Political parties in the country have nowhere to hide as Justice Minister Titus Mvalo has gazetted regulations of the Political Parties Act that would require them to, among other requirements, declare their source of income, submit financial reports and disclose names of their donors.
The regulations are in Gazette Extraordinary in Malawi Gazette Supplement dated December 22 2020— number 39A. The development also means political parties that were registered before the State President assented to the Act have to re-register before they are allowed to operate in Malawi.
Some of the main political parties that need to re-register are Malawi Congress Party (MCP), Democratic Progressive Party, United Democratic Front (UDF), People’s Party, Alliance for Democracy (Aford) and UTM.
Following gazetting of the regulations, it is expected that the number of registered political parties in the country will drastically be reduced from the current total of 62
Further, the Political Parties Act requires parties to declare their assets, sources of funds. Parties that fail to abide by the requirements stipulated in the Act would be deregistered.
“These Regulations may be cited as the Political Parties (Forms and Fees) Regulations, 2020. The Forms set out in the First Schedule shall be used for purposes of the Act, and the particulars contained in the Forms and not particularly prescribed by the Act are hereby prescribed as particulars required under the Act. 3,” the regulations read.
Meanwhile, Centre for Multiparty Democracy (CMD) Executive Director Kizito Tenthani has said implementation of provisions of the Act would result in political parties embracing new ways of running their affairs.
Kizito said he hoped that political parties would renew their registration to comply with provisions of the Act. This means they also have to meet one of the provisions of the legislation, which requires them to provide proof that they have at least 100 members in each of the country’s administrative districts.