Calls resurface for parties to declare funds sources

Calls resurface for parties to declare funds sources
Calls resurface for parties to declare funds sources

Africa-Press – Malawi. Calls have resurfaced for political parties to disclose their sources of funds as the 2025 elections approach.

Political and social commentators are urging the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties to compel political parties to make their funding origins transparent.

As political parties gear up for elective conventions and campaigns, the origins of their financial resources have remained undisclosed since 1994.

Political commentator George Chaima said newly appointed Registrar of Political Parties Kizito Tenthani faces a challenge as political parties in the country persistently flout the law requiring them to disclose their sources of income.

“Most politicians, as you know, are very dishonest and distrusted; they do not want to practise transparent and accountable politics.

“Therefore, even in the face of the law, it is very difficult for politicians to comply. We expect every political party, without exception, to adhere to the requirements of the law,” Chaima said.

He added that while the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties has authority, it alone cannot compel parties to comply.

“He needs support from members of political parties. The office itself cannot win this battle because this is a fight for transparency and accountability,” Chaima said.

Willy KambwandiraExecutive Director of the Centre for Social Accountability and Transparency Willy Kambwandira concurred with Chaima, suggesting collaboration among offices such as the Anti- Corruption Bureau and the Directorate of Public Officers’ Declarations.

“Unfortunately, these offices often do not cooperate because politicians tend to divide them,” Kambwandira said.

He also urged Tenthani to enforce the law impartially, pointing out that grand corruption in Malawi often begins within political parties.

“The Political Parties Act clearly mandates political parties to declare their sources of income.

We have a new leader in the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties and we expect him to implement the law effectively,” Kambwandira said.

When contacted, Tenthani, who assumed office in April this year, requested additional time.

On his part, political commentator Ernest Thindwa expressed doubt about the effectiveness of the law, given the lack of interest from the political class.

“Even parties receiving government funds have never published audit reports. This lack of transparency persists because our enforcement institutions are weak,” Thindwa said.

Section 27(2) of the Political Parties Act permits political parties to solicit support from individuals or organisations to finance their activities.

The law mandates that donations exceeding K1 million from individuals and K2 million from organisations must be declared to the registrar within 90 days of receipt.

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