Registrar taken to task on party financing

Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiative (CDEDI), has given Registrar of Political Parties a 7-day ultimatum to make available to the public the sources of private funding to the major political parties in the country or else risk being dragged to court.

CDEDI Executive Director, Sylvester Namiwa, said this during a press briefing held in Blantyre on Wednesday.

Namiwa said his organisation would like to ascertain whether or not political parties comply with section 37 of the Political Parties Act of 2018.

The aforementioned section stipulates that “a political party shall at least once every year, make available to its members all financial records of the party”.

Namiwa further said CDEDI has also copied the letter to the Secretary Generals of all the concerned major political parties in the name of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Malawi Congress Party (MCP), UTM Party, People’s Party (PP) and Alliance for Democracy (AFORD).

Namiwa said: “CDEDI has requested the registrar who is the custodian of such information to make public the funds declared by these main political parties and such declaration should be made in the form of cash, assets and donations in kind received within and outside the country, and were declared during the period between April 2019 and June 2020.”

He said as of late, there has been a tendency by some individuals who hold the country’s presidency at ransom in order to gain favours, as a precondition for their political party sponsorship.

“CDEDI is made to believe that all this is happening due to the lack of strict enforcement of the Political Parties’ Act,” he said.

He further said currently, the public domain is awash with information on how business people compete to sponsor political parties in the country.

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