WRP member disrupts party financing workshop

02 Mar 2016 20:00pm
WINDHOEK, 02 MAR (NAMPA) – A member of the Workers Revolution Party (WRP) was Wednesday asked to leave when she disrupted the workshop on political party financing, alleging that their party is not receiving the public funding they are entitled to.
The workshop in Windhoek, organised by the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN), started on Tuesday under the theme ‘Promoting Transparency and Accountability of political party financing’.
WRP member, Erica Beukes requested the opportunity to deliver her comments and argued that the party has not received public funding, which it is entitled to as it has representation of two seats in the National Assembly.
Only nine of the 16 political parties registered at the ECN have seats in the NA and according to the Electoral Act of 2014, the proportional public funding is only granted to political parties with seats in the NA.
“I am here to inform the participants that we have never received the public funding that we are supposed to receive. Our party committee was informed that Speaker of the National Assembly, Peter Katjavivi was a keynote speaker at this workshop on Tuesday where he discussed about the political parties funding,” she said.
Katjavivi on Tuesday made note of the legislation that only allows parties with representation in the NA to public funding.
Beukes also distributed a statement addressed to Katjavivi and Chairperson of the ECN, Notemba Tjipueja about the party’s concerns regarding the public funding.
She later started using unwelcoming words towards Katjavivi on his absence and Tjipueja, who was in attendance at the time of her disrupting the workshop.
Beukes was then ordered to leave because of her bad behaviour.
“The Speaker is a Swapo parliamentarian elected as a chairperson of the National Assembly for no other purpose than to act as chairman, but otherwise to serve the interest of his party, Swapo,” she said in the distributed statement.
“Besides this clear subservience of the ECN to what Swapo dictates, Katjavivi, without blinking an eye, speaks about accountability and transparency, while he has not declared his unethical interest in the Mass Housing scam and other tenders in which he uses his Swapo membership, his parliamentary membership and his speakership as instruments to get himself tenders,” she alleged.
Approached for comment, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance Erica Shafudah said all political parties represented in Parliament have received their funding depending on the number of seats during the 2015/16 financial year.
“There is no way the WRP will not get their funds while other parties received theirs,” she said.
Shafudah said the money was allocated under the Vote of the National Assembly during the National Budget allocation.
The PS referred this news agency to the information provided in Parliament by Finance Minister Calle Schlettwein in April 2015 regarding the determination of the formula for funding of political parties. The formula provides for the source of monies for allocation to political parties to be limited to an amount not exceeding 0.2 per cent of the estimated revenue to be collected in the State Revenue Fund in the financial year for which allocations are to be made.
According to the proposed share of the funds to be allocated to each party for the 2015/16 financial year, Swapo with 101 seats in Parliament received a maximum of N.dollars 96.764 million; DTA of Namibia with six seats received a maximum of N.dollars 5.748 million; Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP), and United Democratic Front (UDF) with three seats each received a maximum of N.dollars 2.874 million; and All People's Party (APP), National Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo) and Workers Revolutionary Party (WRP) with two seats received N.dollars 1.916 million.
The remaining political parties such as Republican Party (RP), Swanu of Namibia and United People's Movement (UPM) who have one seat each in both houses - National Assembly and national Council – received a maximum of N.dollars 958 000 each.
The workshop, which was attended by about 50 political parties’ representatives, was aimed at engaging all registered political parties, associations and stakeholders on the need to comply with Chapter Four of the Electoral Act, Act 05 of 2014 with regard to political party financing.
The gathering was also aimed at presenting draft regulations regarding the declaration of assets and liabilities of political parties, and the disclosure of foreign and domestic financial donations of political parties and organisations.
The workshop ends Wednesday.