The Centre for Democracy and Development Initiatives [CDEDI], has challenged the Registrar of Political Parties to make available sources of all private funding to the major political parties in Malawi, in line with the Access to Information Act of 2017.
CDEDI has requested the Registrar to make public the funds declared by the DPP, MCP, UDF, PP and AFORD saying 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.
The organization says it has since given the Registrar General 7 days to provide Malawians with information or risk being dragged to court for failure to comply with their demands which are enshrined in the country’s Constitution.
In the statement dated 18th May 2021 signed by its Executive Director, Sylvester Namiwa, CDEDI says Malawians believe that strict adherence to the Political Party Act is the only sure way of uprooting the deep-rooted corruption which according to studies, claims over 30 percent of the total national budget.
CDEDI says of late, there has been a tendency by some individuals who hold the country’s presidency at ransom in order to gain favors as a precondition for their political party sponsorship and this is happening due to the lack of strict enforcement of the Political Parties Act specifically section 27 subsection 2 of the Act.
“…A political party may for purposes of financing its activities appeal for and receive donations from any individual or organizations within or outside Malawi provided that the source of every donation, whether in cash or in kind…,’’ reads the section in part.
CDEDI says political parties put up super campaigns that undoubtedly involved colossal sums of money ahead of the 19 May 2019 Tripartite Elections, the court sanction 23 June Fresh Presidential Elections and more recently two sets of by-elections that left Malawians’ lips wagging in disbelief to the notion that Malawi is a poor country where over 50 percent survive on less than a dollar a day.
The organization adds currently, the public domain is awash with information on how business people compete to sponsor political parties in the country, saying those who choose to care have noticed a strange way in the running of State affairs.
By Vincent Gunde