Proponents of transparency and accountability want to know how political parties are funded. Simple.
In politics, parties are supported or promoted by the individuals and organisations called rent seekers.
These rent seekers are rational economic players who invest for profit. By having a stake in the ruling parties, they might disturb or capture a poor country.
When the sponsored party wins and takes over government, it is expected to help its financial supporters.
When the party gets into power, these rent seekers become active to get back whatever they invested and the desired profit.
If they do not succeed in legal businesses offered, they are allowed to venture into illegal practices.
Due to limited tenure of party’s office, the rent seekers act under panic to profit.
Impunity follows and the sponsors of the governing party go unpunished.
As the rent seekers rob the government for having supported the ruling political party, they create an environment in which the opposition, religious groups and the civil society sense abuse of power since the secret financiers tend to be impatient.
If they do not recoup their proceeds, there emerges antagonism.
The rent seekers might include party members themselves, ministers, presidents, legislators and other prominent politicians who reap benefits from sponsoring governing party.
These fight for upper hand in the affairs of the political party and government contracts. Such politicians are regarded as main owners of the party.
They usually join politics to safeguard and keep their money in the business of sponsoring the political parties-not to manage, but to rob the government.
Where they are able to make ill-gotten wealth through rent-seeking, it makes them wield inestimable economic power at the expense of the ordinary citizens.
This sustains the wrongs in power and confines power in the wrong hands.
As such, the developments and information which the people are given are calculated to fool the citizenry.
If the citizens discover that the developments were makeshifts, to serve time and face of the governing party, the rent seekers might encourage the governing party to tell lies.
These lies when discovered sometimes bring shame to the governing party.
Serving the interests of the rent seekers might entail the suppression of journalism. Journalism is said to be about truth while rent seekers aim at peddling lies and tampering with the governing apparatus to bring illegal profit to their money in secrecy.
Unfortunately, the leaders supported by rent-seeking want to prove to their sponsors that they can deliver.
It becomes impossible to believe them in the country that continuously depends on aid.
What is available is development partners’ money, not funds from the politicians’ ability to multiply wealth for the country through the market forces.
Consequently, those who govern do not deserve a lot of benefits as if they contribute much to the finding of government’s wealth. As the rent seekers sponsor inefficient political parties and leaders who are unable to multiply wealth through market forces, they turn to plunder the public resources emanating from development partners.
Rent seekers might aim at recovering their money before the recipients’ government can collapse.
When the government’s image gets poorer, they intensify their efforts to get their benefits. Corruption increases.
The rent seekers increasingly become corrupt as they know that their sponsored party will lose because of nonstop reports of widespread mismanagement.
Others would say party promoters do not aim at destructive benefits because they have a stake in the government.
I think in a poor country where people accumulate wealth for their grand children’s security, it is impossible to help a political party without seeking illegal profits.
The sponsors of political parties in poor countries expect too much from the poor, inefficient political leaders, forcing them to make illegal gains. This disturbs a country in many forms. n