Zimbabwe’s ruling party, ZANU-PF, and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) will receive a combined $1.5 billion in funding this year through the Political Parties (Finance Act). The act provides government funding to political parties that received over 5% of the vote in a general election. In the 2018 elections, ZANU-PF received 70.03% of the vote and will receive $985,874,400, while the MDC, which received 29.97% of the vote, will receive $422,517,600.
The MDC was originally a coalition of seven political parties, but it was transformed into a single party in 2019 with Nelson Chamisa as its leader. However, Chamisa’s leadership was nullified by the court in 2020 and replaced by Thokozani Khupe. Khupe was later overthrown by Douglas Mwonzora at a party congress. Chamisa formed the Citizens Coalition for Change in January of last year, but it is unclear if this party will receive any funding from the $1.5 billion, as it only won 19 by-elections in the previous year.
Zimbabwe’s harmonized elections are scheduled to take place in July or August of this year. The Political Parties (Finance) Act states that “whenever a by-election is held after a general election, the Minister shall adjust the amounts payable to political parties in respect of the Parliamentary year following that in which the by-election was held, having regard to any changes in the total number of votes cast consequent on such by-election.”