CMD in civic education on new Political Party law as Aford risks deregistration

Centre for Multiparty Democracy (CMD) has embarked on massive civic education on the new Political Party law which came into effect on December 1, warning failure to adhere to the requirements would lead to the deregistration of parties.

Kizito Tenthani, CMD boss:  Sensitising party leaders.

CMD executive director Kizito Tenthani is visiting districts where he is meeting district party leaders to sensitize them on their role in the implementation of the new law.

“Each party has to have 100 members in each district, this is why district party officials are very crucial in the implementation of the new law if their parties are to avert deregistration,” he said.

Tenthani also reminded political party leaders that the new law requires that parties must have all its members registered, saying this requirement will need the full participation of district party officials.

He also warned that the new law outlaws politics of castigation and hurling of insults as a political tool for campaign.

“We are so much into personality politics of castigation. The law says that there should instead be issue based politics,” he said.

The new law also makes it illegal for politicians to give handouts to people as way of luring them to vote for the politicians.

In addition, the new law makes it mandatory for political parties parties to hold a convention before participating in an election or else the party risks deregistration.

Section 46 (1) says any political party contesting for an election but fails to hold a convention shall be deregistered by the registrar of political parties.

Alliance for Democracy (Aford) risks deregistration as the party spokesperson for Aford of Enoch Chihana camp Khumbo Mwaungulu said the party has no money to hold another election.

“We spent K43 million in the previous election and as ofnow, we don’t have any money,” said Mwaungulu casting doubt that a convention would be held following the annulment of the May indaba by the High Court after two parallel conventions were held one by Chihana and another by Karonga central MP Frank Mwenifumbo.

High Court judge Charles Mkandawire ordered the annulment of the two conventions which separately elected Chihana and Mwenifumbo as presidents and ordered the two camps to sit together to decide on when a single convention could be held.

In a separate interview, Mwenifumbo sounded not pleased that Aford could be deregistered due to failure to uphold the rule of law, money could not be an excuse to flout laws.

“We are not going to allow two or three people to risk and stifle democracy of Aford, we are not going to accept this. Democracy is expensive, democracy is not cheap. We are going to fight this war until democracy prevails in Aford,” said Mwenifumbo.

Mwenifumbo said Chihana and his camp could have invited the maverick Karonga legislator to a round table to discuss on how to raise the money as the court had ordered.

“I had suggested that we hold the convention on 14th or 15th December but they refused. They think they can do anything but Malawi is watching,” said Mwenifumbo.

“The issue is not about money. Convention is democracy and democracy knows no money, you cannot substitute democracy with money, we have to fulfill what democracy wants,” he said.

He said the problem with Aford is that it is run like a dictatorship enterprise.

The current executive committee mandate expired on September 17, 2017.

In the chaotic state, Aford membership is dwindling each passing day as the power struggle in the once strong party, founded by the father of democracy in Malawi Chakufwa Chihana, continues.

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