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Kazembe mocks 90 ‘family’ based political parties

08/03/2018 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter
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A ZIMBABWE Electoral Commission (ZEC) official has poked fun at “family” based smaller political parties which she said now totalled 90 when added to the number bigger parties in the country.

Commissioner Joice Kazembe was speaking earlier this week in a panel discussion during the launch of the 50-50 Advocacy Campaign and the 2018 Women’s Manifesto at the Harare International Conference Centre.

The event, attended by hundreds of local women among them MPs and feminist groups, was organised by the Zimbabwe Women’s Parliamentary Caucus and women leadership from political parties.

It was a culmination of a 2017 Women’s Manifesto crafted for use by all aspiring female candidates for the 2018 harmonised elections.

In her remarks, Kazembe said ZEC was continuously being pestered by smaller political parties which kept demanding for a share in the fund reserved for political parties.

She revealed there were 90 political parties in the country adding that it was unreasonable to start funding all parties, some of which were “family”.

“Currently we have 90 political parties…” Kazembe said.

“Some of them are really family and when we come to counting votes, a contesting party will get zero votes.

“So, you wonder who actually did not vote. It means everybody in that particular party did not vote for himself or herself.

“And even if there is one (vote), it means it was the man who decided to vote for himself or herself; the whole family decided to vote for everybody else.”

Financing political parties

Kazembe said it was not up to ZEC to decide on granting political parties funding from the national coffers.

She it was time for MPs enacted laws that compel political parties to start paying for registration if at all they entertained hopes of being funded from the fiscas.

“So, I don’t know what can be done. We are Members of Parliament, I think we really need to seriously consider registration,” Kazembe said.

“When you have these 90 political parties, it means we are not serious, really, in Zimbabwe about politics.

“If they were obliged to pay money to register, probably we would have fewer and there would be a fund from which to get the money to give to political parties,” Kazembe said.

Under the Political Parties Finance Act of 2001, parties that reach a 5 percent vote threshold nationally qualify for the proportional funding process.


Two minority political parties, the Zimbabwe Development Party (ZDP) and Voice of the People (VOP) have since filed a court challenge which seeks to bar President Emmerson Mnangagwa from proclaiming the 2018 election date until they get funding for their campaigns.

ZDP led by 2013 Presidential candidate Kisinoti Mukwazhe while VOP is led by one Moreprecision Muzadzi.

The parties argue that the election will never be free, fair and credible until the Political Parties Finance Act is amended to allow all political parties in the race to receive campaign funds.

Zimbabwean laws currently do not compel political parties to register.

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