WINDHOEK, 03 JUL – The Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) survives on N.dollars 10 million, equivalent to about 10 per cent of the ruling party’s budget, to run its activities yearly, which is insufficient according to the party.
Despite this, it has no intentions to venture into business to create additional revenue generating streams.
This was revealed by PDM’s Treasurer General Nico Smit at a media conference in the capital on Tuesday, where he availed the party’s latest financial statements.
Smit said PDM has an annual budget of N.dollars 10 million. Of this amount, 60 per cent goes into party activities, while the remaining 40 per cent is for the remuneration of its employees.
N.dollars 5 million of this amount is from parliamentary party funding from its five seats in the National Assembly, while the remaining N.dollars 5 million was from local donors.
Smit refused to disclose the names of the donors, saying the party is only accountable to the public on the funds they receive from the Government.
“The other money, we account to the donors so that they see how we used their money,” he said.
He added that with an election fast approaching, it is not the time for the party to lose its donors.
“We will not expose those names. If you expose your donor, you can forget about getting anything from them,” retorted Smit when quizzed by the media.
He was quick to note that the party does not have any foreign donors.
Political parties have been receiving a combined N.dollars 116 million since 2015, which ballooned from N.dollars 28 million in the preceding year, according to local media reports.
Of that amount, Swapo receives around N.dollars 97 million for their 101 seats in Parliament.
Despite being at the forefront of corporate governance and how parastatals can be run in a sustainable, yet profitable manner, the PDM itself is not interested in venturing into business, Smit said.
“There is a difference in opinion (in terms of establishing party business). I personally think as a political party, you shouldn’t be competing with the private sector, especially if you are the ruling party. It’s just not right,” he said.
The politician, however, acknowledged that PDM’s annual budget is insufficient.
“You can only do so much with it 10 million). With every cent, we have to its value 10 times,” he said, adding that all indications are that the party’s seats will increase in the next elections. This will mean extra revenue for PDM, he said.
He could not pin-point any tangible plans the party has in mind to generate income apart from its parliamentary stipend and donations.
At the same juncture, Smit called upon the Electoral Commission of Namibia to investigate how the different political formations spend taxpayers’ money.
“The law should apply. If they fail to account, the ECN should make sure they stop getting these funds. There is a provision that says so,” he concluded.