• August 18th, 2019
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Political parties must reveal funding

This week, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa signed the Party Funding Bill, which is hoped to improve transparency around financial activities of political parties.

All progressive countries must have such a law, especially in Africa where global financiers often court feeble politicians for a myriad of payback favours.

There are African political leaders who are prepared to sell their souls to the devil that is international capitalists.
A week ago, questions were asked as to why countries like Belgium, a former colonial master of DRC, was insistent on opposition candidate Martin Fayulu being the winner of that country’s presidential election despite official results declaring Felix Tshisekedi the winner.

France’s foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said the victory of Tshisekedi was “not consistent” with the results and that his rival Martin Fayulu appeared to have won. How the French knew, assuming they were correct, about Fayulu’s supposed victory is baffling.

This week US President Donald Trump said he recognises Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó as interim president, despite incumbent Nicolás Maduro having been officially declared the winner.

Maduro retaliated by breaking diplomatic ties with the US and gave its diplomatic staff 72 hours to leave Venezuela.
He accused Washington of trying to govern Venezuela from afar and said the opposition was seeking to stage a coup.
The interest that these foreign governments and institutions command in domestic electoral processes raises legitimate concerns over whether some of these parties – ruling or opposition – are receiving questionable donations for ulterior motives.

Namibia needs to follow suit insofar as transparency around party funding is concerned.
That way, the public would sense what these financiers expect in return – because surely this is not just some Samaritan gesture advanced out of the good hearts of the givers.
We can never call ourselves a democratic and transparent country if the murky world of party funding is kept under a tight lid.

Some funding are made to accomplish nefarious ends and undermine legitimate governments, often in exchange for access to resources such as minerals, public tenders and so forth.

In the world where the so-called state capture concept is gaining momentum, underground funding – sometimes with money from crime proceeds – can no longer be allowed to continue unabated.

After all, as the old saying goes, he who pays the piper calls the shots. Those calling the shots in this regard have, many a time, no interest for the general populace. They are parochial in nature and exist strictly for personal gratification.
In this regard Namibia is miles behind. Political parties represented in parliament receive funding from the national budget but many do not account for such funds.

Despite this, it is private funding that we deem more dangerous. That’s because private contributions to a political party are made in anticipation that the party will advance a particular social interest, policy or viewpoint. 
When the public is in the know about who is providing candidates, it would be in a better position to detect any post-election special favours exchanged in return.

It is thus our prayer that soon Namibia will follow suit and enact a law compelling disclosure of all funding of political parties.

New Era Reporter
2019-01-25 09:18:42 6 months ago

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