Weekly Roll: Political Party Funding

Elections are right around the corner for the country and almost all of SADC. Zimbabwe recently had her national elections following the resignation of the former and longtime president of the country Robert. G Mugabe. South Africa is also close to holding their national elections and so are we.

With all this a few months away there is a lot of promises we will be getting from Politicians on what they will do once they gain office. There will also be a lot of such things communicated to us through different platforms across the country. From freedom squares to press conference ad actual advertising but all these raise a serious and fitting question which some believe calls for scrutiny and regulation locally as is the case internationally. The issue of political party funding.

There are more than 4 political parties in Botswana and all these are in need of funding to meaningfully compete in the general elections. This funding is for the executing of the campaign plans that the party has in place. The politicians themselves are required to fund their campaigns and not all of them can self-fund. Even those that have the capacity to do so can do with some help as this is a very heavy task for anyone to undertake.

This led us to our weekly poll question on political party funding and how it should be handled by the parties. Not much is known by the general public on how these campaigns go by and how these parties are kept and run. The public only gets to hear about these parties come election time, before and after that there isn’t much direct communication that is made by the parties. Where these parties get the money to carry out their daily tasks is a mystery so we asked what the public thinks about these. 92% of our voters believe that political party funding should be disclosed to both the public and all party members. Only 8% felt that it should be reserved to the party elders only and none of our participants felt it would be fitting for party funding to be disclosed only to the party members.

There clearly is a concern and desire to know more around the issue of political funding.