Patriots for Economic Progress (PeP) leader Sean Tembo says the Political Parties Bill must be revised so that the state funding provision excludes the ruling and major opposition party as they do not need subsidising.

In a statement today, Tembo said it would be illogical to fund only those parties with representation in parliament.

“Among other matters, the Patriots for Economic Progress (PeP) strongly opposes the proposed funding model for political parties, which in its current form seeks to only fund political parties that have Parliamentary representation. The current proposed model would only benefit the two largest political parties being the PF and the UPND, to the detriment of other upcoming and more progressive political parties. We believe that the underlying objective of state funding for political parties must be to encourage political participation by aspiring politicians who may not yet have fully established channels for mobilizing resources. It should not be for already established political parties,” Tembo said.

“Our view as PeP is that it will be immoral for the state to waste financial resources to fund a ruling party and a main opposition political party when our universities are poorly funded, there’s inadequate medicines in our health facilities, our farmers are being paid K60 for a 50kg bag of maize and the majority of our citizens continue to wallow in squalor and abject poverty. PeP hereby submits that the provision for state funding for political parties must explicitly exclude a ruling party and a main opposition political party, since these are already well established and do not necessarily need to be subsidized by the state. The Patriots for Economic Progress (PeP) is hopeful that the upcoming ZCID organized stakeholder consultation on the Draft Political Parties Bill will assist to address all the lacunas in the Draft Bill and that the Ministry of Justice will incorporate our feedback into the Draft Bill to produce the final version that will be presented to Parliament.”