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CDEDI persistent on need for disclosure of political party financing

The Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives – CDEDI has expressed dismay over the failure by the office of the Registrar of Political Parties to disclose information on political party financing.

The organization sent a request to the registrar’s office on May 17 asking that sources of all private funding to major political parties be revealed in line with provisions under the Malawi Constitution and Access to Information Act.

In a letter signed by Registrar of Political Parties, Chikumbutso Namelo, CDEDI has been challenged to first provide its registration details before any response to a request is made.

“I would like you to furnish us with your organization’s registration details as we have been unable to find the same in our records.

“For your information, it is our procedure to verify the registration status of any registered entity before attending to any application or request made by the entity,” reads part of the letter.

Executive Director for CDEDI, Sylvester Namiwa, has told journalists in Lilongwe on Friday that the act is in a way a mockery to Malawians and disrespect of the office of the Registrar General.

“Disclosure of information declared by political parties as regards party financing, it 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,” indicated Namiwa.

He has further highlighted that information on CDEDI’s registration has been submitted to the registrar on Wednesday this week and has further given an ultimatum of two days to the office for a response.

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CDEDI in its initial letter wanted to know all finances used in form of cash, assets and donations within Malawi and outside between April 2019 and June 2020 for Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Malawi Congress Party (MCP), United Democratic Front (UDF), UTM party and People’s Party (PP).

“We want Malawians to know where the political parties got funding from during elections because there are chances of party officials being involved in corruption or public office being occupied by people who are only being returned favours,” explained Namiwa.

In case the office of the Registrar General does not heed to the fresh calls, CDEDI has insisted that the matter will be taken to court or to the registrar’s office for vigils.

The Registrar General has since indicated that the fresh letter has been received and will respond to CDEDI in due course.

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