CMD proposes law to ban political handouts in Malawi

Giving handouts by political parties may be banned come 2019 elections if proposals by Centre Multiparty Democracy (CMD) are taken on board and enacted into law.

Kizito Tenthani head of Centre for Multiparty Democracy

Kizito Tenthani head of Centre for Multiparty Democracy

CMD with funding from Tilitonse is championing the review of the Political Parties Registration and Regulation) Act, the review has culminated into a draft bill that aims to repeal the current Act and replace it with a Political Parties Act.

According to CMD executive director Kizito Tenthani the consultations on the draft bill have been on going, all with the aim of ensuring that the bill represents the aspirations of Malawians.

“These consultations have led to several revisions of the bill. CMD would therefore like to re-engage the media with an aim of providing the current status of the bill, and to define the next steps,” explained Tenthani

On banning handouts, Tenthani said if the proposed law is taken on board it will get lead of handouts from both political party and its agents.

“Many people in the country want this handout issue removed claiming it has created laziness and dependency syndrome among masses,” said Tenthani.

He added that political parties with no money or resources for handouts are left out in different ways as they are deemed as not useful by those giving the handouts.

“Contributions we are getting from Malawians on the matter, it is clear that most people are not for handouts and they are for independence and issue based electioneering,” discloses Tenthani

He states that such action can only be taken by the registrar of political of political parties not any other person as stipulated by the proposed act.

According to Tenthani, the 2015 political parties’ bill also hinges on a number of things including registration, regulation and functioning of political parties locally.

Among other things the bill seeks at addressing challenges being faced when registering, financing and functioning of political parties.

Currently Malawi uses outdated act in registering political parties which was enacted during the one party regime of Malawi Congress Party (MCP).

Malawi has over 50 registered political parties of which 23 parties expressed interest to participate in controversial 2014 tripartite elections. Out of that 17 submitted nomination papers and 6 made it to the presidency, parliamentary and local government elections.

Meanwhile, political parties are expressing concern on the matter accusing CMD of plotting to kill democracy as some parties deemed briefcase parties will face the chop.

The parties are also accusing CMD of not doing enough survey on handouts arguing they only help the less privileged to live better lives.

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14 thoughts on “CMD proposes law to ban political handouts in Malawi”

  1. Senior Chief says:

    What shall become of us Chiefs then? Please be considerate, we don’t need this law

  2. Mzee says:

    If political handouts create laziness why does govt beg from donors. We must also stop crying for donor support because it also creates laziness. Why is the media awash with stories of how the withdraw of donor has has affected Malawi 50 years down the line. I hear people shouting that the private sector is the engine of growth but where is this private sector. One would have expected Press Corporation to take a leading role in industrialisation instead of bringing Spar. Chikaonda is touted as a business guru SURE!!! This country indeed celebrates mediocrity. Malawi exports almost nothing except tobacco and some tea. We closed Mulanje canning factory yet we are busy importing jam tomato sauce etc. It means there is a market for these products. We cant manufacture iron sheets all Press Corp did was to star importing Harvey tiles instead of investing in manufacturing. We are even importing Mahewu from Zambia for God’s sake. THERE IS NO PRIVATE SECTOR IN THIS COUNTRY.

  3. Dr Haswel P Bandawe says:

    Donations/ handouts by political parties or individual politicians, especially during election seasons have all the trappings of bribes to buy votes. Instead of focusing on policy issues that would benefit communities on a sustainable basis, the gifts/handouts in fact, demean the recipients.

    However, philanthropy should not be discouraged. This can take many forms but on an on-going basis and not coming only during election time. For example, donations can be made to orphanages, school funds can be supported, new clinics and bridges can be built. Any community project must and can be financially supported but without a political party flag planted on it.

    Banning of political campaign-inspired hand outs would stem the temptations for political parties in power to raid the public treasury to raise funds for hand-outs.

    There is also need for disclosure of political donations sources. This would open people’s eyes about policies that would be championed in favour of the large donors to political candidates/parties.

  4. kumangoni says:

    Political handouts completely decays the Malawi’s country economy.Please fight hard to stop it.

  5. Zondi says:

    Zikuwoneka kuti ndi zabwino. Mwina nanenso ka chipani kanga nkuzaphulako kanthu

  6. Zachisone says:


  7. john says:

    I am in full support bcs some un educated fox will have to use their votes through the true choice of their heart but not by the choice of being bought by the hands out… please let push for this change, and this is the first true reform in our democracy.

  8. Gundamapiri says:

    I really support the bill to enable good leaders to be elected

  9. Kanyimbi says:

    I, Professor Kanyimbi supports this idea. Time for change. Do not get advantage of our poverty. Andale mundimva kununkha ndithu.

  10. Mlauzi says:

    Yes. The hand-outs to be banned should include freebies like a trip to New York for undeserving citizens like chiefs

  11. Teroni tione kuti zitha bwanji

  12. Balamanthu says:

    This is the way to go.It is the only way to stop corruption and making sure that the candidates dont proceed to buy illiterate voters.

  13. Moyenda says:

    100% in support of the proposal. Please push hard and make sure that it happens within the next 12 months. It has become too expensive to become an elected official, which systematically excludes genuine people and, instead, attracts “gold diggers” to the campaign for political office. It is arguably the root cause of corruption.

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