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Tanzania: New Bill To Regulate Political Parties’ Finances

(Jan. 22, 2010) It was reported on January 17, 2010, that the Tanzanian government hass been preparing to propose a bill, The Election Expenses Act, 2009, to regulate the funding of political parties. (Bill to Control Funding of Dar Political Parties, EASTAFRICAN, Jan. 17, 2010, available at,

The current language of the Bill provides tight requirements for acquiring and spending election contributions. Following are some of the requirements:

● It requires that all party nominees report to their party the amount of funds they intend to spend in their election campaigns within seven days of their nomination. The parties are required to make the reports available to the Registrar of Political Parties (a government organ accountable to the Prime Minister's office and responsible for the management of all matters pertaining to political parties registered in Tanzania) within 30 days of the end the nomination process;

● It gives the minister responsible for political parties the discretion to put a cap on election expenses; violation of such a cap by a political party or a candidate is an offense;

● It requires that the source of all individual donations to political parties exceeding TZS$500,000 (about US$367) and donations from organizations exceeding TZS$1 million (about US$734) be disclosed to the Registrar of Political Parties with in 30 day of receipt;

● It requires that all candidates receive donations for election expenses only through their party;

● It requires that all donations received by a political party be deposited in a special bank account and that all election expenses be paid out of that account;

● It prohibits accepting funds from foreign sources, including individuals, governments, and non-governmental organizations; and

● It requires that political parties stop receiving contributions no later than 90 days prior to Election Day. (Bob Karashani, A Review of the Proposed Election Expenses Act, 2009, THISDAY, Jan. 4, 2009, available at

According to Mizengo Pinda, the Prime Minister of Tanzania, the Bill is intended to curb illegal practices and introduce transparency to the political parties' nomination process. (Id.) The next general National Assembly elections will be held in October 2010.