Adhere to Political Parties Act, Registrar tells parties

Thursday September 20 2018

By Mosenda Jacob @TheCitizenTZ

Dar es Salaam.  The office of the Registrar of Political Parties yesterday called upon all registered political parties to strictly adhere to the stipulated requirements in the Political Parties Act of 1992 in a bid to facilitate proper cooperation.

The Registrar of Political Parties said this when responding to questions raised by political party leaders in Dar es Salaam who asked the office to consider small parties when giving out grants.

"I know your concerns, but if there is any political party which doesn't receive grants and still it servives, then it should be known that the auditing process will not be selective. We need transparency in our operations, “said the deputy Registrar, Mohammed Ahmed.

He further urged leaders to focus on bringing change to the country by critical reading and understanding of the Political Parties Act so that they could get to know their obligations in accordance with the law," he said.

Mr Ahmed further said that his office was receiving proposals that would be submitted to Parliament for amendment but wanted parties to try to do what the law required.

"We want you to give your opinions because we are still compiling various proposals that we will take to Parliament for possible changes," he said, adding that the workshop was purposely meant to improve the political parties’ ways of conducting themselves.

However, some political parties’ leaders were concerned by the kind of 'unfair' treatment that they received and called for a way that would see all political parties receive a minimum share of grants.

Chadema elders’ general secretary Rodrick Lutembeka said that most of the registered parties were not in a position to comply with all requirements, including compiling a report that would be submitted to the Controller and Auditor General (CAG).

"Out of 19 registered political parties, only five   receive grants that help them in driving their operations, the remaining 14 parties have no grants. You can't expect these parties to professionally follow all the requirements," he said.

Mr Lutembeka said it would be better if the office of the registrar initiated ways that accommodate other parties in getting government grants to facilitate their operations including employing qualified accountants," he said, adding that 14 other parties were still weak and  it was difficult to comply to the requirements.

For his part, Mr Mahadhi Kisuguru, chairman of the board of sponsors  (SAU) said that there was need for the registrar to form a committee that will drive the amendment of some laws that were  a hindrance to a few party operations.

"A committee should be form to deal with our proposals in order to help some of us implement what the law requires.  Some political parties cannot even buy a counter book to keep records; how can the same party employ a qualified individual," he lamented.

Meanwhile, the 1992 Political Parties Act states that only political parties that are represented in Parliament or District Council can receive grants.

The two-day workshop was intended to impart knowledge on the importance of political parties to institutionalise. All leaders who participated received certificates of participation.