Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) has taken to task the Registrar of Political Parties over the Registrar’s reluctance to disclose information on sources of funds for major political parties.
The rights group in May asked the registrar to make available the sources 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.
According to CDEDI, the information that was demanded to be made public was that which was declared by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP); Malawi Congress Party (MCP); the United Democratic Front (UDF); UTM party; People’s Party (PP); and the Alliance for Democracy (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.
But in is response, the registrar Mr. Chikumbutso Numelo demanded registration details from CDEDI as a pre-condition to making available the information.
CDEDI has described the response a mockery to Malawians, total disrespect of the office he is occupying, and a futile attempt to defend the indefensible.
“CDEDI, and indeed all Malawians that mean well for this country, believe that disclosure of information declared by political parties as regards party financing, is the only sure way of addressing the root cause of deep-rooted corruption in the country, which according to studies, claims 30 percent of the national budget. Ironically, the fight against corruption seems to be the current Tonse Alliance government’s flagship agenda, and yet some government ministries and departments are doing the contrary,” said CDEDI executive director Sylvester Namiwa.
Meanwhile, CDEDI has furnished the requested registration details and has demanded the Registrar to provide the party funding information by Monday, 31st May, 2021.
Namiwa has warned that the organization and Malawians of goodwill will hold vigils at Numelo’s office if the information is not released.