Members of Parliament
Members of Parliament

Political parties should not be funded from State coffers because the nation cannot afford it , the Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has charged.

Secretary general Cosmas Mukuka has also described as unfortunate the passing of the 50 percent+1 vote clause because it was unfeasible due to regional voting patterns.

The clause allowing Government to fund political parties with representation in Parliament as contained in the Constitution Amendment Bill No. 17 should not have passed because some political parties are irrelevant, he charged.

The Constitution which has been passed provides in article 60 section 4 (a) the establishment and management of a Political Parties Fund to provide financial support to political parties with seat in the National Assembly.

But Mr Mukuka said although the Constitution Amendment Bill was currently in the hands of President Edgar Lungu, it was important to seriously reflect on the clause which allowed the establishment of funds for political parties.

“It is unfortunate that funding of political parties went through because our submission was that unless a political party meets a specified threshold. If you are saying political parties should be funded, under which threshold will be followed?” he said.

Mr Mukuka said the funding for political parties should reach a certain threshold because political parties would be concentrating in one constituency just to be receiving funding from government.

“MPs should have suggested that a political party will be receiving funding when it has more than 10 MPs. That way political parties will be serious and promote proper regulations,” Mr Mukuka said.

He said political parties should be formed to provide checks and balances to the ruling party not merely registering and forming one for the sake of receiving funds.

“The best which the President can do is to probably see how best people can discuss it and provide a serious threshold so that we can have serious political parties who should compete because now every political leader who has no following will be receiving funds,” Mr Mukuka said.

And commenting on the 50 percent+1 vote clause, Mr Mukuka said the possibility of repeating elections in Zambia were quite high.

He said Zambia cannot have one-off session of general elections following the historical background of elections conducted in Zambia. “But now that the 50 percent+1 vote clause has gone through Parliament, we cannot question it very much at this stage because it remains in the hands of the President,” he said.

Mr Mukuka said because the clause had passed in Parliament there was need to start looking at campaigns and ensure that every citizen was educated on his right to vote.

He said if political parties will not campaign adequately ahead of the 2016 general election then it would be an automatic re-run which was a cost to the nation.

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17 COMMENTS

  1. I think he must be a PF carder who only want the PF to loot national treasury. Very useless labour leader.

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    • “….because now every political leader who has no following…”

      Kikikikiki! If someone has no following what is he leading???? Himself?!!!!

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    • The biggest problem is the id¡otic notion of a constitution that should stand the test of time. The Constitution should be amended whenever circumstances have changed. The Constitution should reflect the thinking of the living people. The American one has had several amendments and the Supreme Court further interprets it in a very political way. The drafters of the American Costing were slave owners and may not agree for a black man to be in the White House – were they still alive. The PF Constitution is not the end of all Constitutions!

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  2. What is unfortunate is that you the biggest union in the country were too lazy to read the small print of this clause!!

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  3. all of sudden, vigorous reactions have started popping out from all corners when the draft is almost in the final stage….they were all dozing when it was being debated upon….some getting surprised and shocked that the draft has a clause requiring presidential candidates to be seconded by 100 registered voters from each province…eeh…..
    ….is our economy capable of sustaining such costs …funding parties….the British or Americans can because their economies are good…not ifyakulinganya amapuli…besides, part of my tax ending up funding a party I dislike with passion…that wouldn’t be fair at all….

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  4. Comment: What is amazing is that where were all these people been all this time that now they have found time to comment on the constitution. This is really crazy.

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  5. My tax going to fund politicians. Oh no how I hate this clause. This useless clause is what you are calling people driven? I don’t support this.

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  6. What is now coming to surface concerning the passing by Parliament of the Constitutional Bill is extremely disappointing…the Draft Constitution was gazetted several months ago and everyone was encouraged to read and make submissions. Even the Republican President joined the same voice. So those who were opposing the enactment of the this document on what basis were they doing so now that it has become clear that they actually did not study its contents…No wonder there is so much confusion in the country. NGO’s and the so called opposition political parties in Zambia are of little use. There is just too much politicking by these groupings – opposing for the sake of opposing.

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  7. The funding is to enable mps visit there areas. The thing is it shudnt be big. Its just something to help them. Dont talk about something u are not sure of let this issue be put to rest. Do not just oppose u had o the time on earth which u never used.too late may be it has been signed today.

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  8. I personally knew that most people have never read the document despite commenting too much on it. Even the grand coalition can have the same problem. Chisaine Chagwa! Cry babies will not stop!

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  9. But where were you when serious Zambians were reading the draft constitution? Does it mean that you were drunk or what? Forget it its too late now to start the debate.

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  10. The problem is people are lazy and foolish just like making noise we can’t even have time to read people let’s be careful no wonder the Chinese say you can’t develop with democracy develop then enjoy democracy and good life the current system we just make noise while we suffer

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  11. Comment:Funding Political parties wil an abomination to our crying economy.If its funding UPND and MMD can be funded not these other small clubs that cause confusions during election time.

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  12. PF never wanted to amend this clause of funding political parties because they know very soon they will be in opposition! They have become used to eating tax payers money and they feel they must continue chewing! This is a poor country which can’t afford such luxury! This bill should repealed!

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  13. It is interesting that it is only now when it is downing on people that the constitution bill will eminently become law that is when people are beginning to read. Even the President urged people to read before opposing or agreeing with draft constitution. It is now clear that people were opposing or agreeing to the draft without actually having read the contents. Unfortunately, the train has already left the station, good riddance.

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  14. All those that formed the so called grand coalition have never debated the draft consitution clause by clause, because if they did, this clauseb should have been put among the contentious clauses and deferred. Alas, all we heard from Fr. Chiti et al is just mumble jumbloe samersaulting and politic hooliganism. It’s now too late even for you ZCTU, so please shut up and allow The President to assent to the new constitution. MWANYA, is what the late Dr. Francis Manda would have said!

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  15. Spot on ZCTU, how did that slip through?
    Maybe we were drunk with 50%+1, because with Black Label only we could have seen that error, ask my witness Hon Gary.

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