Parliament has adopted the Political Parties (Amendment) Bill which among others, gives powers to the Registrar of Political Parties not to register a political party unless its manifesto is aligned to the national development agenda applicable at the time of registration.
The proposed amendment is based on a recommendation of the recently unveiled country’s development agenda, Malawi 2063.
Speaking to Yoneco FM, Minister of Justice Titus Mvalo expressed delight with passing of the Bill saying that there will be continuity in development.
“Malawians should expect with passing of the Bill that there will be continuity in development agenda,” said Mvalo.
“The previous developments of abandoning projects or plans for developments or plans because a party has changed will no longer be there.”
But the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) through its Mulanje South West lawmaker George Chaponda expressed fears that objectives of the Bill will not be achieved unless there is commitment from the leadership.
“The first problem which we have seen is that having alignment is good but what we have seen in Malawi is that there lack of leadership and political will,” said Chaponda.
“Unless we can have a commitment towards this Bill to implement it then we are just wasting time.”
According to the Bill, the National Planning Commission shall, within fourteen days of receiving an application under subsection (2), review the manifesto and serve its decision, in writing, on the political party.
Where the National Planning Commission determines that the manifesto is aligned to the national development agenda, it shall certify the manifesto for registration.