Alex Magaisa

Buying cars for POLAD is unconstitutional: Alex Magaisa

Top lawyer and university lecturer Alex Magaisa the purchase of the 19 vehicles that were dished out to principals of the Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD) by President Mnangagwa was a breach of the Political Parties (Finance) Act.

Last week, Mnangagwa doled out 19 double-cab vehicles to POLAD principals and three others to the formation’s secretariat. Critics have viewed the move as rewarding treachery.

“Government spending public funds to buy vehicles for the co-opted losers in POLAD is arguably a breach of the Political Parties (Finance) Act because it is disguised as financing of ineligible political parties. None of them qualify to receive public funding under the legislation,” he said.

“Under the law, the minimum qualification for a party to receive public funding is that it must have earned at least 5% of the total number of votes cast in the previous election. None of the POLAD parties are eligible. Only two parties qualified in 2018: Zanu-PF and MDC Alliance.”

He outlined the highest of the POLAD parties was the now-disbanded Thokozani Khupe’s MDC-T which got a paltry 3, 42% of the national vote.

The National Patriotic Front (NPF) had 1, 04% while the rest, including Lovemore Madhuku’s National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) had less than 1%.

“The vehicle scheme is an abuse of public funds to reward co-opted politicians. What’s the point of the political financing law if public funds can be channeled to the undeserving through POLAD? There are good legal grounds to challenge this breach and abuse of public funds,” said Magaisa.

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