Political donations

In 1997 Chiluba introduced the so-called Presidential Discretionary Fund, which he dished out as he wished. It was taxpayers' money at the whim of an individual.
The fund was allocated in the National Budget and expressly passed in Parliament. In 1997, he had K4.1 billion at his disposal, which more than doubled in 1998 to K10 billion.
When criticised, he argued that State House was overwhelmed with numerous requests for financial assistance, and that the fund was useful in meeting such requests without going through the bureaucracy.
Year after year, the Auditor General lamented the lack of guidelines for the use of the fund and accountability by recipients. But who cared?
As the third term debate gained momentum in 2001, the Slush Fund, as it was dishonourably called, was efficiently deployed, with huge donations made to chiefs, churches, students, all and sundry, to support the third term.
It was after receiving one such donation in 2001 that 300 individuals from Ndola calling themselves pastors pitched up in Lusaka to declare that the Lord almighty had revealed to them that Chiluba should continue as President.
Chiluba's fund was provided for in the budget. What is the source of the current donations? Salary? Allowances? Donations from friends of the party? Who knows? Who cares when retention of power is at stake?
Unlike the Slush Fund donations which came only from the President's office, the ones we are seeing today are popping up from all angles in the name of 'empowerement' especially from ruling party MPs chasing re-election. But the purpose is the same purpose: to buy patronage.
Like 2001 when the Slush Fund was actively on duty, 2021 is an election year and the donations we are seeing make Chiluba's donations child's play.

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More from @villagemujika

27 Aug 20
The HH/Nawakwi fallout  #Thread

Ahead of the 2006 election, UPND, FDD and UNIP formed the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) and Andy Mazoka was billed as the alliance's candidate.
The basis for choosing Mazoka was the numbers. UPND came second in 2001, had a larger footprint and more MPs. The other unstated one was that Mazoka and UPND had the financial muscle too.
Unfortunately, Mazoka died in May 2006, four months to the election. UPND was rocked by a succession battle that eventually saw the election of HH as its new leader in July.
Read 14 tweets

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