamasa said.
Observation of the election would be at the organisation’s
The invitation of the local observers is in line with sub-
sections (d) and (e) of Section 14 of the Electoral Act which
empowers the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary
Affairs to extend such invitations.
Government has also started sending letters of invitation to
foreign organisations and countries that would observe the
March 31 election.
Cde Chinamasa told Newsnet last night that his ministry
invites local observers while the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
is responsible for inviting foreign observers with the
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission inviting observers from the
Southern African Development Community electoral bodies.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Ms Pavelyn Musaka
said last week the process of sending out invitations to
governments mainly in the southern African region and the
African continent and others was currently underway.
However, President Mugabe has said the European Union (EU)
and some Western countries that have been hostile to Zimbabwe
were not welcome to observe the parliamentary poll as only
friendly countries would be invited.
The EU, together with some Western countries led by the
United States and the United Kingdom, has been on the
forefront of discrediting Zimbabwe after it embarked on a
land reform programme to empower the majority of Zimbabweans.
The ruling Zanu-PF party launched its campaign and manifesto
for the election, which it has dubbed anti-Blair, last Friday
in Harare while the opposition MDC is expected to launch its
campaign and manifesto on Sunday in Masvingo.