Opposition Parties Ready to Reveal Funds

MOST opposition parties going to parliament this year said they are willing to reveal their sources of funding used during the Presidential and National Assembly elections last year.

This comes after a call made by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) executive director Graham Hopwood. Hopwood recently spoke about local civil society election observers’ views on the elections.

He told the media that there was a need for transparency regarding parties’ sources of funding and for accountability.

Hopwood also said that it was unfair for one party to have a lot of funding for its election campaign, while others have very little.

According to Hopwood, the law should control political parties’ funding in the months leading to the elections or after the election date has been declared.

United People’s Movement (UPM) national chairperson Jan van Wyk said his party has no problem in revealing its funds. He also said his party has no corporate funding and no foreign donors.

“We will submit our financial reports. People must know how we used their money,” Van Wyk said, adding that companies only give funds to the ruling Swapo Party.

“If they fund the opposition they will be victimised by those who fund Swapo. Companies must know that they have the social responsibility to strengthen democracy by funding opposition parties as well,” Van Wyk said.

UDF vice president Dudu Murorua said his party also does not have any problem with revealing where its funding comes from.

Murorua said, currently, they are relying on donations from their branches, membership fees and money paid to political parties for having seats in the National Assembly.

Swanu president Usutuije Maamberua said that his party is ready to reveal its funding sources and that his party’s financial books were ready for tabling in parliament next year.

Like Van Wyk, Maamberua said his party does not get funding from abroad and that no corporate company funds them.

“Revealing funding will lead to transparency,” Maamberua, who leads the National Assembly’s accounts committee said.

Maamberua said that the reason corporates fund Swapo is due to its capitalist stance. Corporates are willing to sponsor Swapo who will allow them to exploit Namibian resources to make ‘super profits’.

Maamberua said that no party has tabled its financial reports in parliament since 2009. Since political parties receive public funding, however, they should submit statements, according to him.

“I am willing to table a motion in parliament next year so that political parties are compelled to reveal their sources of funding,” the Swanu leader said.

All People’s Party’s election coordinator Lena Nakatana praised IPPR’s call, saying that her party had such plans already.

Nudo’s president Asser Mbai said: “We shall reveal our sources of funding.”

Mbai said that funding of one political party by corporates can lead to corruption since they will want something in return.

“It’s disappointing. Donations must be given to all parties,” he said.

Mbai called for an increase in funds given to parties having seats in the National Assembly since most political parties survive from such funding.

The Namibian could not get hold of the RDP and Workers Revolutionary Party for comment.

Swapo secretary general Nangolo Mbumba said: “We, as a political party, are not ruled by organisations run by unelected individuals”.

Source : The Namibian