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Call to cap political party spending

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ELECTION observers who were part of the 2018 general elections, have called on Zimbabwe to implement a law capping political party expenditure during polls to curb vote-buying and abuse of national resources for political party gains.

BY BLESSED MHLANGA

Zimbabwe Elections Support Network (Zesn) has suggested that the law should open for audits into political party spending and how they use campaign funds to ensure electoral malpractices and unfair advantages are dealt with.

“The law should provide for disclosure and audits of parties’ sources and use of campaign funding. It should confer an independent institution with the legal mandate to regulate and oversee electoral finance issues and undertake verification of the contestant’s financial reports,” Zesn said in a statement.

Political parties represented in Parliament have access to public funds through the Political Parties (Finance Act), but these have used the money without being audited.

The Commonwealth Observer Group (COG) said such a law will ensure accountability and transparency on the source of funding of political parties and how the money was used.

“Promote accountability and transparency of campaign finance and expenditure by introducing explicit regulations on campaign expenditure including reporting requirements before nominations and after the declaration of results,” COG said.

The law will also require that candidates declare their assets before nomination and all donations received by political parties to ensure that voters have full information as they go to vote.

Money has been a major factor in deciding elections in Zimbabwe with opposition parties accusing the ruling Zanu PF party of abusing State resources to fund mega rallies, buy campaign regalia, spending big on billboards and flashy cars as well as buying votes.

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