New donation rules for Swapo

14 July 2020 | Local News

STAFF REPORTER

WINDHOEK



President Hage Geingob has announced a raft of changes to the way Swapo solicits and receives donations, in the light of the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) publishing regulations on the maximum threshold of monies parties can receive from Namibians, local firms, foreigners and foreign companies before being forced to disclose these amounts via the media.

He said it has thus become law, with effect from 18 November 2019, that total donations that political parties may receive from a Namibian or a Namibian institution should not exceed N$4 million per financial year, while the total sum of donations received from foreigners or foreign institutions should not exceed N$2 million for a particular year.

“Furthermore, in the event of a political party receiving donations beyond these amounts, it is mandatory that within a period of 30 days after receipt of such total amount of donations there must be publication of a notice in two Namibian newspapers, specifying the amount of money received, the source from which the money was received, any condition upon which the money was donated and the manner in which the money is intended to be used,” Geingob added.



Review, reform, probe

Speaking at a media conference at the Swapo headquarters on Sunday, the head of state said in the light these recent regulations, and while Swapo is undertaking an internal process of review, reform and investigation into past donations, he has directed with immediate effect that:

· No Swapo member or sympathiser should seek to solicit donations from any prospective donor, domestic or foreign, without authorisation of the office of the secretary-general;

· No Swapo member or functionary may, on behalf of the party, accept donations from any source, domestic or foreign, without obtaining authority from the party's secretary for finance and economic affairs, in consultation with the SG;

· Any person or institution, who upon solicitation or on a voluntary basis, intends to make a donation to and for the benefit of Swapo or its functionaries must do so through the office of the party's secretary for finance and economic affairs, in consultation with the SG; and

· The secretary for finance and economic affairs must keep and maintain a register of donations received, and must ensure that all declarations and disclosures are made in the event of the donations exceeding N$4 million from Namibians or local institutions, and N$2 million from foreigners or foreign institutions.



Central authority

Geingob said Swapo will be appointing a central authority, preferably its secretary for finance and economic affairs, to accept and register donations made to the party. This will enable them to carry out internal due diligence processes before the formal acceptance of a particular political donation and to publicly disclose donations exceeding the prescribed thresholds.

“The idea is that in future, those who will be vying for internal party positions, such as the top four, will have to receive donations through the central authority of the party. This will not only enhance internal party funding; it will also address the challenge of factionalism within the party.”

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