The Centre for Democracy and Development Initiatives [CDEDI] has condemned attempts to frustrate calls for disclosure of information on Political Party financing by the Registrar General of Political Parties.
CDEDI says it is dismayed but not amused with futile attempts displayed this far by the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties in Malawi, which is playing some old and archaic trick in its efforts to ignore its demands for disclosure of information on political party financing.
The organization is reminding Malawians that on 17th May 2021, it wrote the Registrar challenging his office to make available the resources of all private funding to the major political parties in Malawi in line with the Political Parties Act of 2018, Section 37 of the Republican constitution and the Access to Information Act of 2017.
In a statement dated 28th May 2021 signed by its Executive Director, Sylvester Namiwa, CDEDI says the information that was demanded to be made public was that which was declared by the DPP, MCP, PP, UDF and AFORD in the form of cash, assets and donations in kind received within and outside the country during the period between April 2019 and June 2020.
CDEDI says instead of responding to the call, it regrets to inform Malawians that Mr. Chikumbutso Numeri, who is the current Registrar of Political Parties, responded by asking the organization to furnish him with its details as a pre-condition to making available the information it is seeking.
The organization says it find such a response as a mockery to Malawians, total disrespect of the office he is occupying and a futile attempt to defend the defensible, saying all Malawians believe that disclosure of information declared by political parties as regards party financing is the only sure way of addressing the root of deep-rooted corruption in the country which according to studies, claims 30 percent of the national budget.
It says fighting against corruption seems to be the current Tonse Alliance Government’s flagship agenda, and yet some government Ministries, Departments and Agencies [MDAs] are doing the contrary.
“…As a law-abiding institution, we have yielded to the Registrar’s request, and we submitted our registration certificate number 01/25, on Wednesday, 26th May, 2021…,”reads the statement in part.
CDEDI says following this submission, it has extended its ultimatum with 2 days, and it is expecting positive response from the Registrar’s office on or before Monday, 31st May, 2021 and should its request hit a blank wall, it will still proceed to seek legal intervention on its demands, which are enshrined in the country’s constitution.
By Vincent Gunde