LEAD calls for combined rallies ahead of elections

LEAD calls for combined rallies ahead of elections
LEAD calls for combined rallies ahead of elections

LEAD calls for combined rallies ahead of elections

Labour Economists African Democrats (LEAD) has called on 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 rumoured to be failing to pay its employees.

According to the Political Parties Financing Act, only Zanu PF and MDC-T are entitled to funding from the government on the basis of their seats in Parliament.

The Political Parties Financing Act, also forbid foreign funding of political parties on the basis that it is 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 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 Masarira said to balance the issue of 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 that are 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.”

Masarira called for combined rallies.

“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, Masarira 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.”

LEAD calls for combined rallies ahead of elections