Registrar of Political Parties dragged to court over failure to reveal financiers of parties

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The Malawi Law Society (MLS) has dragged the Registrar of Political Parties to court over its failure to provide information on funding of major political parties.

In July, 2021 and in September 2021 MLS asked the Registrar for the list of the financiers in relation to the Political Parties Act of 2018 amid fears that parties have been captured by businesspersons who look to benefit once a party is in power.

However, Registrar of Political Parties failed to provide the information to the law society.

MLS applied to the High Court to be allowed to apply for a judicial review of the decision.

The High Court on May 19 granted the law society permission to apply for the judicial review and ordered that the hearing for the judicial review should be expedited.

Section 27 (2) of the Political Parties Act allows political parties to solicit support from well-wishers, whether they are individuals or organisations, for the purposes of financing their activities.

However, the act compels political parties to disclose to the Registrar of Political Parties sources of their funding and any donations.

The thresholds for disclosures are K1 million and above if the donation is coming from an individual; and K2 million and above if the donation is coming from an organization.

The act also states that any person shall have the right cf access to information received by the Registrar in the exercise of the functions under the Act.

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