Transparency International Zambia Advocates for Political Party and Campaign Financing Reforms

Lusaka, Zambia – In a passionate call for greater transparency and accountability in Zambia’s political landscape, Mr. Maurice K. Nyambe, Executive Director of Transparency International Zambia (TI-Z), addressed a gathering at a Political Parties’ Engagement Meeting on Campaign Financing held on August 23rd, 2023. The event aimed to shed light on the critical issue of political party and campaign financing in Zambia and advocate for reforms to ensure a more transparent and equitable democratic process.

The meeting saw the presence of distinguished personalities including Political Party Presidents, Secretary Generals, representatives of cooperating partners, civil society members, and the press. The central theme of Mr. Nyambe’s remarks revolved around the importance of political integrity, public interest, and equitable representation in a functional democracy.

Highlighting the central role of political parties in a democratic society, Mr. Nyambe emphasized their various functions such as representing citizens’ interests, proposing policies, selecting candidates, and conducting electoral campaigns. However, he acknowledged that political financing has presented challenges worldwide, particularly in terms of transparency and accountability. Countries that adopted political finance regulations have often struggled to ensure effective publication of political finance data, leading to distortions in the democratic process.

Mr. Nyambe noted that the lack of transparency in political financing processes and mechanisms poses a threat to democracy. He stressed that political leaders should act with integrity, serving the public interest independently of private interests. The undue influence of big money in politics, often directed towards vote-buying and other forms of abuse, can lead to policy decisions that deviate from public welfare.

Drawing attention to Zambia’s context, Mr. Nyambe lamented the absence of a legal framework for political party and campaign financing, which has allowed political parties to source funds from questionable sources. He emphasized that Zambia’s lack of regulations in this area contradicts the principles outlined in the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption. Mr. Nyambe pointed out that political parties in Zambia are not obligated to disclose their sources of funding, which can lead to opaque financial practices.

To address this issue, Mr. Nyambe highlighted the need for reforms, including the enactment of legislation to regulate political party and campaign financing. He outlined potential aspects that could be covered by such legislation, including the disclosure of financial contributions, the establishment of contribution ceilings, and the requirement for audited financial reports by political parties.

In conclusion, Mr. Nyambe expressed his hope that Zambia would embrace these reforms and create a transparent, accountable, and corruption-free democratic environment. He called on all stakeholders to join in this crucial journey towards safeguarding the integrity of Zambia’s political landscape and promoting a democratic dispensation that serves the interests of all citizens.

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