One of the country’s small political parties Lead has called for the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to hold combined rallies for all political parties to ensure a level playing field. This comes at a time most political parties are struggling financially with the main opposition, MDC-T failing to pay its employees. According to the country’s constitution, only the main opposition is entitled to funding from Government while foreign funding is demonised as interfering with a sovereign nation’s democratic process.
The ruling party, Zanu PF already enjoys vast resourcing from different funders including private companies that are reportedly arm-twisted into paying for campaigns or risk facing closure. Zanu PF also takes advantage of the vast state resources at its disposal including foreign and Treasury funded food aid which is used to campaign instead of going to the poor and vulnerable in different parts of the country. Lead president Linda Musarira said to balance the issue to do with resources on campaigns, ZANU PF should not benefit from State resources through political party financing.
“ “They already enjoy incumbency advantage and resources should be channelled to those outside,” she said. “Due to the fact that we now have over 100 political parties, it will be difficult to finance every political party. “We therefore want to see ZEC managing campaigns for all contestants using the same budget enjoyed by ZANU PF and MDC.” Musarira called for combined rallies.”
Lead president Linda Musarira
“We demand combined rallies where people in Harare South constituency will gather at a same venue and get addressed by MPs candidates on the same day,” she said. “No one will be required to wear party regalia. MPs or Presidents or Council candidates will then address the same audience one after another. “That is the most efficient and proper way to come up with free fair credible elections.” Alternatively, Musarira called for an equal share of available resources. “If that can’t happen, then, let’s have all contestants be given their own share in groups,” she said. “We give each and every MP candidate a car, fuel coupons and food allowance then together with his team of councillors, they use those resources to campaign on their own as a group.”