By JOHN KOMBE
THE New Heritage party has welcomed the call for the funding of political parties with representation in parliament, but has cautioned that the UPND may be bringing up the issue for their own benefit.
In an interview, New Heritage Party president, Chishala Kateka said the idea of funding political parties was a welcome move, but wondered why the issue was coming up now.
She was commenting on the intention by the UPND to take back the issue of funding of political parties to parliament.
She said that in as much as the idea maybe good, it may be seen as a desire for funding by the ruling party.
She said that the UPND had the numbers in parliament and were assured of the motion going through if brought back to parliament.
“This idea may be good, but the UPND may be using it to get funding. How can a ruling party be funded by government. This is not a good thing and one wonders why it is coming up now,” Ms Kateka said.
She also advised the ruling party to consider other political parties that had no representation in parliament.
She however said that this must be accompanied by benchmarks to qualify a party for funding. She suggested that one criteria would be to only consider political parties that successfully took part in the past general elections.
According to Ms. Kateka, political parties that take part in elections must also be considered even if they did not have representation in parliament.
She said that this would help to strengthen democracy because these political parties were equally important in the whole process.
Ms Kateka also cautioned against the formation of political parties as a.means of livelihood. She said that it was for this reason that the funding of political parties must be based on a stringent mechanism that would deter am exponential increase in the number of political parties.