Centre for Multi-party Democracy (CMD) has decried the delay by the government to fill the vacancy in the office of a Registrar of Political Parties, saying this is hampering efforts to bring about sanity in the operations of political parties in the country.
CMD Executive Director Kizito Tenthani, speaking in a special radio programme, on Tuesday said the office of Registrar of Political Parties is like a hub overseeing that all political parties in the country are operating as per requirements of the Political Parties Act.
The Act was passed in Parliament in 2017 and became operational in 2018 replacing Political Parties Registration and regulation Act of 1993.
One listener wanted to know whether the law was of any use at all, considering that its provisions such as prohibiting issuing of handouts were still being flouted while many other listeners were skeptical about the law being followed.
Tenthani agreed that the new law was still not yet being fully implemented, but attributed the challenge to the vacancy in the office of Registrar of Political Parties who is supposed to be the officer responsible for ensuring the law is being complied with.
“In the absence of a Registrar of Political Parties, overseeing implementation of the Act falls under the watch of the office of the Registrar General, who unfortunately already has a lot on its plate,” Tenthani observed.
Among others, Political Parties Act also spells out stages that need to be followed for a political parties to be registered or deregistered as well as how political parties must source and account for finances.
If properly implemented, the Political Parties would likely see the number of political parties in Malawi drastically reduce from the over 50 that are the register books at present.
Tenthani said the radio programme was one of the ways of continually sensitizing about the law and urging them to help ensure it is being followed for the benefit of Malawi’s democracy.